Dentures and caring for them
Have you ever wondered how best to look after your own, or a family members dentures? Many people think that once they have dentures they won’t have any more dental issues. On the contrary, dentures and gums that aren’t looked after properly can just as easily lead to infection.
“Dentures predispose to infection with [fungal] candida in as many as 65% of elderly people wearing full upper dentures.”
Akpan and Morgan 2002
It is important to know how to effectively care for your gums and dentures. Incorrect hygiene practices can lead to:
Fungal infection of the gums or palate
Bugs breeding on the surface of your dentures
Damage to the surface of the denture
Build-up of plaque on the underside, leading to poor fitting dentures
On the other hand, a good oral and denture hygiene routine will lead to:
Healthy gums, tongue and palate
More comfortable fitting dentures long term
Being able to smile, speak and enjoy your food as normal
So how should you look after your gums and dentures to avoid these nasty infections? Read on for 5 easy steps for good denture hygiene.
1.After each meal -
Remove your dentures and clean away any food or plaque with a soft toothbrush and water or denture cleaner. Don’t use regular toothpaste to clean your denture as it is abrasive and can cause damage.
2. Before bed -
Remove dentures and brush your gums and tongue with a soft toothbrush to keep them healthy and prevent fungal infection. Brush any remaining teeth as normal with fluoride toothpaste.
3. Overnight -
Clean dentures with a soft toothbrush and leave them out overnight to give your gums a rest. Dry the dentures after cleaning and store in a dry place over night. Damp dentures breed bugs!
4. Every morning -
Brush remaining teeth as normal with a fluoride toothpaste. Brush gums with soft bristle toothbrush before inserting denture to increase circulation and allow a better fit.
5. Every 6 months -
See your dentist to allow them to check the health of your gums, tongue and palate. They will also check the fit of your denture and reline it if required. If you feel any sore spots from your denture, you should make an appointment sooner.