Dentures can restore form and function to your smile, but only if they are in good shape. Unfortunately, even the most diligent patient can damage their prosthetic if they do the wrong things. Here are three denture care mistakes you might have already made today and how to make positive changes to your routine.
1. Brushing With the Wrong Tools
You want your dentures to be clean, which is why you might spend a decent amount of time every morning and evening brushing those surfaces. Sometimes, people even think it's safe to use medium to hard bristled toothbrushes on dentures because they aren't natural teeth. However, brushing with the wrong tools can have serious consequences for your oral health.
While it is true that dentures are synthetic, they are designed to be brushed and flossed like your natural teeth, which means you should only use a soft-bristled toothbrush. If the surfaces become scratched from abrasive toothpastes or hard toothbrushes, plaque, tartar, and bacteria can gather in fine crevices, leading to bad breath and discoloration.
To stay on the safe side, only invest in toothbrushes, toothpastes, and dental floss that are approved by the ADA and recommended for use on dentures. Better yet, talk with your dentist about which products they recommend for your specific style of denture.
2. Skipping the Soak
Dentures are designed to stay moist 24/7. Although it might seem like a good idea to let them dry out from time to time, this practice can actually cause the prosthetic to warp or break, while simultaneously causing issues like bacterial growth.
Overnight soaking in denture solution offers a long list of benefits, including removing as much as 99.9% of bacteria and viruses from dental surfaces. In addition to helping to prevent bad breath and decay to remaining healthy teeth, overnight soaking is also an important step in protecting your immunity.
If bacteria are allowed to colonize on the surface of your dentures, they can attack vulnerable areas inside your mouth. This issue is especially dangerous for senior citizens, cancer patients, or anyone who is immunocompromised, since dentures can accumulate bacteria and viruses during daily eating, drinking, and handling.
Always soak your dentures in a denture-safe solution overnight, and wash your hands carefully before handling them. If you notice ongoing dental problems like sore jaws or bad breath and you haven't been soaking your dentures, make a dentist appointment immediately and soak your dentures right away.
3. Handling Dentures Over Hard Surfaces
Few things are more embarrassing than showing up to an event with a damaged smile. However, if you are used to handling your dentures over hard surfaces like countertops, sinks, or tile floors, you might be left in a world of hurt if you ever slip during brushing.
A single drop is all it takes to damage the porcelain crowns of your dentures, so never handle them over hard surfaces. Instead, lay down a towel over the area as you work, which will help to absorb some of the impact if you happen to drop your dentures.
If you do drop your denture and the prosthetic breaks, gather the pieces together and bring them to your dentist. Some types of damage can be resolved in the office, which could save you from embarrassing situations.
Whether you have recently injured your prosthetic or you are in the market for an updated set of dentures, Dr. Gregory B. Halls, Denture Center, can help you to make things right. With an eye for detail and a commitment to customer service, we will help you to enjoy a healthier smile. Make an appointment today.