Millions of Americans and people worldwide have lost a tooth or teeth, many of whom opt to get dentures made. Tooth loss can occur due to an accident or injury, disease in the teeth or gums, or slow decay over time.
Dentures are one of the most well-established, effective ways to deal with the loss of teeth. They can help you restore function to your mouth, including restoring your ability to chew. They can help you gain confidence in smiling and showing your teeth again.
Dental hygiene is just as crucial for people with dentures as it is for those that haven’t lost a tooth or teeth. Without proper care or management, they can warp and become unusable, requiring that they be replaced.
Signs that it’s time for a replacement
There are several common signs that your dentures might need to be replaced. For example, if it has been 5+ years since you had the set made, it may be time for a visit to the dentist. Your dentist can evaluate your status and determine if new ones need to be made. The shape of dentures can be warped (e.g., after an accident). Over time, there can even be physical changes to your teeth, which will require a new set to be made.
Another sign might be that they do not fit as well as they used to. In other words, you may not even be able to place the dentures on. Or, if you can place them, they may become easily dislodged during eating and require the use of adhesives. Finally, another sign is inflammation, or even pain (i.e., in the gums), caused by degrading or misshapen dentures. Continuing to use them while experiencing this condition could lead to sores and other issues.
If you suspect there might be an issue with your them, or if it has simply been several years since you first got them, speak with your dentist and get evaluated quickly.
Care and management
Of course, there are several things you can do to prolong the life of your dentures and avoid frequent replacements and added costs. First, common sense care, such as making sure that they are in a secure location when not in use (e.g., out of the reach of children; not in a precarious position), can avoid preventable breaks or damage.
The American Dental Association has also published recommendations for denture care. For example, when not using your dentures, they should be stored in cold water or denture solution. Notably, you should not place them in water that is hot or boiling because this may cause them to warp.
Further, cleaning your them daily will go a long way in improving their longevity. Just like failing to brush your teeth, failing to clean your dentures can cause them to deteriorate and build up things like plaque. The ADA—or of course, your dentist—can provide you with even more information regarding proper care and management, including recommendations for types of denture cleansers or solutions for storage.
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