Removable complete dentures are designed to replace all your natural teeth. They depend on natural suction to keep the denture appliance in place. For this reason, proper fit is a must to ensure your new teeth are comfortable, and that you’re able to chew efficiently, speak clearly, and smile confidently. Your denture experience is off to a great start by choosing a dentist who takes great care to design new teeth and gums to your unique specifications, like Dr. Karen Ho of Dentistry on Parkdale.
She and her team work with you throughout the “life of your dentures,” offering tips for treating dentures in Hamilton ON.
What to know from the beginning
As with other types of dental appliances, such as braces and night-guards, it is common for dentures to feel “foreign” at first. Plus:
- One or more follow-up appointments at Dentistry on Parkdale are generally needed for adjustments soon after receiving dentures. Don’t try this at home! Bending clasps or metal attachments can weaken the denture’s structure. Also, beware DIY repair kits that may permanently damage dentures, or those OTC glues that contain questionable chemicals. Precision, professional adjustments help to relieve discomfort and other concerns that arise during the adjustment period.
- Don’t opt for softer foods that are processed. Choose those “forgiving” foods that are also nutritious, such as olives, vitamin-rich smoothies, yoghurt, hummus, and steamed veggies. Chewier yet still healthy foods can be included in your diet earlier, if they’re cut into smaller, manageable pieces.
- If speech is a concern, build your confidence with exercises such as slowly “singing” phrases so you can get accustomed to forming words more easily. Your friendly dentists at Dentistry on Parkdale can also demonstrate exercises that will make the process of adjusting to dentures go smoothly. Additional suggestions may be provided on the best dental creams or adhesives to reduce early discomfort and sores, and to help expedite the adjustment process.
- Dentures need to be cleaned every day, just like natural teeth. Otherwise, plaque builds up, stains the denture material, gives rise to bad breath, and spreads to other parts of the mouth where it promotes gum disease and decay among natural teeth that may be present. First, rinse dentures with water to remove loose food debris. Moisten a soft cloth or soft-bristled brush before denture cleanser is applied (household cleaners and “regular” toothpastes are abrasive, so they should be avoided when cleaning dentures).
- Gently brush all surfaces, taking great care to go over the clasps that attach the denture to your remaining teeth or gum tissue, as bacteria tend to collect in these spots. Because the plastic and attachments can be damaged when bent or aggressively brushed during cleaning, use a light touch. Also, don’t forget to clean and massage your gums, tongue, palate and other bacteria-prone areas. If you have remaining natural teeth, floss them! Before it is placed in your mouth, clean the denture thoroughly with water to avoid “rehoming” food debris or bacteria in your mouth.
- Don’t wear dentures overnight. Your mouth needs a chance to “rest.” They should be soaked in warm (not hot) water, with or without a special cleanser. They can be soaked in a mix of vinegar and warm water. Dentures with metal clasps should only be soaked in water, as special soaking products tend to tarnish the metal. Whenever dentures aren’t in your mouth, they should be in a moist environment, so they don’t dry out and become warped.
For the long life of your dentures
Regular cleanings are a terrific opportunity to check for cracks and other signs of damage. If you find any, call Dentistry on Parkdale right away. You may be due for a repair or adjustment.
Since your mouth is always changing, it’s important to visit Dr. Ho at least twice a year. During these recall appointments, she’ll check how your dentures are fitting, and may recommend that they be adjusted, relined, or replaced.
Poorly fitting dentures adversely affect your quality of life; chewing becomes difficult and nutrition suffers, loose dentures can cause embarrassing slips, and, in turn, you may not socialise as much. Ill-fitting dentures may produce sores and other irritation that is not only uncomfortable but can make cancers and other anomalies in your mouth more difficult to spot during routine oral screenings.
Relining the denture involves refitting the denture’s base or making a new one that reuses existing teeth. With good care, complete dentures can keep going strong for five to seven years or longer.
Visit Dentistry on Parkdale, where your smile is our focus. Call 905-547-4940.
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Dr. Karen Ho is a trusted dentist serving patients of all ages in Hamilton, Ontario. Having studied at prestigious institutes such as McMaster University and University of Toronto and trained at Hartford Hospital (General Practice Residency), she opened her private practice in 2003.
Dr. Ho is committed to lifelong learning as she believes that she can serve her community better by constantly updating herself. She is affiliated with many professional organisations like the Academy of General Dentistry, Institute for Clinical Practice of Pediatric Dentistry, The Dawson Academy Study Club, Niagara Peninsula Dental Diagnostic Study Club, Hamilton Chapter of the Seattle Study Club (Founding Member), and Boston and Tufts Universities.