If you or someone you know has missing teeth, your dentist or doctor may recommend dentures as a replacement. As an artificial replacement for missing teeth and gums, dentures can be an excellent option for retaining your ability to speak and eat normally.
There are two types of dentures: complete and partial. Complete dentures are used when a person has lost all their natural teeth, whereas partial dentures are used when only a few teeth are missing. But how long do these dentures last?
Complete dentures can last between 5-10 years, and partial dentures can last up to 15 years. It’s important to note that their lifespan can be affected by how well they’re taken care of. There are several different ways to care for dentures and different options available for dentures that need to be replaced or fixed.
How to Properly Care for Dentures
Just like your teeth, dentures need proper care and cleaning to work their best. There are a few important things to remember when it comes to taking care of your dentures.
Handle Dentures Carefully
One of the most important things is also one of the simplest—handle them with care. Between the clasps, metal, and the artificial teeth themselves, dentures can break if mishandled.
It’s always best to be careful. If you’re worried about dropping and breaking your dentures when handling them, place a towel or mat underneath where you’re holding them, or fill the sink with water.
Clean Them Regularly
Cleaning your dentures often is an excellent way to make sure they last as long as possible. Just like your natural teeth, debris and plaque can build up over time on dentures, which can lead to damage to your gums and mouth.
It’s a good idea to remove them after eating and rinse them off with warm water. This helps ensure there won’t be any bits of food or debris stuck between the teeth. If you’re going to do a more in-depth cleaning, avoid abrasive cleaning materials and anything that has bleach in it. These can damage both the dentures and your mouth.
Properly brush the dentures at least once a day, and clean your gums before putting them back in. Don’t use any whitening toothpastes—they tend to contain peroxide, which doesn’t change the colour of dentures but can still damage them. Many kinds of toothpaste can contain ingredients that are abrasive to dentures, so make sure to use a proper denture cleaner or even soap with warm water.
Using a soft toothbrush can ensure you don’t scratch or wear down the dentures over time. Avoid using stiff or bristly toothbrushes, as they can make small scratches and cracks in dentures.
Soak Them Overnight
Most dentures need some level of moisture to help them keep their shape. Overnight, soak them in a glass or container of water or a denture-cleaning solution. Make sure you don’t use any denture cleaning solutions on your mouth itself.
Avoid using hot water, as this can actually change the shape of the dentures, and always rinse them off before putting them back in your mouth.
What to Do if Your Dentures Get Damaged
If your dentures get damaged, you should speak with your dentist or a denturist as soon as possible.
Your mouth naturally changes over time, so at some point, you may need to change, fix, or replace your dentures. A denturist is a person who works with dentures and directly sells them to the public. In some cases, they can help repair your existing dentures or fit you for a new set.
Both denturists and dentists can help you create a proper cleaning schedule to help your dentures last longer.
How to Tell if You Need to Replace Your Dentures
There are a few signs that may be an indication you need to replace your dentures, including:
- Loose, slipping, or visibly damaged dentures
- Difficulty speaking, chewing, or moving your jaw
- Pain in your gums or jaw
- Obvious discolouration in your dentures
- Redness or irritation in your gums
Your oral health is extremely important to your day-to-day life, and that includes your dentures. You can help your dentures last longer by taking good care of them. When you’re cleaning them regularly and taking care of your mouth and gums, you can rely on your dentures to provide the support you need.If you have any questions about getting dentures or denture repairs, book an appointment with the team at Hometown Dental to speak with a caring, kind professional about your dental needs.