Most of us are aware of the social stigma attached to getting dentures. People worry that wearing dentures could reflect poorly on their dental hygiene practices or serve as an obvious sign of aging. In reality, much of the need for dentures stems from genetics. Some people are more prone to tooth decay, receding gums, and other oral health issues than others.
No matter how well you care for your teeth, dentures may eventually become necessary for your oral and overall health. Thankfully, high-quality dentures that are professionally fitted to your mouth can offer many positive benefits.
Contrary to the concerns of many, dentures can actually help you look younger with strong, white teeth. They also make it easier to continue enjoying your favorites foods. They can increase your self-confidence and happiness with your appearance and even improve your ability to speak clearly. In some cases, dentures could even help improve your digestion. Understanding these important dental devices may help you feel more comfortable about choosing dentures.
What Are Dentures, Exactly?
At the most basic level, dentures are simply oral devices that hold replacement teeth. Unlike crowns or dental implants, dentures are not permanently affixed to other teeth, the jaw, or your mouth. Like a bridge, which allows for a removable replacement for a single lost tooth, users can remove dentures for cleaning and during sleep.
Dentures are custom-made dental solutions that replace a significant number of teeth. Partial dentures replace some of the teeth on your upper or lower gums, while complete dentures replace every tooth. Older denture models were made from materials such as porcelain or plastic, but modern dentures are made with a specialized hard resin. The gum portion of your dentures may be made of a similar resin or a flexible polymer that fits along your gum line.
Dentures Are Now Comfortable and Natural-Looking
Not too long ago, dentures were more uncomfortable to wear. The teeth were obviously fake and the adhesives used to keep them in place were weak and tasted bad. So much has changed in the last few decades! Before now, it’s no wonder that so many people did whatever they could to avoid dentures.
Modern dentures are carefully fitted to the size and shape of your mouth, meaning that many people do not need to use adhesives to hold them in place. However, your mouth will continue to grow and change as you age, which can result in a different fit. In these situations, replacement dentures or adhesive may be necessary. In general, you should look into denture refitting or replacement roughly every five years for optimal appearance, function, and fit.
Denture Care Is Essential to a Healthy Smile
Just because they aren’t made of enamel doesn’t mean you can ignore caring for your dentures. Just as you would brush your natural teeth twice a day, you need to brush your dentures at least twice a day. You should use specialized denture cleaning paste after each meal, if possible. Be sure to only use products approved for safe use with dentures. Some standard toothpastes and mouthwashes could damage your dentures.
Overnight, when you’re sleeping, you should remove your dentures and soak them in a denture cleaner. Avoid using hot water, which can warp or damage your dentures. You should rinse them and then brush them after soaking, before replacing them in your mouth.
If you notice staining, you may need to adjust some of your daily habits. Regular consumption of red wine, coffee, or caffeinated tea can result in substantial staining to your dentures. If brushing and soaking does not help, contact your dentist. Do not use over-the-counter whiteners or bleach kits, as they can damage your dentures or make them look less realistic. Regular visits to your dentist will keep your dentures clean and ensure a good fit, as well as provide critical screening for oral cancers and other health issues.