When a person first starts wearing dentures or gets fitted with a new pair of dentures, it can take some time to get used to the feeling and learn how to wear them comfortably. Although learning to wear dentures comfortably can simply require a little time, there are a few things you can do to take care of your dentures, mouth, and gums to ensure you maintain good oral health while enjoying a more comfortable experience.
9 Ways to Keep Your Gums and Mouth Healthy While Wearing Dentures
1. Clean Your Dentures Properly
When wearing dentures, you must keep them sanitary and use the proper methods to clean them. Consider the following tips to keep your dentures in top shape:
- Remove and rinse them after every meal.
- Brush your dentures daily using a non-abrasive cleanser formulated for dentures and a soft-bristled brush.
- Store your dentures properly overnight. Most manufacturers recommend soaking dentures in water or a denture-specific solution to maintain their moisture and proper shape.
- Before putting your dentures back in the morning, be sure to rinse them thoroughly to remove any denture solution from the night.
Taking proper care of your dentures prolongs their life and keeps them clean, helping to prevent oral infections and mouth sores.
2. Give Your Gums a Daily Break
Each day, your gums should get at least a six to eight-hour break from your dentures. For most people, simply removing their dentures at night provides sufficient rest to allow gums to recover and recuperate. Not providing your gums with a long enough break can result in mouth sores and irritation from the constant friction and rubbing.
3. Use an Adhesive
Using an oral adhesive or fixative for dentures reduces friction between the gums by providing lubrication and also helping to hold dentures in place, reducing irritation.
4. Rinse Regularly
Rinse your mouth regularly with an alcohol-free mouthwash or a warm saltwater solution to mitigate the growth of harmful bacteria. This soothes the gums, helps to prevent issues like periodontal disease, and keeps the mouth healthy.
5. Give Your Gums Some TLC
After removing your dentures, always clean your mouth and gums thoroughly. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush, gauze, or washcloth to massage and clean your gums and remove any leftover denture adhesive. If you wear a partial denture, remember to continue brushing and flossing your natural teeth, too.
6. Don’t Use Tobacco Products
Smoking, using smokeless tobacco, or chewing tobacco irritates the gums and other soft tissues in the mouth, in addition to increasing the risk of oral cancers. Whether you wear dentures or not, it’s best to kick these habits sooner rather than later.
7. Get a Good Fit
When it comes to comfort and dentures, the fit is essential. If you’ve had new dentures for a few weeks but do not feel like you are adjusting to them as expected or if your once-perfectly fitting dentures no longer feel as comfortable, schedule an appointment with our dentist.
Your new dentures might need to be adjusted for a better fit. Also, it’s common for dentures to require adjustment over time because a person’s anatomy will change slightly and the dentures can also become bent out of their original shape.
8. Avoid Tough Foods
Chewing more than necessary when wearing dentures exposes the gums to unnecessary irritation.
To maintain comfort and avoid unnecessary pressure or rubbing on the gums, you can avoid certain foods that require more chewing than others. For example, staying away from tough meats, nuts, seeds, popcorn, carrot sticks, apples, corn on the cob, and chewing gum will give your gums a break from the extra pressure and friction.
9. Visit the Dentist Regularly
Patients with dentures should continue to visit the dentist for a regular schedule of wellness and preventative care appointments. During regular dental appointments, our dentist talks with patients about their dentures, how they feel, how they fit, and how they function. Additionally, we provide patient counseling and education on proper denture care, while also making adjustments to each patient’s dentures to ensure a perfect fit.
Routine Dental and Denture Care With Our Dentist in West Bend
At Dentistry of West Bend, we strive to provide our patients with the best dental care possible, and that’s why we offer comprehensive dental care from preventative cleanings and examinations to restorative dentistry and denture care.
Whether you’re getting fitted for your first set of dentures or simply need to come in for a routine adjustment, our dentist, Dr. Jared Harding is here to help. He can talk with you about your smile goals, any concerns you have about your dentures, and help you achieve the healthy smile of your dreams. To learn more about caring for your dentures and getting a better denture fit or to schedule an appointment with our dentist, we welcome you to contact Dentistry of West Bend today.