For patients with missing teeth, getting dentures is one of the popular solutions many seek.
Dentures are removable replacements for missing teeth and surrounding gum. Although they are artificial, they are customized to fit the patients’ mouth, and adjusted to visually match the other existing teeth.
Whether you are considering getting dentures, already have them or know someone who needs them, don’t worry, we have got you covered! Here are 10 facts that you should know about dentures.
1. Patients with Dentures must Watch What They Eat
Dentures can get easily stained so patients are advised to avoid foods and beverages with artificial colour additives.
Hard foods like nuts and chips should also be avoided. If consumed, the grainy particles can lodge themselves between the denture and gum, causing discomfort or even injuries to the gum. The same is advised to even harder food like crab shells and ice. Even natural teeth may crack or break when chewing them, so dentures will also not be able to hold up.
New denture patients are advised to start with soft food like tofu and fish during the initial adjusting period. This is akin to wearing new shoes. You need to break into the new shoes before running a marathon, and so does the teeth with dentures.
2. Dentures must be Removed Every Night and when Not in Used
Leaving dentures in the mouth for a long period of time can result in bad breath and receding gum. Bacteria likes to reside on the internal surface of dentures, in direct contact with the gum and teeth.
Removing the dentures will not only allow the gum tissues to have a chance to rest but also allows to provide proper care to the dentures. Dentures that are properly cared for can last longer and even fit better. Remember, wearing dentures to sleep is just like wearing your socks (after a day’s work) to sleep.
When removed, dentures must be fully soaked in room-temperature water or cleaning solution to keep them moist. Otherwise, they may dry out and become misshapen.
3. Regular Visits to the Dentist are still Essential
Although complete dentures are built to last for 5-10 years and partial dentures for up to 15 years, it does not mean that patients do not need to see a dentist for check-up and cleaning. Like natural teeth, dentures will also require professional cleaning on a regular basis.
Half yearly check-ups allow the dentist to evaluate the condition of the patient’s teeth and denture. The dentist will examine the denture and ensures that it is functioning well. This will help prolong the lifespan of the denture, as well as maintain the patient’s oral health.
4. Leave Denture Repair to the Professionals
If patients have any issue with the dentures, do not try to adjust, repair, or reline the dentures themselves. They may just make it worse. Instead, a quick visit to the dentist will solve the problem.
5. Dentures must be Cleaned Regularly
Even though dentures are not real teeth, they too require regular cleaning to maintain their appearances and the patients’ oral health.
Patients should also make it a habit to rinse the dentures after every meal. When cleaning, gently brush all surfaces of the denture, and be careful not to damage any attachments.
6. Normal Toothbrush and Toothpaste can Damage the Dentures
While a normal toothbrush is good for natural teeth, the bristles may be too hard and harsh on dentures. There are brushes with soft bristles that are specifically designed to clean dentures.
Normal toothpaste will also be too abrasive towards the dentures and instead, hand soap or mild dishwashing liquid should be used. Using toothpaste for cleaning may result in scratches and open crevices where bacteria can collect and grow. Presence of staining will also be visible.
7. Dentures are Not the Only Solution to Fixing Missing Teeth
Besides dentures, there are many other missing teeth solutions such as dental implants and dental bridges.
Although dentures are effective in solving aesthetic and functional problems, some people may prefer more permanent solutions. It is important to discuss with the dentist on the suitable treatment options according to the lifestyle needs.
8. Dentures are for People of All Ages
Although dentures tend to be common among the older generation, the truth is, dentures are for people of all ages! There is no age limit for dentures.
Regardless the age, dentures are designed to be an effective tooth replacement to restore the smile of anyone in need.
9. Dentures look Natural and feel Comfortable
Dentures are designed to allow patients to live a normal life. While some functions may require practice, the patient can in time breathe, eat and speak naturally with dentures on.
As dentures are custom-made to resemble the patient’s natural teeth, the difference is so small that hardly anyone can notice it. In fact, dentures may even help the patient to smile better!
For a patient who is new to dentures, it may be uncomfortable to start with. It is natural to experience mouth irritation and soreness, or even an increase in saliva flow. However, all these discomforts will ease after the first few weeks when your mouth and relevant muscles adjust to the change.
10. Dentures can be Partial or Complete
There are 2 types of dentures – partial and complete. With this flexibility, dentures can replace all teeth, or just a few that are missing.
Partial dentures are suitable for patients who still have one or more natural teeth intact while complete dentures can be a solution for patients who have all their teeth removed.
Ready to get dentures?
If you have missing teeth, getting dentures can restore your smile. Learn more about T32 Dental denture services.
Reviewed by Dr. Leo Song Jie