Dentures: The perks and quirks

As Boomers and Zoomers age, dentures will become a fact of life for more people.
Dentures, or removable prosthetic devices, are made to replace some or all of
the natural teeth as a result of genetics, periodontal disease, poor oral hygiene
and nutrition or other factors.

Perks and quirks

Dentures can be a wonderful boost to your appearance and self-confidence.
Modern technology now allows for dentures that look more natural, feel more
comfortable, and allow denture-wearers to enjoy more their favourite foods.
And for those who have long been unhappy with their smiles, dentures can be
an opportunity for those perfect pearly whites.

Along with the perks of dentures, however, come a few quirks. These include
potentially embarrassing stains and unpleasant odours, speaking difficulties
and worries about dentures slipping while eating or speaking in public. But
with a bit of accommodation and an effective care routine, many of these potentially
embarrassing ‘denture moments’ can be avoided.

Set up an effective care and maintenance routine. As with natural
teeth, dentures require daily care. Here are some simple steps to maintain your
dentures and help prevent the development of stains and/or unpleasant odors
caused by bacteria.

* To avoid the build-up of plaque and tartar, clean your dentures after every
meal with a cleanser made especially for dentures (such as Polident Dentu
or Fresh ‘n Brite Denture Toothpaste) and a soft-bristled
toothbrush or special denture brush to remove any food deposits. Ordinary toothpaste
is too harsh for dentures and can produce microscopic scratches, creating more
places for bacteria to hide.

* While some denture-wearers prefer to wear their dentures around the clock
for aesthetic reasons, it is better to remove your dentures at night before
you go to sleep or for at least 8 hours each day. After removing dentures, soak
them overnight in a special denture cleaner such as Polident Tablets
or Fixodent Denture Cleanser to loosen odour-causing bacteria, plaque
and tarter.

Soaking will also help to restore a natural whiteness to dentures
by eliminating tough stains such as coffee, tea, blueberry and tobacco stains.
(While soaking overnight is best for treating tough stains, you can also opt
for a quick soak of just minutes for a fresh, clean feeling.)

Tip: Handle your dentures over a folded towel or a sink half-filled
with water. This will help protect your dentures if you drop them.

Consider using dental adhesives. Some people opt to use adhesives
for added security against slipping or loosening of dentures when eating, laughing,
coughing or speaking in public. Adhesives can also enhance chewing power by
increasing the force that can be applied while biting. To read more on dental
adhesives, click here.

Be patient. As with most things, dentures require some time to get
used to them. While some people may initially have difficulty with chewing certain
foods or speaking, with practice and patience this can be overcome.

Photo © Sheryl Griffin