A reported 11 million people wear dentures in the UK. Advances in engineering mean that ‘falsies’ look more natural than ever, but they do require a regime to keep them fitting well and looking great.
While wearing dentures does not necessitate any major changes to what you eat, it is important to be conscious of how you eat. Abstain from biting too much with your front teeth, and chew food using both sides of your mouth. This will avoid your dentures from ‘tipping’, and help maintain a secure and comfortable fit.
Whenever appropriate, rinse your dentures with water after eating. This will reduce food deposits building up, and help keep your dentures bacteria free.
Be brush savvy
As with natural teeth, dentures are prone to plaque that can trigger gum disease if a thorough cleaning routine is not followed, including brushing at least twice daily. Acrylic teeth are less hardy than enamel, so brush with a lighter touch using a soft-bristle toothbrush or a specialist denture toothbrush to avoid causing damage. Many commercial types of toothpaste are very abrasive too, so opt for denture formula toothpaste, or clean them with a mild soap and water.
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Soaking your dentures in specialist soluble cleaning solutions can help remove stains and prevent discolouring, but use them wisely. They are not a substitute for brushing, and should not be overused. A 15-minute soak twice a week will be enough to keep them bright. And avoid using such solutions if your dentures contain any metallic composite – they can tarnish and weaken metal.
Keep them moist
Remove your dentures at night to allow your gums to rest, but don’t let them dry out. Moisture will prevent dentures from warping or changing shape when you are not wearing them, so place them in a container of water or in a plastic bag with damp cotton wool come nightfall. And avoid hot water – it can alter the structure and fit of your dentures too.
Handle with care
Dentures can be fragile, and an accidental drop can crack or break them. To avoid any harsh contact with hard surfaces, position yourself over a sink full of water or over a towel when cleaning or handling your dentures.
Don’t be a stranger to your dentist
Jawbones and gums shrink and change shape over time, so it’s important to maintain regular check ups with your dentist to make sure your dentures maintain an optimum fit. Visit your dentist every six months, or sooner if your dentures start to click when you are speaking, loosen significantly or become uncomfortable.