Dentures are a popular way to replace missing teeth. In Knoxville it is estimated that 15-19% of adults are missing 6 or more teeth. In order to continue to enjoy food and enjoy smiling people choose to replace their teeth with dentures, implants or bridges.
Do you want to brush your teeth in your hand or in your mouth? That is a question many people with neglected teeth must answer. There are many ways to replace missing teeth and the costs can widely vary. The thought of brushing your teeth in your hand or in your mouth is one that people evaluate to help their decision making. We also ask kids this question when they seem to have five new cavities at every dental visit. The other day a little boy responded “No way, my grandpa takes his teeth out and chases me with them. I don’t ever want creepy teeth like him”.
Dentistry has come a long way even in the last 10 years. These days there are not many reasons why people should need to lose a tooth. However, many people had bad teeth when dentistry was not as advanced as it is today. As a result, people have lost teeth and sometimes all of their teeth.
Without teeth people are unable to eat many of the foods they once enjoyed. Dentures give people a way to replace a mouthful of missing teeth and restore their smile.
In order to ensure longevity from your dentures, proper care and maintenance is critical. Here are some tips for caring for your dentures:
- Always take your dentures out at night while you are sleeping
- Handle your dentures with care. Dropping them in the sink may result in a hairline crack or even a full break in your denture. If they break, do NOT attempt to glue together yourself. Generally a dentist can easily fix a broken denture as long as they have not been gunked up by a homemade repair.
- Rinse your dentures each night under the sink to remove any loose food or debris.
- Use a soft bristle toothbrush and simple dish soap to brush all the surfaces of the denture. Anything more than dish soap may be too abrasive and scratch your dentures causing even faster build-up of odor causing bacteria.
- Clean your own mouth by brushing your tongue and gums with a soft brush. Use alcohol free mouthwash to freshen your breath.
- After cleaning your dentures, cover them in water to keep them clean and ready to slide in the next morning.
- There are many types of creams, powders and strips that increase the suction and retention of your dentures. Use only those approved by the ADA and consult with your dentist before initiating their use. Many times a simple dental adjustment will dramatically improve the fit of your dentures.
If your dentures stop fitting correctly and you develop problems chewing or speaking you should see your dentist immediately. At a minimum you should see your dentist once per year to have your denture evaluated for fit and any required maintenance. Remember, good oral health doesn’t end if you’ve lost all your teeth. Proper denture care is just as important to ensure a healthy happy smile!