Denture Basics


(That you might not know)

Many people over the age of 45 have some sort of removable dental appliance, and  many really don’t know how to care for them. How often they need a check-up? When do I replace an old denture? We have outlined some basic facts so that you can rest easy knowing that you are informed.

 Cleaning the DentureTooth Toothbrush

Dentures should be cleaned with a paste designed for dentures, or even liquid dish soap every day and stored in water over night. Regular toothpaste should NOT be used on your dentures. They are too abrasive, causing scratches that allow plaque to build up on the dentures. This can cause the denture to stop fitting properly, and lose the suction required to hold the denture in place. Plaque is often difficult to remove once the build-up has begun. However, a Dental Prosthetist can perform a professional cleaning, using an ultrasonic cleaner and professional strength products.

 What if the Denture is loose or worn?

Dentures should usually fit comfortably without the need for adhesives to secure them. As a person ages the jawbone gets smaller. It’s a normal process (called bone resorption). Over time, this causes dentures to become loose. In many cases the dentures do not need replacing but simply relining. A registered denture specialist can often do relines the same day. By professionally relining the denture you will be able to speak, laugh and eat much more comfortably.

What if the Denture is over 5 years old?

Dentures should be replaced or refitted every 5 to 7 years. Some wearers think a denture can last 10 years or longer! (Which is simply not true) Your Dental Prosthetist is the most qualified person to tell you when a denture needs replacing. The longer you delay replacing an old denture, the longer your appearance, chewing and comfort are compromised.

These are some signs that indicate that your denture needs replacing

  • It’s difficult to eat some foods that you used to be able to enjoy
  • The dentures “click” or “smack” when eating, talking or laughing
  • Sore jaw, headache and neck pain
  • The denture has been repaired once before
  • Changes in jaw and facial shape
  • Upper denture drops when laughing or yawning
  • Irritated or sore tissues
  • The grinding surface of the teeth are flat and worn

Many of these changes happen gradually and are mostly imperceptible to the denture wearer, so it is important to set up an appointment with your local Dental Prosthetist to assess the fit and wear of your denture.

 How often should I go to a Dental Prosthetist for a check-up?

Annually. Your Dental Prosthetist is the most qualified professional to maintain your denture comfort.

A DP has three years of post-secondary training focussing specifically on dentures, making them the ultimate denture specialists. The DP will also professionally clean the dentures, check your mouth for potential cancers or other oral concerns and check the denture to ensure that it fits well and has no loose, cracked or worn pieces.

Michael Carson is a registered Dental Prosthetist (DP) at My Denture Place® located at Shop 4/10 Liuzzi St, Hervey Bay. Ph (07) 4124 0800

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