More than 35 million Americans are missing all of their teeth, a number which includes 25% of adults over 60. Teeth may be lost through decay, poor oral health, injury, or disease, but regardless of the reason, dentures remain one of the most traditional and dependable tooth replacement methods for these patients.
Dentures may be partial, replacing just the back molars, or complete, replacing all of the missing teeth. Complete dentures increase chewing power, improve speech, and restore confidence.
Though dentures are designed to be durable, they can still be damaged or broken and should be cleaned and maintained properly to achieve their fullest potential.
What You Can Do to Maintain Your Dentures:
Dentures can vastly increase the number of foods you can eat, and they’re often useful and effective in preventing further damage to your jaw. However, dentures only retain about 20% of the chewing power you would have had with your natural teeth, so it’s still important not to tear into a steak unless you’re sure your dentures can handle it.
Dentures anchored with dental implants are often more capable of handling tough foods. Ask your dentist about any diet restrictions associated with your own dentures and make sure to adhere to them.
You can also keep your dentures clean by soaking them overnight in a proper solution. Certain solutions can kill up to 99.9% of all denture germs, keeping you comfortable and healthy.
What Your Dentist Can Do for Your Dentures:
While there are several things you can do yourself to maintain dentures, more involved repairs should only be conducted by your dentist. In fact, trying to repair your own dentures can lead to severe and even permanent damage to your jawbone.
Dentures should be brought into a dentist or specialist every two to three years for relinement, though you can bring them in more frequently if you’re having problems. Modern denture repair and relinement is extremely quick, and often only takes a few hours.
Dentures can last a long time if you take the right steps to protect them. Keep them clean and cared for at home, and contact your dentist if you run into any problems.