Losing teeth during adulthood is traumatic. Patients typically feel embarrassed by a toothless smile and often develop low self-esteem or depression. Replacing missing teeth is important for enjoying restored oral function but also for promoting a natural, healthy looking appearance and alleviating the negative psychological effects of tooth loss.
One of the most popular and affordable methods for tooth replacement involves using life-like sets of teeth called dentures available from our dentist. These prosthetics may replace an entire arch of teeth or a specific region of lost teeth in the mouth. Because dentures rest on top and over a patient’s gums, they require different cleaning methods than natural teeth.
Since dentures rest directly on gum tissue, bacteria can collect underneath the gums during the day. Like teeth, dentures should be kept clean to reduce the amount of oral bacteria in the mouth. Unlike teeth, however, some dentures are removable. Removable dentures should be soaked overnight in a special cleansing solution to disinfect and remove leftover debris from food. It is imperative to keep dentures moist when they are not in the mouth because they can dry out. By soaking dentures in a solution, you can help preserve their shape and texture. Removing dentures during sleep also helps the gums breathe and rest over night. [pullquote]Like teeth, dentures should be kept clean to reduce the amount of oral bacteria in the mouth.[/pullquote]
In addition to soaking dentures, patients should brush dentures with a soft-bristled toothbrush made specifically for cleaning prosthetic teeth. Dentures should not be cleaned with abrasive toothpaste because the ingredients can damage the acrylic materials that make up prosthetics. When prosthetic teeth are removed for cleaning, patients should brush their gums, palate, and tongue with toothpaste and a toothbrush to remove plaque and food particles.
Patients with dentures should still visit the dentist regularly for oral examinations and checkups. During examinations, our team will take X-rays to monitor bone health and provide screenings for gum disease and oral cancer along with ensuring that dentures continue to fit properly.
To learn more about dentures and your tooth replacement options, contact the dental office of Dr. John Withers at (940) 293-2635 to schedule an appointment.