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Taking Care of your Dentures

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With all we know about oral hygiene today, and more and more people getting the most out of their health and dental insurance by taking regular trips to the dentist, the need for dentures may be on the decline.

However, if you’re currently a denture wearer, or if you and your dentist have come to the conclusion that partial or full dentures are the right choice for you, proper care can help extend the life of your dentures. As an added bonus, a good oral care routine can make them easier and more comfortable to wear.

Different Types of Dentures

There are a few different types of dentures available to replace missing or damaged teeth. It will depend on how many teeth are being replaced, your specific dental care needs, what insurance coverage you may have, and what your dentist believes to be the best course of treatment.

Review Your Insurance Coverage

If you have just learned that you will require dentures to replace missing or damaged teeth, the next obvious question is “How much will this cost?” The final bill will vary, based on the extent of the dental work that needs to be done.

If you have coverage for ‘major services’ under your health and dental insurance plan, this will help to offset some of the cost. Understand that most carriers have a waiting period before tooth replacement options, like dentures, are eligible for coverage. Be sure to review your plan details carefully.

Care of Dentures

The steps to taking care of your new set of teeth aren’t all that different from those to care for natural teeth. Your dentist will give specific instructions for your type of dentures, but there are a few general care rules that apply to keeping them clean.

Remember to remove your dentures every night and clean them gently but thoroughly with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Most commercial toothpaste is too abrasive for dentures, so skip them unless your dentist recommends otherwise.

When removing your dentures, put something soft in the sink in case you accidentally drop them. Backed by the strength your jaws dentures are durable, but on their own they’re pretty fragile.

Soaking dentures overnight will make it easier to brush away any plaque in the morning. There are many commercial preparations that clean dentures overnight. If those are over the household budget, you can get similar results by soaking dentures in a 50/50 mixture of water and vinegar. However, if your dentures have metal clasps, do not use vinegar!

Don’t Forget About Your Gums!

Dentures won’t fit properly on gums that are swollen or otherwise inflamed. Taking care of your gums is more than important than ever. While your dentures are out, gently brush your gums with a soft-bristled brush. If brushing is uncomfortable, you may be able to clean your gums adequately with a damp cloth. Ask your dentist for a recommendation.

Dentures are sometimes referred to as the third set of teeth. Taking good care of them will ensure they continue to serve you well.

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