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As we age, it’s important that we take stock of our changing health care needs. With the help of private insurance, Medicare, community programs, and other resources, most of us do a fair to good job of staying on top of the majority of our major health care needs. One area that sometimes gets overlooked, though, is our changing dental health needs. Full or partial dentures, broken fillings, other dental work, and aging teeth and gums in general may require special dental care. Fragile tissues in the mouth take longer to heal as we age, so its important to care for them properly, and seek dental advice and treatment whenever a problem arises.

For everyday dental care, whether you have full or partial dentures or no dentures at all, clean the oral cavity thoroughly with flouride toothpaste and a soft bristled brush twice per day. If arthritis makes it difficult to grip the toothbrush handle, you can widen it by pushing the handle through a rubber or soft foam ball, taping tongue depressor or popsicle sticks to the handle to lengthen/thicken it, or using an electric toothbrush, which has a thicker handle to begin with. Make sure to remove your dentures before brushing if you have them!

Partial denture wearers and non denture wearers continue to floss your natural teeth at least once per day, and keep a careful eye out for any signs of gum disease, such as gums that bleed when you brush them or eat hard foods like apples.

Speaking of apples, make sure to eat a balanced diet. Good nutrition is not only good for your overall health, but it is specifically good for your oral health, and can help prevent tooth decay. An apple a day doesn’t keep the dentist away, though… see your dentist regularly for checkups… experts recommend every six months, and keep her updated on any medications you are taking.

To care for your dentures, remove them over a bowl of water or folded towel– that way, if you drop them, they don’t break. Give your mouth at least six hours of rest from the dentures each day, and see your Alpharetta dentist if they don’t fit properly (if they rub your mouth uncomfortably, click when you eat, or you notice white spots in your mouth). Store them overnight in either lukewarm water or denture cleaning liquid like Polident, but don’t put them in hot water, and don’t let them dry out. Clean the dentures daily by rinsing them to remove loose food particles and brushing them gently (but thoroughly) with either a soft bristled brush or a brush specifically for cleaning dentures.

You can use Polident, Efferdent, any other denture cleaner of your choice, or even mild dish washing liquid. Just don’t use bleach or other household cleansers. They are going back in your mouth, after all. Even with proper care, dentures take a lot of wear and tear and should be replaced approximately every five years.

For additional information about proper denture care, feel free to contact your Alpharetta Dentist today! For an appointment, please schedule online with us today or call directly to speak to one of our dental staff members.