Individuals who have missing teeth or other dental issues often choose new dentures as a way to resolve these problems and improve the ability to eat and speak properly. Today’s dental technology has made most dentures simple to install and comfortable to wear; however, those who are new to the experience may wonder how long…
Adjusting to New Dentures: 3 Things to Remember Before Going to Sleep
For patients dealing with significant tooth loss, dentures can restore the damage by providing a new set of functional and beautiful prosthetic teeth. Adjusting to new dentures can be challenging at times and may take a few weeks. However, practicing excellent home care and seeing a dentist promptly for adjustments can help make the process easier.
Three steps for a healthy nighttime denture routine
One of the most important parts of caring for new dentures is developing a good evening routine. With the exception of the first night after tooth extraction, dentures should not be worn while sleeping; this can lead to painful sores. Instead, denture wearers should follow these three steps to ensure a healthier mouth and improve denture durability.
1. Remove dentures properly before bed
Most people use denture adhesive to enjoy a tighter, more secure fit throughout the day. Adhesives also make it easier for the wearer to eat and talk without worrying about any embarrassing slips, especially when adjusting to new dentures. However, this adhesive can make it challenging for some patients to remove their dentures at night. Fortunately, there are ways to loosen the adhesive and remove dentures safely.
First, patients should place a soft towel or mat on the floor and another towel alongside the sink. This helps prevent the dentures from breaking if the appliances are accidentally dropped during the process. Rinsing and gargling with warm salt water can help to loosen denture adhesive, making it easier to pull the appliances off. After rinsing, carefully grip the bottom denture in the middle and pull gently while rocking the appliance back and forth until it comes out. Repeat this step for the top denture.
2. Clean and store dentures with the right tools and techniques
Once the dentures have been removed, they should be rinsed thoroughly with warm water to remove any large food particles. Next, patients should use a soft-bristled toothbrush or denture brush to carefully clean every part of both pieces. Never use toothpaste since this can scratch the appliance. Brush all areas, front to back and top to bottom. Patients should also be careful to clean the surface that attaches to the gums, removing any remaining denture adhesive.
Once dentures are thoroughly cleaned, the appliances should be soaked in a cleaning solution overnight. Nighttime soaks serve several purposes, including:
- Storing dentures safely
- Disinfecting all surfaces, including tight spaces
- Preventing dentures from drying out and cracking
- Removing and preventing stains for a whiter, brighter smile
A dentist can recommend the right soaking solutions based on the patients' preferences and needs.
3. Brush teeth and soft tissues for a healthy mouth
Dentures are not the only thing that should be cleaned before bed. Denture wearers should always gently brush their tongue and gum tissues after removing these appliances. This helps to stimulate blood flow and control bad breath while removing bacteria and any remaining adhesive. A soft washcloth can also be used to remove any adhesive that is lingering on the soft tissues.
When adjusting to new dentures, patients should take steps to build good nighttime habits. This can help protect the appliances while ensuring a healthier and more comfortable mouth.
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