Dentures are an excellent solution for replacing missing teeth in patients who are missing all or most of their teeth. Plus, modern prosthetic dentistry offers patients a variety of differently designed dentures that can meet a variety of needs, preferences, and treatment budgets.
If you have dentures, then you’re likely aware that proper denture care is paramount to maintaining your prosthetic dental appliance as well as your oral health. Caring for dentures is simple, but it’s not quite as straightforward as taking care of your teeth because the way you care for dentures varies depending on the type of dentures you have.
Types of Dentures
Today, dentures come in a variety of styles. They can be designed to replace all of a patient’s teeth (full dentures) or some of a patient’s teeth (partial dentures). Beyond options in full or partial styles, there are three primary types of dentures that include:
- Traditional Dentures – Traditional dentures are designed to hug the ridges of the jawline, gums, and hard palate for a secure, snug, and comfortable fit. They are removed each night for care, cleaning, and maintenance.
- Removable Implant-Supported Dentures – This style of dentures is also referred to as “overdentures” and “snap-on” dentures. They are secured to permanently placed dental implants inside the mouth but are designed for easy removal and care.
- Permanently Fixed Implant-Supported Dentures – This style of dentures is most commonly referred to as “all-on-4” dentures. This style of denture is permanently fixed to four or another number of strategically placed dental implants. They can only be removed by a prosthodontist or dentist.
A Simple Guide to Caring for Your Dentures (and Mouth) by Denture Type
To keep your dentures clean, stain-free, and in good shape, while also maintaining your oral health, consider the following denture care tips for all types of dentures.
Traditional dentures should be removed and rinsed after every meal.
They should also be removed every night for cleaning and soaking. At night, you should also use a soft-bristled toothbrush or a warm, wet washcloth to clean your gums, cheeks, tongue, and the roof of your mouth. At this time, you should brush your dentures (at least once a day) with a soft-bristled brush and a nonabrasive denture cleanser. Be sure to remove all food, plaque, and other debris such as denture adhesives.
Most dentures need to remain moist in order to retain their shape and maintain a good fit. Soak your dentures overnight in water or a mild solution formulated for soaking dentures. Some manufacturers provide specific directions for overnight storage, soaking, and cleaning solutions. Be sure to follow these carefully.
After soaking – especially in a solution – rinse your dentures completely before returning them to your mouth.
Dentures are designed to be strong, but they are still breakable. Handle them with care. It’s smart to place a towel over the sink or countertop so that your denture won’t break if dropped during cleaning.
Implant-Supported Dentures (Snap-On or Overdentures)
Although they are fixed to dental implants inside the mouth, overdentures are often designed for easy removal and cleaning.
If yours are designed to snap on and off at home, then you should remove them for cleaning every night, like a traditional denture. Use a soft-bristled brush and a non-abrasive denture cleanser to brush them and clean all plaque, food, and other debris from their surfaces. At this time, you should also use a soft-bristled toothbrush or warm washcloth to clean the soft tissues inside your mouth (cheeks, gums, tongue, and roof of your mouth).
To maintain their shape, be sure to keep your snap-on dentures wet when they are not in your mouth by soaking them in water or a mild denture-soaking solution.
All-on-4 Dental Implants Dentures
All-on-4 dental implants dentures are permanently fixed inside your mouth which means you can’t remove them for regular cleaning. To keep your mouth healthy and feeling fresh we recommend sticking with the following oral hygiene routine:
- Use a soft-bristled electric toothbrush to ensure thorough brushing.
- After brushing, use a water flosser filled with three parts water and one part alcohol-free, antibacterial mouthwash to clean under the bridge portion of your denture (i.e. the space under the denture between each dental implant).
- Brush your cheeks and tongue thoroughly at least once a day.
- Clean under the bridge portion with super floss after each meal.
Cleaning Tips for All Kinds of Dentures
For all types of dentures, it’s best to avoid overly abrasive cleaners and cleaning methods. Select a brush with soft bristles, rather than stiff bristles, and avoid harsh, highly abrasive toothpaste.
Additionally, remember that the primary whitening agent in many whitening toothpaste formulas (peroxide) does not affect the color of artificial denture teeth. If your dentures are stained or discolored, it’s best to schedule an appointment with a professional to have them repaired.
In fact, any products that contain bleach or chlorine should be avoided. These chemicals can actually weaken your dentures (the metals and plastics that they are made of) and alter their color, rather than brighten it.
Never boil your dentures or put them in hot water, as this heat could melt them and lead to warping changing their appearance and the way they fit.
Professional Denture Treatment, Design, Fitting, and Maintenance in Loveland, Colorado
If you are missing some, most, or all of your teeth, we strongly encourage you to schedule a consultation with our prosthodontist, Dr. Andrew Bock. We can examine your teeth and gums and talk with you about whether or not dentures might be the best treatment option for you. When it comes to replacing missing teeth, we can provide you with a wide variety of treatment options and help you determine the one that can best meet all of your smile restoration needs.
To learn more or schedule a consultation with our prosthodontist in Loveland, Colorado, we welcome you to contact Northern Colorado Prosthetic Dentistry today.