Much like real teeth, dentures also need to be properly cared for. If you're new to wearing dentures, here are a few tips which should help you to keep yours in good condition.
Be consistent with your cleansing routine
Most dentures nowadays are made from plastic (usually acrylic resin). Whilst this material may seem solid, it actually contains lots of microscopic holes. If you fail to thoroughly clean your dentures on a regular basis, tiny particles of food may become trapped inside these gaps, turn rancid and allow bacteria to develop. These microbes can then cause oral health issues such as halitosis and gum inflammation. If the latter is left untreated, it could result in further tooth loss.
This is why it is absolutely essential to establish and stick to a proper denture cleansing routine. Ideally, this routine should consist of two stages; brushing and soaking. For the former, it's crucial to use a brush designed for dentures; these have a specific shape and texture which allows them to remove particles of food without scraping the dentures' surface.
Soaking your dentures (either on a daily or weekly basis, depending on the cleansing solution you use) is the next important step in your denture care routine. An effervescent tablet should be placed inside a glass of clean, lukewarm water and allowed to dissolve. The dentures should then be left in the solution for the amount of time recommended by the cleansing tablet manufacturer. This will help to kill any remaining bacteria and also ensure that your dentures retain their shape. A word of caution; make sure that you never soak them in very hot (i.e. freshly-boiled) water, as this can cause warping.
Have your dentures examined regularly
Whilst dentures are made from very robust materials, they will eventually become worn down by daily cleaning and chewing. This can affect the way in which they fit your mouth. Dentures which do not fit correctly can cause a whole host of problems. They can, for example, start to grind against the tongue and gum tissues, causing irritation, inflammation and open sores.
The additional pressure that poorly-fitting dentures place on the oral tissues can also result in the development of a type of growth called an epulis, which may need to be surgically removed. As such, it's important to have your dentist examine and if necessary, repair or adjust your dentures at least once a year.