Care & Follow up Questions

Adjusting to life with dentures

How long should I wear my dentures? Should a denture be worn at night? We answer questions like this and other care & follow up questions. Are we missing a question? Send us a message and let us know.

How long should I wear my dentures?

During the first few days, you may be advised to wear the denture most of the time, including while you are asleep. After your mouth gets used to your dentures, you may be instructed to take them out before going to bed. This allows gum tissue to rest and promotes oral health. Generally, it is not desirable that the tissue be constantly covered by the denture. When you remove your dentures at night, it is best to store them in a small amount of soapy water or commercial denture cleaner to stop them from warping. This will also allow the denture to be disinfected. We will provide instructions about how long dentures should be kept in place.

Should a denture be worn at night?

Generally, it is considered best to take out the complete denture at night. Studies have shown that taking out the dentures for at least eight hours during the day or night permits gum tissue to rest and allows for normal stimulation and cleansing by the tongue and saliva. This promotes better long-term health of gums.

Should I use a denture adhesive?

Dentures are custom made to fit your mouth and you shouldn’t need an adhesive for comfort. In an emergency, denture adhesives may be used to keep the dentures in place until you see the denturist. Long term use of a fixative can cause infections and bone loss in the jaw. Additionally, a poorly fitting denture may cause irritation and sores. This can happen if you have worn “immediate” dentures for some time. If your dentures begin to feel loose or cause pronounced discomfort, contact our office.

What’s the best way to clean and care for dentures?

You may use commercially available powders or tablets to clean your dentures, and a good quality denture brush. For daily brushing use dish soap or hand soap to avoid scratching the denture base. Do not use abrasive toothpastes. Hold them over a water-filled sink or a folded towel. After cleaning, rinse your dentures thoroughly in clear water. For metal partial dentures, be sure to read the instructions carefully on any cleaner that you apply. For dentures with soft liners, be sure not to exceed 20 minutes of soaking time. For smokers, a stronger professional strength cleaner may be available from your denturist. For those with plaque and tartar build-up on their dentures, see your denturist for an ultrasonic cleaning.

What not to do: avoid using boiling water, abrasive cleaners, or bleach as these will damage your dentures. For example, bleach has the ability to oxidize metal partials, turning them black. Bleach can also be absorbed into dentures, which may irritate your mouth.

Dentures can break if you drop them and warp if placed in hot water. If a denture becomes dried out, its shape may change.

Can I make minor denture adjustments or repairs?

Do not attempt to repair your dentures yourself. You can seriously damage your dentures and harm your health by trying to adjust or repair your dentures. A denture that is not made to fit properly can cause irritation and sores. A person without the proper training will not be able to reconstruct the denture. This can cause greater damage to the denture and may cause problems in your mouth. Glue should not be used on dentures. If your dentures break, crack, chip, or if one of the teeth becomes loose contact us. We can often make the necessary adjustments or repairs on the same day.

How often should I schedule denture appointments?

We will advise you about how often to visit for check-ups. Having your mouth checked on a regular basis to see if your dentures continue to fit properly is important for your overall health. We also examine your mouth for signs of oral disease, including cancer. With regular professional care, you can become one of the millions of people who wear their dentures with a smile.

Do I still need an annual exam with dentures?

An essential part of maintaining good oral hygiene is regular dental check-ups. Your dentures and tissues should be checked annually by your denturist. Damage to the oral tissues can occur without your being aware of it. Early detection and elimination of tissue inflammation is vital to minimize shrinkage of the supporting bone and tissue. By maintaining healthy gum tissue, your dentures will continue to fit properly.

Your denturist will also examine your mouth for looseness of the denture due to tissue changes, plaque, tartar deposits, and bite position (how evenly your teeth close together) as well as stains on the denture teeth. Your dentures remain the same, but your mouth is continually changing over time. It is important to have your denturist check on your oral condition to ensure that you maintain a well-fitting denture.

Are dentures affected by various medications?

Medications, both over-the-counter (non-prescription) and prescription can affect denture fit. For example, certain medications can cause dry mouth, a reduction of saliva in your mouth, making it difficult to swallow or chew. It is important to let your denturist know of any medications you may be taking, whether it be regularly or even occasionally.

Should I do anything special to care for my mouth?

Plaque removal and stimulated circulation are vital for healthy gums. We recommend that you get into the habit of removing your dentures and brushing your gums, tongue and the roof of your mouth with a very soft toothbrush once or twice a day. This contributes to the health of the tissue and the likelihood of success with your dentures. When eating, be careful not to bite off hard foods with your front teeth. This will result in irritation of the ridges and accelerate bone loss. A possibly long term effect may be that future dentures are harder to fit.

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