No More Natural Teeth: Deciding Between Implants and Dentures

4 Maintenance Tips For Your Dentures

by Jeremiah Barnett

Dentures are used to replace teeth that are missing due to a variety of reasons, such as tooth decay, gum disease or dental trauma. After a new set of dentures is installed, you may feel freer to smile and laugh without trying to cover your mouth. Still, the appliance requires proper care to ensure that the dentures do not become disfigured or discolored. Here are a few maintenance tips to keep your dentures in like-new condition:

Don't rinse or store in hot water.

The heat from hot water can warp your dentures. Dentures are made of resin false teeth connected to a resin or metal base plate. The resin, which is a type of plastic, becomes malleable when exposed to high levels of heat. 

Your dentures are custom-made to fit the specific contours of your oral cavity. A warped denture may no longer fit in your mouth properly. Once a set of dentures assumes a new shape, they may become uncomfortable and less likely to stay in place. Full sets of dentures that are not implant-secured are held in place primarily by the natural suction of your mouth.

 Clean your dentures immediately after ingesting dark food or drinks.

Food and drinks that contain dark pigments may stain your appliance. If the staining is deep enough, your dentures could be permanently discolored. By cleaning your dentures soon after consuming a deeply colored substance, you can prevent the colorants in the food or drink from being absorbed too deeply by the dentures. 

To clean your dentures, you can brush them with a paste designed for cleaning dentures. If brushing is not an option because you are away from home or a toothbrush and denture paste is unavailable, rinse the appliance thoroughly with cold water.

Never store your dentures outside of liquid.

If your dentures are permitted to dry out, they may become brittle and irregularly shaped. Thus, it's important to store them in liquid when they are not in your mouth. There are denture solutions available over-the-counter that are specially made for denture cleaning and storage. However, if no specialized solution is available, water can be used.

Avoid eating hard substances.

Refrain from chewing hard substances, such as hard candy or ice. The bite pressure needed to chew the substances can break or crack your dentures.

To learn more ways to care for your dentures, consult with a professional in your area.