Whether you’re missing a few or all of your teeth due to decay, gum disease or an accident, implant dentures help restore your ability to eat, talk and speak. A well made set of implant dentures will maintain or improve the appearance of your face and smile. They’ll work for you, but you need to work for them, too. Natural teeth need regular care, and your implant dentures are the same way, even though they’re artificial.
Minimally, you can keep your implant dentures looking their best by removing trapped food particles and plaque with regular brushing and flossing just the way you would with regular teeth. Commonwealth Prosthodontics recommends doing more than just brushing and flossing for maintenance. Following these simple steps will keep your dentures looking great for years to come!
Clean Your Implant Dentures
After every meal, try to remove your dentures for cleaning. First, rinse them with running water to remove any loose food particles. Then, gently scrub all surfaces of the removable denture system with a soft, non-abrasive toothbrush to remove additional plaque, pieces of food or other build-up. Use a specially-formulated denture cleaner to scrub your dentures. Remember, toothpaste is only for teeth!
Clean Your Mouth
Even without all or some of your teeth, the inside of your mouth still needs daily cleaning to maintain good oral hygiene. If you have natural teeth, maintain them by brushing with toothpaste in a circular motion at a 45-degree angle to your gum line. Afterwards, use cotton gauze or a soft toothbrush to clean your gums, the insides of your cheeks, your tongue and the roof of your mouth. Clean your mouth thoroughly each time you remove your implant dentures, removing any stray food particles and bacteria. This helps prevent gum irritation, bad breath and gum disease.
Soak Dentures Overnight
This is an important step in taking care of your dentures. Most dentures require moisture to retain their shape. Otherwise, they might bend out of alignment. Leave them to air out overnight and you might need a new pair by the morning! You can let them soak in a glass of water or a special denture solution overnight. Commonwealth Prosthodontics will make a recommendation for you depending on the type and model of dentures you use. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for soaking overnight. If you choose to use a denture solution, always rinse carefully with water before putting them back in your mouth. These solutions can be harmful if swallowed.
Handle with Care
Unlike natural teeth, implant dentures aren’t made out of bone. They’re more fragile than that, so be careful whenever you need to take them out. Set out a clean small towel or soft cloth to lay them on if necessary. Handle them carefully and avoid dropping them, which is also a hygiene hazard. When cleaning, be gentle. Try to avoid damaging any breakable pieces.
Schedule Regular Dentist Appointments
Even if you have no natural teeth remaining, you’re not off the hook for dental check-ups. Your dentist will examine your dentures, make sure you’re maintaining them correctly and give both your dentures and your mouth a professional cleaning. Your dentist also needs to screen the soft tissues of your mouth regularly for disease or oral cancer. If your dentures become uncomfortable or the fit changes in some way, your dentist can help you make adjustments so your dentures fit correctly.
Habits to Avoid
Sometimes what you don’t do is as important as what you do. Harsh toothpastes and stiff brushes can damage the surface of your dentures, creating tiny abrasions on the surface that can trap bacteria, causing infections.
Don’t try to use whitening products on dentures; these typically contain peroxide, which won’t affect the materials dentures are made of. Bleach can also damage your dentures and may change the color for the worse. If your dentures contain metal, avoid solutions with chlorine, which will tarnish the metal.
Use cold or room temperature water only for rinsing and soaking your dentures. Hot water may bend them out of shape.
Commonwealth Prosthodontics provides comprehensive cleaning instructions for patient oral care after every procedure. If you’ve got questions about your implant dentures, or if you’re considering transitioning to a more permanent solution such as full implants, contact us at 804-346-3366 for an appointment. We can’t wait to get you a whole new smile!