What to Know About Wearing Dentures

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If missing teeth make you shy about your smile, dentures may be a good solution.

Dentures are a set of false teeth. You can get a full set if you are missing all of your teeth. Or, you can get a partial set to fill in for just a few missing teeth.

There are many benefits to having dentures.

Dentures can help you feel more confident with your smile and appearance. They can help your face look fuller and might even make you look younger. And, because missing teeth can affect your speech, dentures may help you speak more clearly so others will understand you better. Dentures also make it easier for you to chew your food properly. That's better for your health and digestion.

It’s important to keep dentures clean.

You'll need to care for your dentures to keep them white and healthy, just as you would your natural teeth. After you eat, take the dentures out of your mouth and rinse them off. This helps get rid of pieces of food stuck to the dentures. Use a denture cleaner and a toothbrush with soft bristles to carefully brush them. Take care not to scratch them. While your dentures are out of your mouth, brush your gums and tongue with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Don't forget the inside of your cheeks and the roof of your mouth. This can help keep your mouth healthy and your breath fresh.

Dentures need a rest at night.

While you can sleep in your dentures, it's best to remove them at night to clean them. Take them out at bedtime and soak them in a glass of water and denture cleaner. Most dentures need to be stored in water to protect them. Read the instructions on your dentures or ask your dentist about the best way to store them.

Before you put dentures back in, rinse them very well. This removes all cleaning solutions, which could make you feel sick if you swallow it.

Take care to avoid harsh agents.

Never use boiling water on your dentures. Doing so could change their shape. Also, don't clean them with any bleach-based cleaners or whitening toothpastes. Make sure all brushes and cleansers are gentle so you don’t scratch your dentures.

Be patient with your dentures.

It can take some time to get used to speaking and eating with dentures. Try using a small bit of denture adhesive. It can keep them from slipping and sliding in your mouth. Practice eating and speaking at home to get more comfortable. Use extra care when chewing foods that are very sticky, chewy or hard. Take some time to practice eating those foods. It's also best to avoid chewing gum, as it can get stuck in the dentures.

You may feel a bit of discomfort or some pain while you get used to your dentures. As you wear them more often, they should become comfortable. See your dentist if your dentures continue to cause you pain.

You may need to have your dentures realigned every so often to make sure they fit your mouth properly. However, they should generally last for several years before you need a new set.

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Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Last Review Date: 2019 Dec 18

  1. Denture Care: How Do I Clean Dentures? Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.org/denture-care/expert-answers/faq-20058375

  2. Dentures. American College of Prosthodontists. http://www.gotoapro.org/denturesfaq/#193

  3. Dentures. American Dental Association. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/d/Dentures

  4. Dentures. British Dental Health Foundation. https://www.dentalhealth.org/tell-me-about/topic/older-people/dentures

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