It’s got to be a thorough cleaning, nothing less will do.
Checking the oral hygiene of a patient is one of the routine inspections done during a denture recall. And it’s easy to tell between patients who perform a quick brushing of their dentures with an occasional 5 minute soak and those that have a rigorous cleaning routine (which includes an overnight soak in an antiseptic solution.)
Having good oral hygiene is a really big deal!
Poor oral hygiene can be a factor in tooth loss and gum disease and other far more serious diseases. The goal is to prevent unnecessary exposure to bacteria and microbes that can cause disease.
Acrylic dentures have pores. Hard to see with the naked eye but under a microscope those denture pores look like little pockmarks. Even the most rigorous brushing may not reach the bacteria hiding the microscopic crevices.
Everyone’s mouth is filled with germs. But dentures aren’t equipped with natural germ fighting properties. This makes them a bacteria playground including nasty one like Streptococcus mutans or E-coli.
Nothing beats a good soaking.
In fact, it’s estimated that an overnight soaking can kill 99.9 percent of denture germs. But not all denture cleaning options are equal, and purchasing the least expensive over-the-counter cleaning solution might not give you the cleaning needed. Your denturist will have a number of suggestions.
Seniors Have More Germs In Their Mouths
Seniors tend to have a higher oral bacteria (yeasts) count, whether or not they are wearing dentures.
Dry mouth starts to occur in an aging population and often increases as so the the number of medications. Normally, saliva provides a variety of protective functions and is the mouth’s first line of defense against harmful bacteria.
Denture wearers with dry mouth and reduced salivary flow should pay special attention to the cleanliness of their dentures. Increasing the amount of liquids particularly water will do a lot towards reducing dry mouth.
In addition to good denture care, dentures should be replaced every five to seven years. It's easy to understand that as we age maybe new dentures aren't worth the investment. However, having poorly fitting dentures at any age can lead to more harm than good.
And not wanting to replace your dentures more often than necessary is a great reason to take good care of your dentures and oral health.
Daily cleaning (brushing and soaking) routine follow-up visits (just like the dentist) can prolong the life and comfort of your dentures.
In the end, as a denture wearer, you will have more confidence, smile more often and lead a healthier and happier life with dentures.
~Menely Lainas, DD
Learn more about the freedom of dental-implant supported dentures when you download a copy of A Patient’s Guide to Dental Implants. Created by Menely Lainas, DD it contains easy to read explanations, diagrams and real case examples to help you understand what we can achieve for you.