May is designated Older Americans Month, a month in which we recognize older Americans for their contributions and provide information on staying healthy and active. One way in which seniors can stay healthy and active is to take care of their teeth and their dentures if they have them.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 25 percent of adults ages 65 and older no longer have any natural teeth. Missing teeth affect one’s ability to eat, speak and smile, and they can also cause your jaw to lose bone mass.
At Enlighten Dental Care, we can custom craft full or partial dentures for you that will look natural and be comfortable. They will also last for years if you give them the proper care.
Here are some ways to keep your dentures in really good shape.
- Clean dentures daily by brushing them every day the same way you would brush your teeth except WITHOUT toothpaste. Many types of toothpaste can damage dentures.
- Use a soft-bristle denture brush designed specifically for cleaning dentures along with water and brush all surfaces of the dentures. Do not bend any attachments.
- After each meal, rinse dentures with water.
- Specialized denture cleaner for soaking dentures is OK, but it is not a substitute for brushing.
- Be careful when handling your dentures. A folded towel in the sink will keep them from breaking should you drop them.
- Remove your full or partial dentures every night in order to allow the gum tissue underneath to rest.
- When you are not wearing your dentures, let them soak in cool water (NOT hot water, which can warp them) or a denture-cleaning solution so they won’t dry out. If your dentures have metal attachments, some solutions could cause the metal to tarnish, so talk to your dentist about what is safe to use.
- See your dentist every six months to check the fit and condition of your dentures, and the condition of your gums. With the proper care, your dentures could last for five to seven years.