The teeth are the hardest substances in the human body. Besides being essential for chewing, the teeth play an important role in speech. However when they’re lost or malfunctioning, they can be replaced with dentures. In this article, dentures and how to store them for long term will be discussed
What are dentures ?
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Dentures are fitted to act as a prosthesis for missing teeth. They are artificial teeth and gums that are formed to your mouth and created by your dentists to replace lost or removed natural teeth.They’re often made of acrylic, nylon, or metal. They can be used in place of one tooth, several, or all of your teeth, and they fit snugly over the gums. Dentures can either be full or partial, meaning they can either replace all teeth on either the top or bottom gum line, or just a few that are missing. Regardless of what kind of dentures you may need, they will be custom designed to fit your mouth, and visually matched to your existing teeth.
Types of dentures
There are numerous types of dentures available, including partial dentures and full dentures.
Partial dentures are used if you still have some healthy teeth available. These dentures are often clipped around the remaining healthy teeth.
These clips may be visible when you talk but can be made in tooth-colored material.
Full dentures are used if you’ve lost all of your teeth, which may occur due to injury, infection, periodontitis or other medical condition. These artificial teethe are attached to a plate that sits against your gums.
The plates and gum fittings — which can be made from either metal or an acrylic that matches the color of your gums — typically aren’t visible to others.
False teeth adhesive can be used to help keep your dentures in place.
What are they made out of?
In the past, the artificial teeth that make up dentures were made out of porcelain or plastic, but more modern dentures are generally made out of a hard resin. The materials used to make denture teeth are known to be more fragile than natural teeth and can easily chip or crack if dropped or otherwise uncared for. This material also wears down much quicker than natural teeth and thus must be replaced with a new set of dentures every five years or so.
The supporting structure of dentures that holds the artificial teeth in place and resembles the natural gum line is often made out of a similar resin used for the teeth, or a more flexible polymer material that fits snugly on the natural gum line.
How to store dentures long term
The following can help store dentures for long term
- The ADA advises that the best method for denture storage is to place your dentures in clean water or a denture cleaning solution. Denture solutions may offer the advantages of reducing the amount of bacteria and fungi that live on the dentures and preventing unpleasant odors.
- However, you should always follow the instructions on the label when using denture cleanser solutions, and if the solution is created by dissolving tablets in warm water, make sure the water isn’t too hot — which may cause your dentures to warp.
- Before putting your dentures back in your mouth, make sure to rinse them well, as doctors advise. This step is especially important if the dentures have been soaking in denture cleaning solution. The chemicals in this type of solution can cause burns, pain and vomiting if swallowed.
How to Care for Your Dentures
- The materials used to produce dentures are more delicate than natural teeth. If dropped or poorly cared for, dentures can easily chip or crack.
- Dental plaque buildup on false teeth can lead to bone loss, bad breath, and stomatitis (inflammation of the soft tissue lining inside the mouth).
- Another risk factor of poorly kept dentures is a fungal infection called oral thrush.
To prevent these conditions, practice proper denture care:
- At night, gently brush the dentures with a soft denture brush and liquid soap without microbeads (not toothpaste) to remove plaque.
- While brushing, removable dentures should be held over the sink with a small washcloth. This washcloth acts as a cushion if they drop. It’s common for false teeth to break if dropped into the sink, on the counter, or on the floor.
- Soak them in a commercial denture-cleansing liquid overnight. In the morning, brush them again and wear them throughout the day.
- They can also be soaked overnight in white vinegar diluted with water to remove calculus or to prevent the formation of calculus. Full-strength vinegar is acidic and can damage the surface of the teeth, causing acid erosion.
Tips for Getting Used to Dentures
Here are some tips for adjusting to new dentures:
- Follow your post-op instructions
Your dentist or prosthodontist will provide you with aftercare instructions. Make sure you follow them carefully to ensure proper healing and comfort.
If you have removable dentures, refrain from removing them too often. It’s essential to wear them throughout the day to get used to them quickly.
2. Only eat soft foods at first
For the first few days post-op, only eat soft foods to prevent additional discomfort.
you can do that by cutting up harder foods into small pieces and eat them on both sides towards the back. Never bite into an apple or a granola bar with your dentures, as it can cause them to dislodge.
3. Practice speaking & exercise facial muscles
Practice speaking out loud to exercise your facial muscles and prevent any unwanted speech issues. Singing can also help you form words correctly.
4. Brush your dentures and gums regularly
Brush your dentures and gums regularly to prevent bacteria buildup and bad breath.
5. Use denture adhesive when necessary
A denture adhesive can be used to soothe any irritation.
If you notice that your dentures aren’t fitting properly, set up an appointment with your dentist. Adhesives can’t fix poorly-fitted dentures, says Dr. Aggarwal, and shouldn’t be used as a crutch.