How to clean your dentures.
Dentures can be broken whilst being cleaned - it is so easy to prevent this from happening. When cleaning your dentures, place a towel or face washer in the basin so that the denture slips from your hand, the towel will cushion the fall. Dentures should never be cleaned in the shower.
The lower denture is fragile and should not be held in the palm of the hand (fig 2), as you could break it if you squeeze it too hard. Hold it with two fingers and the thumb, as in (fig 1).
Cleaning the denture with bleach can cause discolouring and unnatural looking teeth. Some stains may require professional cleaning. Abrasive cleaners and hard brushes can also cause unnecessary wear and tear on the plastic base resulting in the dentures become loose.
Your Dental Prosthetist is the best person to advise you about cleaning and maintaining your dentures.
What you can expect from your new dentures?
Artificial teeth are, at best, a substitute for healthy, natural teeth. If you have unfortunately lost some or all of your teeth, then a partial or full denture enables you to maintain a pleasing facial appearance, and will, in most cases satisfactorily assist you to chew your food.
At first you may find some difficulty getting used to your dentures and initially have difficulty chewing some types of food. In time, you will overcome this and adjust to your new dentures.
With a lower denture there is a tendency at first for the tongue and lower jaw muscles to displace it. This can be prevented by implants being surgically placed in the lower jaw. Your Dental Prosthetist will advise you about this procedure.
Immediate Dentures are inserted at the time of extraction of natural teeth and are sometimes classified as a temporary denture. The immediate denture will need adjustment and a temporary denture. The immediate denture will need adjustment and a temporary lining during the initial shrinkage of the gums. This may need doing several times before the final remodelling of your new denture.
However, some patients believe that they can wear these dentures without any further adjustment.
It cannot be stressed too strongly, that irreparable damage can be caused if the dentures are not remodelled/relined after initial gum shrinkage which usually occurs between three and six months.
Problem associated with poorly fitting dentures
Sometimes, when too much shrinkage occurs in the gums supporting your dentures, or dentures are worn down, the lower jaw can move out of its proper relationship with the upper jaw. This can sometimes lead to a number of problems.
The facial muscles can collapse, giving an appearance of premature ageing, with wrinkled features (see fig 3 & fig 4).
Other symptoms which may occur include:
- Cracked and continually sore corners of the mouth
- A dull pain in, or about the ear
- Impaired hearing
- A stuffy or stopping sensation in the ears, continuous, or with intervals of improvement
- A clicking or snapping noise when chewing
- Mild or severe dizziness
- A burning sensation in the throat, tongue, and side of the nose.
When dentures are first inserted they fit the gums snugly. But as the gums shrink, many people unwisely resort to adhesive and self-liners from the pharmacy. These do-it-yourself kits can result in a rapid breakdown of your gums and can lead to complications. There is no substitute for a well fitting denture, and to make sure you have no problems, always have yours checked regularly by your Dental Prosthetist.
How long should dentures last?
You should never consider your first set of dentures as your last. Many people believe their dentures should last forever, but this is not so. Generally a denture should be reviewed every two years for remodelling/relining or replacement.
Apart from being worn down by continual use, the supporting tissue is actually changing. Even when your dentures feel quite comfortable, they should be inspected regularly to ensure no permanent damage is being done to the mouth.
If ever a sore or growth is discovered, you should immediately seek advice. These areas may be quite harmless and may not require minor adjustment to the denture, but only a professional can evaluate and rectify the situation.
Should dentures be worn overnight?
This is totally your choice but it is recommended that you leave your dentures out at night. If you find that your jaws or the muscles of your face ache by overclosing youe jaws without the dentures - leave them in - on the other hand, if you clench or grind your teeth in your sleep - take them out as it will reduce the breakdown of your gums.
Partial dentures should be left out at night.
Partial dentures need as much attention as full dentures, usually more. The fit, care and hygiene of partial dentures are very important to your remaining teeth. You should always remove your denture after eating and brush them and your own teeth well. If the partial denture is a poor fit, it can severely damage the gums supporting your natural teeth. A poor fit can cause bleeding, soreness and swelling of the gums, and consequently you should seek further attention.
What are dentures made of?
Denture teeth are made from acrylic or porcelain, specially selected for size, shape and colour to conform and harmonise with your facial characteristics.
A plastic or metal base holds together and supports these teeth on your gums.