If you have dentures to replace your missing teeth, then you’re probably already aware of the many benefits that come with them. Meals and conversations are much more pleasant when you can eat and speak normally, after all. Not only that, but if you’re like many others then having a full set of teeth again also helps you feel more confident in yourself.
It’s important to care for your dentures properly if you want to continue to enjoy the advantages they offer. Keep reading to learn about 4 habits that could harm them and what you should do, instead.
Bad Habit #1: Sleeping in Your Dentures
When you’ve had a long day and are ready to slide right into bed, it can be tempting to fall asleep with your dentures in. This is risky because you’re not taking the time to clean them. That means any food particles or bacteria that have accumulated during the day can thrive while you’re resting. Over time this could result in plaque buildup that can cause bad breath and even gum disease! While it’s probably okay every once in a while, you don’t want to regularly sleep in your dentures.
Bad Habit #2: Not Brushing or Flossing
You should remove your dentures at least twice every day to thoroughly brush and floss them. You can use a soft-bristled toothbrush to cleanse all surfaces, then floss them like you would natural teeth. At night, you can leave them in a glass of water or denture solution, so bacteria won’t grow. This also keeps them moist, so they don’t dry, crack, or become misshapen.
Bad Habit #3: Biting Hard Objects
If you’re a nervous nail-biter, now’s the time to try to quit! Dentures are durable, but not as strong as your natural teeth. It may not have been a huge concern in the past, but biting hard objects with dentures can chip or break them. If they’ve been damaged, they might not fit correctly anymore which can lead to sores where germs can fester. No more nibbling pen caps for you!
Bad Habit #4: Chewing Gum
Even sugar-free gum can gunk up your dentures and dislodge them. You could risk them falling out mid-conversation or while out and about- how embarrassing! Instead, stick with a sugar-free mint after meals to freshen your breath. That way you don’t have to worry about losing or harming your dental work.
If you notice any issues with your dentures, like that they’re fractured or not fitting well, give your dentist a call. They can repair or replace them so that you can continue making the most of them for years to come!
About the Author
Dr. Lance Timmerman takes joy in giving people healthy, happy smiles that last. He received his Doctor of Dental Medicine at Oral Health and Sciences University and has since completed many hours of continuing education in implant and cosmetic dentistry, and more! If you need to restore your smile or have your dentures repaired, he can help! You’re welcome to request an appointment on our website or by calling (206) 888-2949.