"Care and feeding of your dentures! Once again I had to consult an expert!"
Daily care tips for denture wearers:
Don't let dentures dry out...
The teeth of a denture are typically made from various types of resin or porcelain. Place them in a denture cleanser soaking solution or in plain water when you're not wearing them. Never use hot water, which can cause dentures to warp. Dropping a porcelain denture might result in breakage. Most all dentures made today are plastic(acrylic), both the teeth and the pink denture base, very few have porcelain teeth. Many dentures are broken by dropping them in the sink. Also be careful with your beloved pet, dogs love to get a hold of dentures!
Brushing the dentures...
Brushing dentures daily will remove food and dental plaque, and help prevent them from becoming stained. Always brush dentures over a folded washcloth. If the dentures slip out of the wearers hand, a washcloth might prevent breakage. Patients can use special creams for dentures, or any toothpaste. Some sources recommend dishwashing liquid (Dawn works great) or hand soap to clean dentures.
What NOT to do...
Do not use any household abrasives. A regular or denture brush works fine, but patients should not rely solely on denture cleansers. Some dentures have a permanent soft liner, this material requires special care, a patient should not use conventional brushing methods for these. They are given a special solution to clean them with at the time they were given their denture.
Take care of your mouth...
Brush your gums, tongue and palate every morning with a soft-bristled brush before you insert dentures. This stimulates circulation in your tissues and helps remove plaque. Up to half of those wearing dentures will develop a fungal infection called oral stomatitis (candidiasis). But there are some tips you can follow to prevent this infection, as well as keep you smiling, eating, and speaking with confidence
Give your dentures a rest...
Remove dentures out for 6 to 8 hours a day to allow the tissues of your mouth to heal from any soreness or irritation that may have occurred throughout the day. Removing dentures while sleeping is a good way to give the mouth a rest.
Consult your dentist...
See your dentist if dentures break, chip, crack or become loose. Don't be tempted to adjust them yourself — this can damage them beyond repair. Never should a pharmacist recommend a “denture repair kit”, this is best left to the dental professionals to fix any damaged denture. Patients should NEVER
super glue their dentures! Most of the time dentists are professionally unable to repair them after they have been glued.
Adjust your eating habits...
Cut foods into smaller pieces to allow better chewing or adding gravies or a pat of butter to soften up some foods for chewing. Chew on both sides of your mouth to avoid dislodging dentures while eating. Avoid chewy types of food like caramel and hard foods like nuts, which can loosen your dentures.
Soaking the dentures...
Alkaline peroxide cleaners
are the most common. When dissolved in water become alkaline solutions of peroxides, releasing oxygen for mechanical cleaning. Soak 4-8 hours. Best for new stains and plaque. soaks are useful for inhibiting growth of Candida albicans, which can cause stomatitis. Examples are Polident and Efferdent.
(bleach) removes stains, bacteria, fungi. Hypochlorite dissolves plaque, but not calculus when formed. Example: Dentural® Sodium Hypochlorite (0.5% NaOCl solution) is effective in decreasing microorganisms without changing the color of the denture resin.
Avoid persulfate, it may cause allergic reactions.
Acid containing solutions.
Shorter soaking times recommended. May be used with ultrasonic cleaners. Usually contain citric acid, examples are: Polident®, Stain Away®.
See your dentist...
Just because a patient may not have all their natural teeth, they still have gums, and an oral cavity that needs to be routinely checked by their dentist. A dentist will also check the fit of the denture, which is extremely important as a patient ages, and has changes to the structure that holds the denture. Dr. Rod Messner recommends a once a year checkup.
Pharmacists role in medication management: Please note that currently MANY medications, such as anticholinergics, cause varying degrees of xerostomia which adversely effects denture retention.
"We’ve been discussing dentifrices for over a month now, all along the goal is to achieve stronger and healthier teeth. This week we will discuss what happens when things don’t go as planned, and our denture wearing patients come to us for advice. Nearly 69 percent of adults between 35 and 44 have lost one or more permanent teeth, and 26 percent of adults aged 74 are missing all of them. We have a lot of products in our dental aisle that caters to denture wearers, it is time we get familiar with them!"
"Once again Dr. Rod Messner from CherryTree Dental Associates provided his expertise in writing this column."
Dr. Rodney A. Messner, DMD
"He shared with me many practical hints, especially with denture breakage and repair. Since we don't have any pets I never thought of dogs as being a danger to dentures! One of my local pharmacists told me of an elderly patient whose grandchildren hid her dentures, so she would stay for a longer visit!"