Are Dentures Right for You?
The most obvious purpose of dentures is to replace missing teeth and restore facial structure along with the chewing ability. A less obvious purpose is to allow you to eat a healthy diet.
Many people choose to get dentures and partials for cosmetic reasons. Missing teeth can be embarrassing, and over time can cause facial muscles to sag. This can add years to someone’s perceived age and can be unsightly. In addition, if you are only missing a few teeth, keeping the vacant spaces open without a “placeholder” like a partial denture may cause other teeth to shift position, which could also alter your appearance and lead to further tooth decay or loss. In a way, dentures act as a spacer in the mouth, to keep other teeth in place and help you to retain your normal facial structure.
Another factor to think about when you are looking at dentures and partials is how they will improve your ability to chew and eat food. Without teeth, it can be extremely challenging to eat a healthy diet. Pureed foods do not contain all of the same nutrients as a more balanced, solid diet, and many find it hard to get enough fiber and protein. With dentures, you will retain your ability to chew comfortably and eat solid food. Keep in mind that care must be taken with hard, crunchy or tough food, depending on the type of denture that you have.
Caring for Your Dentures
Maintaining excellent oral health is extremely important when wearing dentures. Your dentures will have plaque and tarter build-up, the same as your natural teeth, so daily care is important.
There are certain precautions that need to be taken when caring for and cleaning dentures. First, remember that your dentures should be handled with care and they could break if they are dropped when you remove them. Always work over a folded towel or other soft material to protect them. The second thing to remember is that many commercial toothpastes and cleansers may not be approved for use with your dentures and lastly, you should always remember to clean your mouth and gums daily, as bacteria can build up and cause dental health problems.
When you are preparing for bed, you may choose to remove your dentures. Remember that dentures need to be kept moist at all times, so you will need to soak them in a denture cup filled with water or an approved cleaner. Failing to do so can result in cracked, weakened, and broken teeth.