Dentures are made to replace missing teeth, and restore both function and form to your mouth. If you wear dentures, the importance of properly cleaning them has most likely been stressed to you many, many times.
Cleaning dentures can be a hassle – rinsing, brushing, soaking, and then brushing your gums and interior of your mouth. It can be tempting to skimp on the cleaning routine. Doing so, however, can actually make you sick.
Not cleaning your dentures properly every night comes with serious consequences. By not doing so, you put yourself at risk for one of two infections: pneumonia and MRSA, a staph infection in your lungs that is very difficult to treat. The bacteria that cause these infections don’t reside in your mouth. They come from removing your dentures and then not cleaning them thoroughly.
The bacteria then get into your lungs by one of two ways. The first way is by not leaving your dentures out at night. The second is through ill-fitting dentures. The bacteria are pulled from the dentures and into your lungs with every breath you take.
Fortunately, just because you wear dentures, that doesn’t mean that you are going to come down with pneumonia or MRSA. By taking the time to properly clean your dentures every night, you can kill the bacteria that cause these issues and keep your mouth healthy.
In order to keep your dentures clean:
- Remove them and rinse them off.
- Brush your dentures with a soft bristled brush and denture specific cleaner. Avoid using toothpaste, as it is abrasive and can lead to microscopic scratches (which are perfect for harboring bacteria). You should also use a soft brush to clean your gums, tongue, cheeks and roof of your mouth.
- Soak your dentures overnight. Don’t ever sleep with them in.
- Brush your gums again in the morning, and rinse your dentures before reinserting them.
- Visit your dentist regularly.
It is possible for your dentures to make you sick, but you can prevent illness from happening. If you do start to feel sick, make sure to see a doctor, and your dentist, right away.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call us at (631) 816-2277 today.