5 Things Every Person With Dentures Needs To Know

We are told from a young age how important our oral hygiene is to keep our mouth and teeth healthy. However, even if looked after to the best standard, there is a high chance that you will need dentures at some point in your life. To be able to experience the benefits of your dentures, you need to understand how to care for them.

Dental Hygiene Is Still Crucial

Even though your dentures are not natural teeth, they still need cleaning frequently to keep them looking good and to keep the rest of your mouth healthy. To clean your dentures you should soak and brush them using a soft bristled toothbrush and non abrasive denture cleaner. Soak them overnight. Dentures get stained easily if not cleaned properly.

It Takes Time To Get Used To Them

When you put your dentures on, you are placing something artificial in your mouth so it is normal for this to feel strange. It could also result in the development of some mouth sores. However, your dentist will tell you how to minimise the initial discomfort and avoid sores. After a short while, your dentures will start to feel natural in your mouth.

Dentures Should Be Removed When Possible

Whenever you do not need to wear your dentures, you should remove them. Extended wear can place pressure on the gum, which could lead to a receding gum condition. If in place too long, they can also cause bad breath. Taking them out will allow your gums to relax.

Practice Makes Perfect

The reasons for wearing dentures are to allow you to eat and talk naturally. However, this may take a while to get used to.

Dentures Require Maintenance

Once you get used to your dentures, you will almost forget that they are there. However, because they are subject to so much wear, they need regular maintenance and there may be times that they need repairing. If they do need repairing, make sure you take them back to your dentist who will ensure that they are repaired correctly.

Your dentures will give you the confidence to smile and go about your day to day life as if you had your natural teeth, as long as you care for them correctly. If you have any issues with your dentures, please call us on 01723 670500 and one of our dentists will do everything they can to help.

The History Of Dentures

Ivory Dentures with Human Teeth

Now a days it is quite easy to get a replacement for a missing tooth, but not too far in the past, people would would go to extreme measures to try and replace their teeth.

The First Dentures

The Ancient Egyptians were the first to use dentures in 1500 BC. They were made from human teeth threaded together with gold wire. In 700 BC Italians began using animal teeth to replace their own. Tribes in Mexico also did this, using wolf teeth. Ancient Mayans even replaced missing teeth with carved stones, bits of bone or even seashells. These materials worked well because they would fuse with the patient’s jaw bone for a permanent fix.

Wooden Dentures

Wooden dentures were common in japan from the 16th century. A priestess who lived in the Kii Province wore the first wooden teeth. This style of denture was used up until the 19th century. However, they weren’t the common option in the western world.

Ivory Dentures

George Washington wore ivory dentures made from hippopotamus tusks. Many people wore ivory dentures made from walrus, hippo or elephant tusks. However the material deteriorated quickly and stained yellow promptly. These types of dentures were still being worn in the early 19th century.

Human Teeth

In the 1800s, sugar consumption increased rapidly in Europe, especially England. This led to lots of people losing their teeth by the time they were 50, needing a way to replace them. French Physician Pierre Fauchard is known as the father of modern dentistry after publishing a book called ‘The Surgeon Dentist’ which included dental care practices that are still followed to this day. Shockingly, the teeth from soldiers who died in the Battle of Waterloo were used as replacements. Teeth were removed from cadavers and mounted onto an ivory base. These teeth were very popular among the elite and were seen as a sign of wealth.

Porcelain Dentures

The first pair of porcelain dentures were produced in 1744 by a British physician. However, they looked unnaturally white and they were very fragile. In 1820 porcelain teeth were mounted onto gold plates with springs and swivels which allowed the teeth to work more efficiently.

Vulcanite Dentures

In the 1850s, vulcanite was used to make dentures. Vulcanite is a type of hardened rubber. It is cheap meaning that dentures became available to people who could not afford them in the past. For the first time ever, middle class people could wear false teeth along with the rich and wealthy.

Modern Dentures

In the 20th century, acrylic and rubber compounds were used in the development of false teeth. Modern dentures are made from a blend of acrylic resin, metal and sometimes porcelain. Due to the improved quality of dental hygiene advice, the need for dentures has decreased.

Famous Figures From The Past

Centuries ago, the only people that could afford dentures were the rich and wealthy. Here are some examples of wealthy figures who used to wear dentures.

George Washington

Contrary to the common legend, George Washington’s teeth were actually made from ivory, not wood. Washington suffered from poor dental health throughout his life, caused by many elements including a poorly balanced diet and disease. Due to this, he involved the help of Dr John Baker to fashion his false teeth from ivory that was wired to his last remaining teeth.

When Washington was inaugurated President, he only had one tooth remaining. Dr John Greenwood made an advanced set of dentures made from hippopotamus ivory and using gold wire springs and brass screws to hold the teeth in place. He even left a hole to accommodate Washington’s final tooth.

Queen Elizabeth

Before dental prevention practices were used, problematic teeth were extracted left and right. During Queen Elizabeth’s reign from 1558-1603, ivory dentures hadn’t been developed. Her only solution was to stuff bits of cloth into the gaps in her teeth when attending public events.

Why You Shouldn’t Wear Your Dentures At Night

It is often recommended by dentists to wear your new dentures for the first night as this helps to heal your gums more quickly. However, the long term wear of dentures overnight can cause more harm than good. Follow the advice below to learn how to protect your gums and care for your dentures.

There are multiple health reasons why you shouldn’t wear your dentures whilst you sleep. Here are the main benefits of removing your dentures on a night:

Prevents Gum Inflammation

Wearing your dentures overnight can affect the flow of saliva around the mouth as it blocks the saliva’s path. This can result in a condition called Denture Stomatitis, more commonly known as thrush. Denture stomatitis is a condition found commonly in denture-wearers as the base of the denture attracts a buildup of plaque allowing the growth of bacteria. This can be painful as it leads to red and swollen gums, sometimes resulting in yeast infected gums.

Maintains a Tighter Fit

Wearing your dentures overnight can result in bone loss. This can cause your dentures to become loose resulting in them to slip, therefore reducing the ranges of foods that you are able to comfortably eat.

Prevents The Growth of Bacteria

The area where your gums and denture meet is the perfect environment for bacteria to grow. This causes bad breath and can eventually result in gum disease. By not wearing your dentures at night, you are allowing your gums to rest without being damaged by bacteria.

Reduces Bone Loss

Dentures put pressure on the gums and the bone underneath. This can quicken the rate of bone resorption. Bone resorption is a natural process but when it happens faster than the bone can be replaced, it can increase your risk of fractures and breakage.

How to Care For Your Dentures Overnight

Now you know that you shouldn’t wear your dentures overnight, it is important that you know how to look after them. Here are our top tips to ensure that your dentures are in the best condition.

Gargle With Warm Water

Gargling with warm water will help to loosen the seal between the adhesive and your denture, making it much easier to remove.

Rinse the Dentures

Once you have removed your dentures rinse them under running water to remove any remaining food particles.

Brush Dentures With a Soft Toothbrush

To brush your dentures use water, denture paste or a non-abrasive toothpaste. Avoid using regular toothpaste as it contains abrasives that can cause damage to your dentures.

Remove Adhesive Residues in Your Mouth

Gargle with warm salt water and use a clean washcloth to remove any residue left on your gums and the roof of your mouth. Rinse your mouth out with warm water again. You can also use a soft toothbrush to clean your gums. If you wear a partial denture, don’t forget to brush your natural teeth.

Clean Your Dentures

Soak your dentures in water or a denture cleaning solution overnight. If you use a fast acting cleaning solution, clean your dentures in the solution first and then soak in water overnight. If you have a partial denture make sure you use a solution designed for partials.

In the morning, thoroughly rinse your dentures under running water.