For people who have lost some or all of their natural teeth, dentures are a common and effective solution to restore their smile and oral function. However, having dentures is not a one-time solution. It requires regular care and maintenance to ensure they remain in good condition and continue providing the desired benefits. Proper denture care can enhance their longevity and improve your overall health. In this article, we will explore the consequences of not having to care for your dentures properly and how you can prevent them.
Consequences of Improper Denture Care
Neglecting to care for your dentures properly can lead to various oral and general health problems. Here are some common consequences:
- Irritation and Infection: Unlike natural teeth, dentures can accumulate food particles, bacteria, and plaque. Not cleaning them regularly can lead to gum irritation, bad breath, and oral infections such as thrush or stomatitis.
- Poor Oral Function: Dentures that are not maintained well can become loose, ill-fitting, or damaged. This can hinder your ability to chew, speak, or smile comfortably. It can also cause discomfort, soreness, and even jaw pain.
- Bone Loss: When you lose your natural teeth, the underlying bone that supports them begins to shrink over time due to lack of stimulation. Dentures can help prevent further bone loss by providing some degree of stimulation. However, if your dentures are not properly fitted or maintained, they can accelerate bone loss, leading to a sunken appearance of your face and changes in your bite.
- Nutritional Deficiencies: Having difficulty chewing or eating due to poorly fitted or damaged dentures can affect your ability to consume a balanced and nutritious diet. This can lead to nutritional deficiencies, weakness, and other health problems.
- Inflammation and Systemic Diseases: Poor oral hygiene can lead to inflammation and infection in your mouth, which can spread to other body parts. This can increase your risk of developing systemic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory infections.
How to Care For Your Dentures
Caring for your dentures regularly and correctly prevents the above consequences. Here are some tips:
- Clean Your Dentures Daily: Use a soft-bristled brush and mild denture cleaner to brush your dentures at least once a day. Rinse them thoroughly with water before and after cleaning.
- Soak Your Dentures Overnight: Soak them in water or a denture cleaning solution overnight to prevent them from drying out and warping. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the solution.
- Handle Them with Care: Dentures are delicate and break easily if dropped or mishandled. Always hold them over a soft surface, such as a towel or basin of water, when cleaning or removing them.
- Brush Your Gums and Mouth: To prevent gum irritation and infection, brush your gums, tongue, and the roof of your mouth with a soft-bristled brush before and after wearing your dentures.
- Visit Your Dentist Regularly: Your dentist can examine your dentures and oral health and make necessary adjustments or repairs. They can also advise you on proper care and maintenance.
It is better to invest time and effort in caring for your dentures now than face discomfort, embarrassment, and costly repairs later. Remember that dentures are an investment in your oral health and well-being, so treat them with the care and attention they deserve. Follow the steps above to ensure your dentures remain in excellent condition, allowing you to enjoy a comfortable, confident, and healthy smile for years.
Keep your smile tip-top with the best dental care in Boston at Mass Dental Associates! Our highly trained staff is ready to address all dental needs, from routine cleanings to more complex procedures. Contact us now, and let us help you maintain a beautiful and healthy smile!