Denture Care

Even if you have worn dentures in the past, it takes time to get used to any new appliance.

Handle with care
Dentures are not fragile, but still must be handled with care. Hold your denture on one side only – especially with a complete lower denture. If you grasp the denture at both ends and then apply pressure, it can bend or break. The metal part of a partial denture framework also can bend under excess pressure, so be sure to hold it securely on one side.
When you wash or brush your dentures, be sure to hold them over a towel, wet washcloth, or sink filled with water. If the denture slips out of your hands, the water and/or towel will cushion the fall and prevent breakage.

Cleaning your denture is as important as cleaning your teeth. A dirty denture will contribute to bad breath and the teeth will stain. After each meal, remove your denture and clean it thoroughly, while also brushing and flossing your remaining natural teeth. The gum tissue and roof of your mouth also should be cleaned with a soft toothbrush or cloth, to keep your whole mouth clean and healthy.

Be sure to clean clasps and hooks on partial dentures as they can trap food debris.
We recommend using a regular soft toothbrush or denture brush to clean your denture. Normal toothpaste may be too abrasive (and could scratch the finish of your denture), so we suggest using either hand soap or toothpaste specially made for dentures. Be sure to replace worn toothbrushes every few months.

Commercial denture soaks and tablets are another way to help keep your denture clean. In warm water (not hot), denture soaks can help remove stains and loosen food debris, but they are not a substitute for brushing after every meal.
When you are not wearing your denture, be sure to store it in a container of water. This will keep the denture moist and prevent the plastic from drying out and shrinking. Abrasive household cleansers and bleaches should NOT be used as denture soaks. Mouthwash also is not an ideal soak as it can sometimes stain the denture. A commercial denture soak or plain water are the best options and then, be sure to rinse the denture thoroughly before wearing it again.

For your denture to fit properly, there may be a need for minor adjustments; these usually are done soon after the denture is inserted. There may be sore spots as your new denture settles into position. This is very normal and easily corrected. Over time, the ridges of your mouth and muscles may change, making further adjustments necessary. Please let us know if you experience any discomfort or fit issues.

Any new denture will cause some temporary changes in your speech. Your denture is designed to work in harmony with all the muscles in your mouth and these muscles should accommodate the new denture within a few days. You may want to practise speaking or even reading out loud as a way to retrain your mouth and tongue to work with the new denture.

As with speaking, chewing will require some adapting. Getting accustomed to a new denture (especially complete or lower full dentures) requires patience and work. Start by chewing smaller amounts of food and be sure to chew on both sides of the mouth if you are wearing full dentures. Chew in an up and down motion – not side to side – to reduce denture rocking. Soft foods are a good place to start as you train your muscles and tongue to move the food around your mouth.

If your denture loosens while talking or eating, gently close your teeth together and swallow to re-position.

Not everyone with a denture can master the ability to bite and tear food with their front teeth. The size of one’s gums or ridges and the position of the front teeth may make this difficult for some. When eating an apple, for example, push the apple up and back against the upper front teeth until the apple skin is penetrated. Then, bring the lower teeth into action to bite into the flesh of the apple.

Your new denture will feel like a “mouthful” when you begin wearing it, but time and practice will make it more comfortable to speak and eat.

Dentures at night

Normally, we advise you not to wear your dentures to sleep. Wearing a denture constantly places a great deal of pressure on the ridges of your mouth. The gum tissue under your denture needs time to regain its normal shape and sleeping provides a great opportunity to give the gums a rest.

Care of your remaining natural teeth
Your remaining teeth are vitally important to help anchor your partial denture firmly. They need regular brushing and flossing as always to ensure that they remain healthy and free of decay. Regular dental check-ups and cleanings also allow us to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Your personal dental prevention programme can help you to retain these important teeth.

Denture wear immediately following tooth removal
Sometimes, a new denture will be placed immediately after teeth are removed. In these instances, DO NOT REMOVE YOUR DENTURE FOR 24 HOURS following denture insertion. Swelling that occurs following tooth extraction may make it impossible to put the denture back in place. A follow-up visit will be scheduled soon after the initial denture appointment at which time we will remove your denture and make any necessary adjustments.

Relines and repairs
The muscles and jaws are constantly changing and there is a gradual loss of bone as we age. To accommodate these changes, dentures may need to be relined every 2-5 years. If your denture is placed immediately after your teeth are removed, we suggest that a reline be done within 3-6 months, as the bone shrinks; a second reline will be needed within 6-14 months.

Regular check-ups – a vital part of your personal dental prevention programme

Regular dental check-ups are an important part of any good prevention programme for patients of all ages. Your check-up at Cliffcrest Dental allows us to detect problems when they are small, in order to keep them from becoming worse. Regular cleanings remove plaque and tartar built up around teeth which cause tooth decay and gum disease and allow us to monitor wear on existing fillings, replacing those that are worn out before they begin to break down. For denture wearers, we also will monitor the fit of your denture and make minor adjustments such as tightening clasps or hooks.

From reviews of current dental literature, our own clinical observations, and in keeping with the opinion of the Canadian Dental Association, we believe that semi-annual check-ups provide good preventative care for all our patients. Some people may need more frequent monitoring and some less, but the semi-annual check-up is designed to prevent costly long-term dental problems and enhance your overall oral health.