The most important tool in the fight against gum disease is good oral hygiene habits. You might think it would be easier to keep your mouth healthy with fewer teeth, or even no teeth, but that isn’t always true. Daily oral care is just as important for people who have experienced tooth loss. Here are some steps you should follow to keep your mouth clean and gums healthy, especially if you use dentures.
1. Give your gums a break
You should give your gums time to recover by removing your dentures for six to eight hours a day, if not more. For most people, this will be when they go to bed. If you wear your dentures at all times, this may irritate and hurt your gums by rubbing against them.
2. Clean your dentures properly
Some people tend to think that because dentures are not real teeth, they do not require as much care. This is not true as dentures can still build up tartar and bacteria just as would happen with natural teeth. If plaque is not removed properly, it can react with your saliva and harden into tartar. Having plaque on your denture can lead to irritation and infection on the tissue underneath.
To avoid putting your health at risk, it is necessary to use a deep-cleaning solution periodically to soak off food deposits from your denture, in addition to your regular daily brushing. These solutions typically come in the form of effervescent tablets, which are specifically formulated to clean dentures.
You should avoid using abrasive materials such as brushes with stiff bristles, whitening toothpaste or products containing bleach because it could damage your denture. Also, make sure to rinse the dentures exceptionally well, as even the gentlest cleansing solution may contain chemicals that are harmful to the mouth’s natural tissue.
3. Take care of your mouth
Give your mouth a good rinse and massage your gums with a washcloth or a soft toothbrush whenever you can take out your dentures, sticking to this habit will help to keep your gums healthy. If you only have a partial denture, you still need to brush your teeth and floss regularly and take time to ensure your gums are healthy.
Several studies reported by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) have shown a connection between poor oral health and chronic diseases such as diabetes, rheumatology and heart disease. This highlights why it essential to clean your dentures properly, regardless of its type.
4. Use mouthwash
According to the American Dental Association, there are two main types of mouthwash: cosmetic and therapeutic. Both are available over-the-counter, but only the therapeutic type can help reduce or control plaque, gingivitis, bad breath and tooth decay. Cosmetic mouthwash may temporarily control bad breath, leaving behind a pleasant taste but it has no chemical or biological application.
5. Visit your denture specialist regularly
A professional dentist can help identify the early signs of gum disease or gingivitis, preventing more severe problems from occurring. Professional cleaning is the only way to remove tartar and help eliminate the plaque that you may have missed while brushing your teeth. According to the National Institute on Aging, regular visits can also allow the professional to identify the misfit of your dentures, to avoid hurting your gums.
For more detailed information on denture hygiene and care please contact Hayven Dentures St. Catharines.