If some or all of your permanent teeth have fallen out or been removed, you may be using dentures. Complete dentures are if you are missing all of your natural teeth and partial dentures if you are missing just one tooth or a few teeth. Both types need special care if you have them.
It is important to take your dentures out before going to bed. This way, the mouth tissues can recover from wearing them during the day. If taking your dentures out at night is not an option for you, then be sure to remove them for six to eight hours at another time of day. Soak your dentures in warm water if they have metal clasps. If they do not, you can use either a half-vinegar, half-water solution or a special denture cleanser. Soaking will help to remove stains, plaque, tartar, and bacteria.
Dentures are not cheap and they can break easily, so you will want to be careful with them. Clean them over a folded towel or bowl of water in case they drop. Do not use toothpicks when you wear them, and do not use strong cleaners or hard brushes to clean them. All of these can cause damage to your dentures. Also, remember to never leave them where young children or pets can reach them.
Just because these are not your real teeth, that does not mean they do not need regular cleaning. They can still build up stains and tartar on them, and bacteria. If your dentures are plagued with plaque, it can lead to problems in the tissues underneath, such as infection and irritation. Brush your dentures with a regular soft-bristled brush, not the same one you use for your real teeth. You can also use a special denture cleaning brush. Regular hand soap, mild dishwashing detergent, mildly abrasive toothpaste and dental paste are all good choices for cleaning dentures.
Even if you have complete dentures, you still need to care for your gums. Whenever you take out your dentures, give your mouth a good rinse and then massage your gums with a washcloth or a soft toothbrush. If you have partial dentures, you still need to properly brush and floss your regular teeth every day.
Whether you have partial or complete dentures, you still need to visit the dentist at least once a year. We will examine your oral tissues for changes and for sores that might become cancerous, as well as providing advice for proper oral hygiene and denture care.