The importance of Denture care
Thousands of bacterial species exist in the mouth naturally. Deposits of bacteria "build up" on natural teeth and dentures. Failing to remove the build up of plaque on natural teeth will lead to inflammation of the gums, then possible gum disease and further tooth loss.
Plaque deposits on dentures also need to be removed on a daily basis to avoid bad breath arising from the denture and other complications such as Thrush.
If Thrush is diagnosed in the mouth, the denture may need to be specially treated to remove fungal deposits. Normal cleaning can be done with a soft bristled toothbrush or denture brush. Stiff bristle brushes can cause damage to the acrylic resin. Cleaning needs to be done with denture specific cleaning agents, not regular toothpaste as this can be too abrasive and in time polish the characterisation out of the teeth, making them look more artificial. Denture cleaning creams and gels can be bought from most chemists. Denture soaking solutions can also be used, but manufacturer's instructions must be followed. Not following these instructions can bleach the colour from the acrylic teeth and base, making the denture look less natural, and giving that unwanted "denture appearance".
Areas of the denture prone to mineral deposit build-up are on the upper denture on the outside surface at the back on both sides, also on the lower denture behind the front teeth. This is because these two areas are very close to where most of the saliva enters the mouth.
Tips on Denture cleaning.
- Cleaning should be carried out over a basin of water to break the fall of the denture should it slip out of the hand.
- Do not scrub the denture in the same direction repeatedly.
- Do not squeeze delicate clasps while cleaning as this can alter the fit of the denture.
- If the denture has a soft lining on the fitting surface (normally full lower dentures) clean especially thoroughly, following instructions. These linings can harbour bacteria and fungal growths.
- Examine dentures for the beginnings of possible fractures. Holding up to the light may help to see a fracture developing.
- A fracture can be confirmed by very gentle flexing of a wet denture, watching for movement.
- Seek professional help as soon as a fracture is observed. Do not try to glue it yourself. This may work in the short term but make professional repair much more expensive. This is because in order to repair, the segments must locate exactly, and glue deposits or damage to the acrylic by solvents in the glue will prevent this.
- Take your denture to a dental laboratory once a year for a professional cleaning and re polish.