Did you know that by age 50, Americans have lost an average of 12 teeth? This is one of the reasons why dentures are so common.
New denture wearers often have a lot of very legitimate concerns.
Are they going to be comfortable? How do I take care of my new dentures? Are there any problems I should watch out for?
Don’t worry! We’re going to answer all of these questions and more.
What Are Dentures?
First things first, you need to understand exactly what dentures are.
Simply, a denture is a replacement for a missing tooth. There are two types of dentures: full (complete) and partial.
Partial dentures hook onto the remaining teeth you have to fill the gap left by your missing tooth or teeth. The base matches your gums, so they look natural and virtually unnoticeable. These are usually meant to be permanent but they can also be adjusted if you lose additional teeth in the future.
Full dentures are usually the answer for people who either only have a few teeth left or have none left at all. Sometimes, if the teeth you have are still healthy, you’ll get overdentures, which help to hold your healthy teeth in place.
In many cases, the teeth aren’t healthy and the dentist will recommend simply removing them. In this case, you’ll likely get temporary dentures that you can wear while your gums heal.
When you get your permanent dentures, they will either sit on top of your gums or be anchored to mini dental implants, which are small titanium screws anchored into your jawbone.
Your dentist will help determine the best types of dentures for your specific circumstances.
How To Know If You Need Dentures?
The best way to know you need dentures is to have a dentist tell you so. Often, the dentist will have already exhausted all of the other options to salvage your real teeth, including fillings, root canals, and crowns.
Some of the most common reasons that people end up needing dentures include poor oral care habits, certain chronic illnesses, certain medications, and mouth injuries.
How Long Do Dentures Last?
Dentures aren’t cheap, so it’s natural to wonder how long you can expect them to last. The good news is, as long as you take good care of them, you can expect them to last five to eight years.
However, it’s also likely that you may need to have your dentures adjusted before they wear out. This happens because your gums naturally change and recede over time. This can lead to problems with the fit (more on that later).
Care Tips For New Denture Wearers
For the most part, you’ll take care of your new dentures in the same way you care for real teeth. The biggest difference is that when you go to sleep, they’ll sit in a cup instead of in our mouth.
The most important thing you’ll need to do is clean your dentures regularly.
After you eat and before you go to bed, you’ll want to rinse your dentures with water and brush them with a soft-bristle toothbrush and toothpaste. You can either use regular toothpaste or a formula made specifically for dentures.
Gently scrub them, ensuring that all food particles and any adhesive is removed. Then, make sure you rinse the paste off completely.
Finally, place them in a glass of cool water. If you wish, you may also want to add an effervescent denture cleaner to the glass. This will help remove any remaining stains or odors.
Warning! Never use hot water or household cleaners to clean or soak your dentures. Instead, always look for the American Dental Association (ADA) label that indicates that the product is approved for use on dentures.
Common Denture Problems To Watch Out For
Taking good care of your dentures should help you avoid any major problems. However, there are some common issues that you should watch out for. Noticing and dealing with them right away will help keep these small issues from becoming a serious problem.
1. Improper Fit
Ill-fitting dentures can lead to irritation and even sores in your mouth. It can also cause food to get trapped between the dentures and your gums, which can cause a fungal infection.
2. Mouth Pain
It’s common to feel some pain and discomfort in the first few days after you get your dentures. However, after you’ve been wearing them for a few weeks, you should get used to them and the discomfort should subside. If you continue to have pain or pain arises suddenly, this is a sign that something’s wrong.
3. Foul Breath
Sometimes, if you don’t clean your dentures thoroughly, they can develop an unpleasant smell. If you notice your breath is bad, use the instructions above to thoroughly clean them and soak them in a cleaner overnight.
If the problem persists, don’t ignore it. It could indicate that there’s an infection or other problem in your mouth.
If any of these issues arise, it’s important to head back to your dentist’s office at your earliest convenience. A simple adjustment and, possibly, a professional deep cleaning should fix the problem.
Need Dentures? We Can Help!
Are you wondering when to get dentures? Or are you already about to become a new denture wearer?
If you’re having problems with your teeth and think you might need dentures – or other dental services, we can help! Contact us today to schedule a consultation. We’ll give you a personalized recommendation and answer all of your questions!