Anyone who has to wear dentures knows that brushing is difficult to learn, especially at first. The dentures feel strange in your mouth, almost like a foreign object, and it can be difficult to orient your movements to the shape and feel of your new teeth. However, this brushing guide for dentures will help you ease through the transition.
Handle with Care
There are many different types of dentures, including partial dentures, but each of these is very delicate. Dropping removable dentures, for example, can lead to cracks and breaks, so make sure to stand over a soft towel or basin of water to cushion them if they fall.
When brushing with dentures, try to use as little force as possible, focusing more on technique than the pressure you apply to the brush. The goal is to clean every surface of food particles and plaque, and bearing down with all your weight is both unnecessary and dangerous. According to the American Dental Association, even brushing with hard bristles could lead to damage.
Use Appropriate Equipment
When brushing with dentures, it is best to use a denture brush that is specifically designed for false teeth. This will ensure your dentures are not cracked or unnecessarily abraded. Your denture cleaner should also be appropriate for your specific teeth, so a recommendation from your dentist is the best way to go.
Additionally, removable dentures must be soaked overnight to keep the teeth moist. Should they dry out, they will be far more brittle and will likely crack. Use a water solution suggested by your dentist for the best nightly care.
Focus on Joints
Many people with dentures also have remaining natural teeth, and it is important to focus specifically on the joints between those teeth and your dentures when brushing. This is where food particles and bacteria are likely to get trapped.
If your dentures are fixed in your mouth using a bridge, your brushing regimen should include flossing in those areas to scrape away any built-up plaque. Pay as much attention to your natural teeth as you do to your dentures to avoid further tooth loss or erosion.
Consider an Irrigation Device
An irrigation device (also called a “water pick”) is used to spray water between and around teeth to remove any food particles. It is an excellent addition to brushing and flossing your dentures, and can help keep your mouth clean after meals when brushing is inconvenient.
Make sure, however, to avoid hitting your dentures while brushing or using an irrigation device. Even light contact can disrupt the position of your teeth or crack the plastic, requiring replacement. Talk to your dentist about the best way to keep your dentures safe from damage.
Clean Under Clasps
If your dentures are attacked to your teeth or caps with metal clasps, these are important to be kept clean. When you remove your dentures, clean those clasps carefully and make sure there is no food or residue clinging to the metal. This is just as important as the joints mentioned above.
It might take time to get used to brushing with dentures, but it will soon become second nature. If you have any questions, however, or if you have difficulty, make an appointment with your dentist to address these concerns.
ADA.org, Removable Partial Dentures