5 tips for confident denture wearing
Author: Lawrence E. Brecht, D.D.S.
- 1. SMILE WITH CONFIDENCE. Dentures can improve your facial appearance and self-confidence, especially if you have been missing a number of teeth over a long period of time. By replacing missing teeth dentures can help you speak better, improve the chewing of most foods, and restore a natural-looking smile. After a period of adjustment, proper fitting dentures will be comfortable, and, they will boost your self-esteem.
- 2. CLEAN YOUR DENTURES WITH A SOFT OR ULTRA-SOFT TOOTHBRUSH. At the end of the day when you remove your dentures, you should use a soft or ultra-soft bristled toothbrush to gently massage your gum tissues and to remove any film or debris. To refresh your mouth, you may want to rinse with an alcohol-free mouthwash. A specially designed brush should be used to clean your dentures before you place them in a container overnight. Remember to add a small amount of liquid (water, mouthwash or denture cleanser) to the container to keep the dentures moist.
- 3. USE THE PROPER AMOUNT OF DENTURE ADHESIVE. Don’t think you can correct the fit of your dentures by using more and more denture adhesive. A small amount of denture adhesive may help your dentures fit more securely, especially a lower denture. However, for dentures that may be older or seem particularly ill-fitting, you should see your dentist or prosthodontist to improve the fit and comfort.
- 4. SCHEDULE REGULAR CHECK-UPS WITH YOUR DENTAL PROFESSIONAL. Just because you have dentures, does not mean you no longer need regular dental examinations. It is important to continue to see your dentist or prosthodontist routinely, at least once a year, for an exam of your oral tissues. Even though you may no longer have natural teeth that can decay or be affected by periodontal (“gum”) disease, other conditions may affect the gums, the tissues that line your oral cavity, your tongue and your upper and lower jaws. Your dentist or prosthodontist should routinely examine all these structures for oral cancer as well. Oral cancer is diagnosed in about 35,000 Americans each year.
- 5. VISIT A PROSTHODONIST FOR EXPERT CARE OF YOUR DENTURES. To assure the best possible outcome of wearing dentures, you may want to seek the care of a trained dental specialist, such as a prosthodontist, to have your dentures fabricated or replaced. Prosthodontists are dentists with an additional three years of training after dental school, who specialize in the restoration and replacement of teeth, including the fabrication of dentures. If you have had difficulty with your denture fit or daily denture wear or if your dentures are more than 10 years old, the skills of a prosthodontist can help address these complex issues. To find a prosthodontist near you visit www.gotoapro.org.
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