Oral Hygiene and Denture Care
Did you know that false teeth require just as much maintenance and care as regular teeth – sometimes even more? After the loss or removal of natural teeth, bacteria continues to accumulate on the tongue, gums, palate, and cheek walls so it is essential to continue meticulous mouth care. This is the best strategy to avoid the development of irritation, infection, and halitosis. It is also important to be sure that your dentures are a good fit and are worn properly. Appropriately fitted dentures are comfortable and facilitate talking, chewing, and smiling. Well-fitting dentures do not cause pain or swelling, are not loose, and do not affect the way you talk. If you notice one or more of these issues while wearing your dentures, follow up with your oral health care provider as soon as possible.
Poor oral hygiene is linked to various health problems. The mouth is the entry way to our respiratory and gastrointestinal systems – if we allow bacteria to grow and reach very high levels in our mouths, it can lead to disease in other parts of the body. Poor oral hygiene directly correlates to the development of serious health conditions such as pneumonia and cardiovascular disease.
If you haven’t been prioritizing your oral hygiene, particularly after getting dentures, you are not alone. And it is never too late to start! Here is a list of simple tips for denture care and the maintenance of oral health:
- Brush and rinse your dentures after each time you eat and before going to bed – it is best to use a soft bristle brush with any non-abrasive denture cleanser.
- Soak your dentures overnight in a denture cleansing solution, or in a mixture of warm water and vinegar (1:1) – however if your dentures have metal clasps, they should soak in warm water only.
- Continue to brush your gums, tongue, roof of mouth, and any remaining natural teeth as you did before you had dentures.
- Protect your dentures by placing a towel in the sink to reduce damage potential if you happen to drop them while cleaning.
- Check for chips, cracks or other damage to your dentures daily – have them repaired or adjusted as needed.
- Remove your dentures for at least a few hours each day to allow your mouth to rest, and maintain & repair tissues.
- Caring for dentures and dental implants
- Denture Care
- Daily Denture and Mouth Care
- Oral health: A window to your overall health
By Rachel Hughes, RN
ARTACares is provided by HumanaCare, an Alberta-based health and wellness provider with more than thirty-five years of Canadian health care experience.