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Denture Care for Seniors
It is a sad but true fact that as we get older, we will almost certainly lose a number of our teeth. In fact, by the time we reach our golden years, around 50% of us will be missing entire arch – or both – of teeth! While a single missing tooth may not have too much of an effect on the way that you use your teeth, an entire missing arch can stop you biting and chewing your food properly and even from speaking clearly since your tongue needs to push against your teeth in order to form sounds.
If you are missing an entire arch of teeth, you may already have dentures, and you certainly aren’t alone. Studies by the American College of Prosthodontics shows that around 90% of the edentulous population – that is those patients who are missing an entire arch of teeth – have dentures.
While rudimentary designs of dentures were found thousands of years ago, today they remain the most traditional and successful way of restoring the function and appearance of a complete arch of missing teeth. There are various types of denture now available, from full and partial dentures to those that are supported on dental implant posts rather than being secured using special adhesive. Whatever type of denture you or someone you love has, caring for them properly is essential otherwise they can degrade and cause the wearer widespread health issues.
Here is our guide to denture care for seniors.
Handle with care
Dentures are relatively fragile and since they are being taken in and out of your mouth daily, they must be handled with care to avoid them getting damaged. Don’t leave them anywhere that they might get knocked off and broken, instead place them into a denture holder or a cup of water when they aren’t being worn. When you are cleaning them, do so over a soft, folded towel or a sink of water which will cushion the fall if you drop them.
Keep them clean
Dentures are exposed to the same bacteria and food debris that natural teeth are, and this means that they need to be cleaned just as well too. Dentures should be brushed twice a day at least, and this will help to prevent plaque from accumulating on them as well as keep them looking attractive. Use a soft-bristled brush and fresh water when you clean them, but never used toothpaste as it can contain chemicals and abrasives that can eventually damage your dentures. Alternatively, invest in non-bleaching denture cleaner. This is typically placed into a cup of water along with your dentures and left to work its magic overnight.
Store them when not in use
It is important that you keep your dentures in a moist environment when you aren’t wearing them as if you don’t, they could dry out too much and crack or become deformed. Again, this is another good reason to soak them in denture cleaner overnight.
Get them checked if you think something isn’t quite right
The shape of our mouths can still change a little over time, and this means that dentures that once fit perfectly could suddenly start to rub or cause discomfort. If your dentures suddenly become uncomfortable to wear, arrange an appointment with your provider as soon as you can. Consistently wearing poor-fitting dentures can actually damage any healthy teeth and gums, so the situation should be addressed as soon as possible.
Dentures are also affected by natural wear and tear and last an average of around 5-7 years. After this, they could become brittle and break easily. If you have had your dentures at least 5 years, then it could be time for a new pair. Speak to your denture provider about arranging a review.
Whether you are interested in denture care for yourself or for someone you help look after, our dedicated and discreet team would be happy to assist you. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions that you may have.