In this month’s first blog, we got into some of the basics of dentures. Whether full or partial, dentures can change your life if you’re missing most or all of your teeth. They allow you to eat most foods again, they help maintain the angles of your facial anatomy, and they give you reason to smile again…literally!
When considering dentures, our patients from Edison and the surrounding areas have lots of questions. They’re used to a lengthy period of failing dental health and are usually eager to get past it with dentures, but there are also many unknowns.
In our second Gentle Dental blog for February, let’s address a few of those questions.
How do I care for my dentures?
With the exception of fixed partial dentures, dentures are not meant to be worn 24 hours a day. Removing them allows your gum tissues to rest and allows normal stimulation and cleansing of the gums by the tongue and your saliva.
You brush dentures, but not with toothpaste, as it is too abrasive and can create microscopic scratches that allow food and plaque to build up. Brushing removes stains and any food or plaque build-up. When brushing is complete, your dentures need to stay moist, so they need to be put in a denture cleanser soaking solution or in water overnight.
Is it painful to get dentures?
New dentures will involve some pain and discomfort for at least a few days to a couple of weeks. This is because your gums are adjusting to the dentures. If you had teeth extracted, there will be additional pain and some swelling in the extraction sites. This is one reason dentures need to be removed at night — to allow your gum tissues to rest and recover after wearing dentures during the day. When dentures are new the gums have more adjustment. This period can take up to a few weeks. However, thanks to our precision when fitting dentures, your gums should rapidly adjust, and your dentures will soon be very comfortable.
To relieve initial pain, you can apply topical gel or cream for oral pain relief; you can remove your dentures and rinse with salt water for 30 seconds; you can apply aloe vera gel to your dentures before placing them in your mouth once or twice daily; you can massage your gums to encourage blood flow; and you can take ibuprofen.
How will I know when it is time to reline my dentures?
You’ll get a sense that your dentures aren’t fitting the same way they once did. This is because the gums and jaw change size and shape over time. Relining your dentures refits them to the changing contours of your gums and jawbone. The artificial teeth remain in a reline, but the base of the denture is changed out. You can expect to reline your dentures every two to three years.
How long will my dentures last?
Complete dentures usually last from five to seven years. In between that time, they will need periodic relining as discussed above.
The lifespan of partial dentures is highly variable depending on location in the mouth and care of the appliance.
Are you missing all or most of your teeth? A set of full or partial dentures from the team at Gentle Dental could be a great way to regain your smile. Call us at (732) 549-5660 to schedule a consultation.