5 things you need to know about dentures

12/07/2016

If you’re considering dentures there will be a lot of information you’ll need from your dentist. We asked our Clinical Dental Technician Chris Egan, to give us the five most common questions that his patients ask about dentures:

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What types of dentures are available?

Dentures may replace all or only some of your teeth. The dentures that replace all of the teeth are known as complete dentures and they rest on the gums that cover the jawbones. Dental implants can be used to make them more stable.

Dentures that replace some, but not all of the teeth, are known as partial dentures. They attach to the teeth that are still present, covering and resting on the gums and bone where the teeth are missing. They can also be secured with dental implants.

How can I whiten my dentures?

It is not possible to whiten dentures like natural teeth because dentures are made up of a type of durable plastic. To minimise staining you should thoroughly clean your dentures daily to remove food and plaque bacteria using a denture brush or soft toothbrush and non-abrasive soap or denture paste (regular toothpaste is too abrasive and may cause damage). When cleaning make sure you brush every surface, inside and out, scrubbing gently. You can also use an over-the-counter denture cleanser (making sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions) to help remove stains but stubborn stains may require removal by your Dentist or Clinical Dental Technician.

Can I wear my dentures at night?

Yes, you can wear your dentures at night. However, I would recommend that you remove your dentures at night to give your gums and bone a chance to relax from the pressure of the denture during the day.

If you need to wear your dentures for social reasons or to prevent your jaws from over closing, find time during the day to properly clean your mouth and your prostheses. Never wear your dentures 24 hours a day without preforming proper oral hygiene. Your dentures should be cleaned at night and stored in water during the night.

Will I get used to my dentures?

Most patients need to learn how use dentures properly and as a result, it takes a little time to get used to them. After a while you should be able to eat fairly normally, but it may take more time to get comfortable with harder foods or sticky foods.

To help make the initial learning process easier, use a small amount of denture adhesive (no more than three or four pea-sized dabs on each denture) to help stabilise the dentures and help hold them in place.

How do you know when it’s time to reline dentures?

If your dentures no longer fit as well as they once did, you may need to have a procedure done to refit the base of the denture, called a “reline”.

This procedure will help your dentures to fit better, and tighter, than they have previously. It is best not to reline your dentures with over the counter reline kits. Check with your Dentist or Clinical Dental Technician to see if your dentures can be relined.