It’s been bit of a ride, but finally, you’ve got your shiny new dentures! It’s perfectly natural (and even recommended by dentists) to keep them in for the first night, as dentures basically act as a bandage and help your gums recover quicker. But is wearing dentures overnight all the time actually a good idea, or is it something you should stay away from? The short answer is: leaving dentures in at night does you more harm than good. Read on to learn why! Following the steps below will not only keep your dentures stain-free and protect them against a buildup of bacteria, but will also give your gum tissue some well-deserved rest.
The Benefits of Not Wearing Dentures at Night
There are a number of health advantages that come with putting away your dentures at night:
- Prevents bone loss. The pressure put on your gums and the bone underneath by the dentures can accelerate bone resorption.
- Ensures a tighter fit. As a result of bone loss and gum resorption, your dentures can become looser than normal, increasing the chance of slippage and reducing the range of foods you can eat.
- Stops bacteria growth. The place where your dentures and gums meet is the perfect spot for bacteria to grow, which leads to bad morning breath, and can eventually result in gum disease. By wearing your dentures at night, you deprive your gums of bacteria-free rest.
- Prevents gum inflammation. Sleeping in dentures can negatively affect saliva flow, blocking the saliva’s path, which can give rise to a condition called denture stomatitis. Denture stomatitis, also known as thrush, is a condition where the area beneath your dentures can get red and swollen, leading to yeast-infected, inflamed gums.
Caring for Your Dentures Overnight
The best way to keep your mouth healthy and to ensure your dentures have a long life ahead is to remove them every night and give them a thorough cleaning.
How to Care for Your Dentures at Night
- Prepare your bathroom. Before you take your dentures out for the night and clean them, fill the sink up with warm water. Take a towel and roll it up and place it on the edge of the sink. If you’re worried about your dentures falling or breaking, especially if you have stone or tile floors, you may want to lay another towel on the floor, too.
- Gargle with warm water. The warm water will help loosen the seal from your denture adhesive, which will make it easier to take your dentures out.
- Remove your dentures. Begin by removing your bottom denture, and then the top denture. It’s worth keeping in mind that different types of dentures require a different approach when it comes to removing them. See more about how to remove dentures for a more detailed explanation.
- Rinse dentures under running water to remove loose food particles.
- Brush dentures with a denture brush or soft regular toothbrush. You can use water, denture paste or non-abrasive toothpaste. Avoid regular toothpaste with abrasives.
- Get rid of adhesive residues in your mouth. Gargle with warm salt water and use a clean washcloth to wipe along your gums and the roof of your mouth. Rinse your mouth out with warm water again afterward. You can also brush your gums with a very soft toothbrush. If you wear partial denture brush your natural teeth. You can also use Fixodent Gum Care Oral Rinse for oral freshness and to prevent the buildup of dental plaque on your remaining natural teeth or to remove bacteria from your gums.
- Soak your dentures in a denture cleaning solution or water overnight. You can also use fast acting cleansers first and store your denture in the water afterwards. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the pack of the denture cleanser. If you have partial denture use cleaning solution designed for partials.
- In the morning, rinse your denture thoroughly with water before inserting it in your mouth.
Regardless of the type of dentures you’re using, wearing them in your sleep is a bad idea, and will cause you a number of health issues down the line. To keep your mouth bacteria-free, your gums healthy, and your bones unaltered and strong, make sure to remove your dentures every night before going to sleep.