Dentures are removable oral appliances custom made to replace missing teeth. Getting your dentures fitted is sure to positively impact your life, allowing you to regain confidence and restore your smile.
Dentures are one of the most popular ways to replace teeth. However, those with these common appliances may be unclear about how to handle them with care. Read on to discover why it is so important to properly care for your dentures.
Proper care for dentures
A good oral hygiene routine is crucial to retaining the jawbone structure and protecting the mouth from bacterial attack. If all teeth are missing, dentists still recommend brushing the gums, cheeks and tongue every morning and night to keep bacteria at a minimum. Even without teeth, the gums and tongue are still susceptible to plaque buildup. Dental cleanings should still be a big part of the routine when dentures are being used.
Always be sure to remove dentures after eating. Rinse the appliances in lukewarm water to rid them of food particles and residue from beverages. Brush dentures at least once per day using a soft-bristled toothbrush and dish soap, as toothpaste is too abrasive for dentures.
Removing dentures is a critical part of keeping your gums healthy. Take them out for a minimum of five hours per day. Most of those who wear dentures tend to take them out at night, as this is the longest period of time when the dentures do not need to be used.
The benefit of taking dentures out at night
Taking out dentures at night gives the gums and other supporting tissues a chance to rest. While the dentures are out, the gums receive exposure to the natural antibacterial properties of saliva.
Popping your dentures out at night will help clean the mouth and stop the buildup of bacteria. When dentures are removed at bedtime, store them overnight in water or a denture cleaning solution.
Even when they spend the night in a cleaning solution, dentures still need to be brushed during the day. There is no substitute for cleaning dentures using a toothbrush with soap.
What happens if I leave my dentures in when I sleep?
Leaving dentures in for an extended period of time can be dangerous for your oral health. Those who wear dentures through the night are more likely to develop plaque on their dentures and tongue. The longer you wear your dentures without taking them out, the more susceptible you are to gum disease, oral thrush and bone loss.
Resorption, the decrease in jawbone volume due to excessive denture wear, can cause the bony ridge beneath the gums to deteriorate. When this happens, the mouth can no longer support the dentures.
However, some studies have shown that if you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea at night, you should actually leave your dentures in while sleeping. If you do, however, know that you will have to remove them for a portion of the day to let your gums and mouth muscles rest. Consult your dentist first if you want to leave dentures in at night. The dentist will help come up with a schedule for you that will leave your oral health intact.
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