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Dentures are an investment in your ability to eat and talk normally once complete tooth removal is required. Dentures that are made to personally fit your mouth are the best option for long-term comfort and durability. These types of dentures are likely to cost you about $4,000 to $8,000 for a full set. This means that you should do your best to make sure that you treat the dentures with care so you do not need to invest in a new set in the immediate future. One of the easiest things you can do to reduce damage is to clean them properly. However, many people make some basic cleaning mistakes, especially when they first receive their false teeth. A few of the mistakes that you should avoid are listed below.
Cleaning With Regular Toothpaste
It is wise to brush your dentures at least once a day like you would your natural teeth. However, you should not treat the artificial teeth like your natural ones. Most dentures are made from either porcelain or acrylic resin varieties. Porcelain teeth often look and feel real and go through a hardening process so they remain strong for a long period of time. Porcelain materials will resist scratches much like the natural dental enamel. Porcelain teeth will break if they are dropped on the floor though. This is one reason why acrylic resin is utilized to make dentures more often than porcelain is. Resin is lighter, cheaper, and it adheres to the base of the denture much more strongly than porcelain does. This means you are more likely to have resin dentures than porcelain ones, but resin is much softer than porcelain. This means it will scratch, especially if you use toothpaste that contains abrasive agents.
Abrasive materials like silica, aluminum hydroxide, calcium carbonate, and phosphates are added to toothpaste to polish the enamel. Natural tooth enamel is stronger than bone, so it will not readily scratch when exposed to these polishing compounds. Acrylic resin will though. This means that you should look for a toothpaste that does not contain any strong abrasive materials. A toothpaste that has a rating between 0 and 70 on the toothpaste abrasiveness index is a good choice. Many of these toothpastes contain baking soda, which is safe for dentures.
You can also use plain dish soap to gently clean the dentures. If you decide to do this, then just make sure to rinse the false teeth thoroughly with warm water afterwards. While soap is not particularly harmful, it can cause diarrhea when ingested.
Failing To Soak Dentures
Another mistake that people make with their false teeth is failing to soak their dentures at night. The dentures can and will build up with plaque like the natural teeth. This attracts bacteria to the dentures. Saliva can wash the bacteria underneath the base of the teeth. This can lead to the formation of sores along the gum tissues and infections. Also, yeast will attach to the dentures and build along the base and an overgrowth can start to develop. This will cause a condition called denture stomatitis to develop where white patches of yeast form on the gums.
Infections as well as stomatitis conditions can both be avoided by soaking your dentures every night while you sleep. You can purchase a denture soaking material from your local pharmacy or you can make your own solution at home. Solutions that contain vinegar or hydrogen peroxide will work well as antibacterial and antifungal solutions. Place either one-half cup of vinegar or hydrogen peroxide in a small glass, add one-half cup of water, and mix the solution gently. Place your dentures in the solution overnight and rinse them in the morning. Discard the cleaning solution and mix a new solution for the following evening.