When you first get your dentures, you are going to get some advice from your dentist. One of the most important things to remember about wearing false teeth is that it will take a period of adjustment. However, once you get into the daily routine of wearing and caring for your dentures, you will find that you don’t even feel them anymore.
As a denture wearer, you do have to be aware of the possibility of picking up a bad habit or two. If you want to keep your false teeth looking great and to last you a long time, there are habits to avoid with dentures that you will want to avoid adding to your daily routine. By not picking up bad habits, your dentures will fit comfortably for a long time.
Denture Habits To Avoid
1. Leaving Them In Overnight
Dentures are not designed to be in your mouth 24/7. Wearing dentures at night is not good for your mouth or gums for a variety of reasons. The main one is that bacteria will take advantage of your forgetfulness and find new places in your mouth to hide.
This can result in bad breath, but it can also create an infection. Also, your mouth and gums need time to rest from holding your false teeth in place during the day. Wearing dentures at night can also cause inflammation and that could increase the rate of bone loss in your jaw.
2. Letting Your Dentures Dry Out
Although dentures are not meant to be worn 24/7, you should wear them daily. Even if you are going to spend the day indoors doing nothing in your pajamas, you should still wear your false teeth. Even worse, if you just leave them on the nightstand or bathroom vanity for the day, they can dry out.
This is one of the most important habits to avoid with dentures simply because if your false teeth dry out they can crack or warp which will cost you extra for repairs or replacement. Wearing your dentures during the day – every day – should be the habit you develop.
3. Not Regularly Cleaning Your Dentures
Denture cleaning may not sound like a fun chore, but it is one that you have to adopt when you start to wear false teeth. When you clean your dentures daily you prevent germs, bacteria, and plaque from building up and creating issues.
These issues include bad breath, infections, and stained teeth. By cleaning your false teeth at least twice a day you are extending their life and making them look and smell as new as they did when you first received them. Denture cleaning takes some skill and specialized products but is an easy habit to pick up.
For some tips on cleaning your dentures, click here.
4. Not Cleaning Them Correctly
Dipping your dentures into a glass of water is not quite enough to qualify as a good cleaning. You can also damage your false teeth by using the wrong products. Denture cleaning is very different from brushing natural teeth.
For starters, toothpaste has abrasive materials that can damage your dentures and a regular toothbrush is going to scratch your false teeth. Hot water can cause dentures to warp. Proper cleaning requires cleaning paste and a toothbrush designed just for use on dentures. A soaking solution to keep them in overnight also helps.
5. Smoking/Chewing Tobacco
Anything that can damage or discolor your dentures should be avoided at all costs. Smoking or chewing tobacco are definitely habits to avoid with dentures. Not only are both these activities harmful to your health, but they also are not going to make your smile look as dazzling as it once did if you keep doing either of these activities.
Drinking a lot of coffee, tea and cola will also contribute to changing the way your false teeth look over time – even if you are meticulous at your new habit of denture cleaning regularly.
6. Chewing Gum
How exactly can something so pleasurable as chewing gum – and sugarless gum at that – be one of the bad habits to avoid with dentures? Aside from gum being on the sticky side, it can get stuck on your dentures and possibly pull an upper or lower out of place while talking.
If this happened unexpectedly, that denture could fall out of your mouth and get damaged. Although it may sound like a longshot, it does happen. Chewing gum that is declared as safe for dentures may still stick or get stuck in your dental appliances.
7. Nail Biting With Dentures
Biting your nails is already a bad habit but when you combine that with false teeth, it becomes an even bigger problem. That’s because your dentures are not as strong as natural teeth. This means that when you use false teeth to bite nails, you can chip and damage the teeth in your upper and lower plates.
This kind of damage can only be repaired professionally. Biting nails with dentures will shorten the life of your false teeth and could cause enough damage to impact how you speak and eat. Chipped denture teeth will also affect your smile.
Here is a shortlist of some frequently asked questions regarding dentures in general. We have added them here with our answers as they will give you a little more insight into the importance of taking care of your false teeth.
What toothpaste is safe for dentures?
Regular toothpaste contains abrasives that can scratch and damage your false teeth. You can use a mild liquid soap to clean dentures. There are also pastes available that have been made specifically for use when denture cleaning.
Can you brush your dentures while they are in your mouth?
No. Not only can you knock dentures out of place by trying to clean them in your mouth, but you also will not be able to reach all surfaces. By removing dentures for cleaning, you can remove bacteria and plaque from not just the teeth but from both sides of the plate that the denture teeth are attached to.
Can I use mouthwash with dentures?
You can soak dentures in mouthwash and use mouthwash with a brush to clean false teeth. However, you will have better results using products that are specifically meant for cleaning and soaking dentures.
Can you leave dentures in all the time?
No. Dentures are not intended to be in your mouth all day and all night. Bacteria build-up is the main reason you should remove them and soak them in a cleaning solution overnight. Also, your mouth and gums need a break from holding false teeth in place all day.
For some information on the best ways to store dentures, click here.
There are several habits to avoid with dentures. Simply put… if you don’t avoid them, you risk damaging your false teeth and an added expense to repair or replace them.
The list above contains the most common habits to avoid. It does take a little getting used to, but when you do the right thing and look after your dentures, they will keep looking their best and last you a long time.