So, you’ve got a brand new smile. Great! Now what? Caring for dentures is just as important as caring for natural teeth, but the process is a bit different. Here are five easy tips to help your keep your brand new smile dazzling and healthy:
- Clean regularly. Plaque, tartar, and bacteria can accumulate on dentures just like they do on natural teeth. Brush thoroughly at least once a day, and rinse well. Overnight soaking formulas can help remove stains, kill odor-causing bacteria, and keep your dentures feeling fresh. This is a convenient option, as most dentures should be removed during sleep anyway.
- Use a denture brush. Toothbrushes that are designed specifically for dentures have a bristle pattern that allows you to clean the base and teeth efficiently. Additionally, regular toothbrushes, particularly those with stiff bristles, can damage the finish on some dentures.
- Don’t use abrasive toothpaste. Do you have a favorite toothpaste that promises to whiten or polish your teeth? If so, don’t use it on your dentures, at least not without talking to your dentist first. Often, these products contain abrasive particles, which clean and polish tooth enamel. However, those same ingredients can scratch the surface of dentures.
- Don’t spit out your smile. Imagine you just heard the funniest joke of the evening. Nothing will steal the spotlight away from the comedian as fast as a set of teeth flying across the room. Luckily, there are a few ways to avoid this. The most common solution is denture adhesive. This may not be necessary for properly fitting upper dentures, but lower plates are more difficult. Because they have less surface space, they are less likely to form suction. If you don’t want to use adhesive or worry about loose dentures, ask your dentist about implants to stabilize them.
- Yes, you still need checkups. Even if you no longer have any of your natural teeth, you still need to visit a dentist regularly. One of the most important reasons is regular exams, because some serious oral diseases, such as oral cancer, aren’t associated with decay. Additionally, dentures occasionally need to be re-lined, due to changes that occur in the gums over time. If you notice your appliance fitting differently or causing irritation, talk to your dentist.