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Caring for Dentures

According to the American Dental Association, over 36 million Americans are missing all of their teeth. Additionally, there are approximately 120 million people who are missing at least one of their teeth. This means that a large number of people will need tooth replacement options. A popular choice for patients who are missing most or all of their teeth is dentures. 

Dentures are false teeth that you can use if you are missing one or more teeth. In fact, you can utilize dentures if you have no remaining natural teeth. Dentures can be partial or full prosthetics. One of the characteristics of dentures is that you can and must remove them on a daily basis. Dentures are unlike other tooth replacement options, which means they have specific care instructions. If you take care of your dentures, it can increase their lifespan. 

image of dentures lying on a reflective surface next to two dental mirrors restorative dentistry dentist in Baltimore Maryland

Soak Dentures Overnight

One of the most important things to remember about dentures is that you must take them out at night. While you may think that leaving your dentures is not a big deal, it can cause several issues. First, your gums and bones need a break from holding the dentures in place. You can develop sores in your mouth if you wear your dentures too long. Additionally, wearing your dentures for long periods can cause the bones in your mouth to deteriorate. 

Second, leaving your dentures overnight exposes you to excess bacteria. Although dentures are false teeth, they can still grow bacteria. In fact, patients who leave their dentures in their mouths have an increased risk of developing pneumonia. This is because you can breathe the bacteria into your lungs while you sleep. Unfortunately, this can cause a respiratory infection. 

To avoid this, you should remove your dentures each night. In addition, you must soak your dentures. Soaking dentures helps them retain their shape. In fact, it is vital to help dentures stay healthy. Without moisture, bacteria will thrive on the surface of your dentures. Therefore, you should soak your dentures in water or another type of soaking solution when they are not in your mouth. 

Avoid Hot Water

If you want to keep your dentures clean, it can be tempting to use harsh chemicals or hot water. However, these cleaning methods can severely damage your dentures. For example, hot water can warp the plastic of your dentures, ruining their structure and fit. Not only can this hurt your mouth, but it can also increase the number of bacteria on the dentures. 

Additionally, you should avoid using any abrasive cleaners, such as toothpaste or a hard-bristled toothbrush. Even small abrasive particles can leave small scratches on the surface of your dentures. Unfortunately, this leaves more space for bacteria to grow. In addition, it can make it more difficult to clean your dentures in the future.