Dentures and dental appliances such as bridges are tooth substitutes. They don’t have the advantage of being permanently fixed to your gums as do natural teeth, so greater care must be taken to prevent damage to both the dentures and to your gums.
Dentures are designed to be looked after in the same manner as your teeth – they should be brushed regularly after eating with a soft toothbrush and specific denture cleaners. These are designed to lengthen the life of your dentures by preventing scratching and wearing away the surface of the appliance. If it is not possible to brush your dentures after eating then rinsing them will help to remove any debris under the denture that may damage the gums.
Care must also be taken to prevent shocks such as dropping your dental appliances, so when cleaning them, put the plug in the basin so that if you drop your dentures then the fall will be cushioned by the water and they will not chip or break. Similarly, bleach shouldn’t be used on dentures as this may damage them and will whiten the pink area that the teeth are set into.
Dentures are not designed to ever be dry, so if not being worn do not stored them wrapped in a tissue as this may make them brittle and prone to damage. Keep them in a denture soak in a specifically designed denture bath or holder, changing the soaking solution regularly.
If your dentures don’t fit properly or are worn in places they may cause irritation to the gum surface that may result in pressure sores or mouth ulcers forming. If you have sore gums and your dentures rub that affects your enjoyment of and ability to eat good food, so needs prompt action to remedy this.
Your community pharmacist has products to allow you to keep your dentures clean and lengthen their life. Have a talk to them about the best products to maintain your dentures or dental appliances, and to ensure that any gum damage is promptly cared for to prevent further pain and soreness that results from ongoing abrasions from eating and drinking.
Your pharmacist will be able to advise you if you need to consult a dentist or doctor to assist you with any problems associated with your dentures, or be able to select and advise on the correct products to care for your dentures and for your optimum oral health.