Tips for Caregivers
- Wash hands before handling denture or wear disposable gloves.
- Apply a water-based lip moisturizer and remove dentures from the mouth before brushing thoroughly.
- Use a soft toothbrush with a pea-sized amount of toothpaste to brush all surfaces of any remaining natural teeth, and if possible use floss or a proxabrush to clean between the teeth.
- Brush natural teeth twice daily, especially before bedtime. Don’t forget to floss!
- Clean and massage all mouth tissues (cheeks, gums, roof and floor of the mouth) with a super soft toothbrush, gauze or an oral swab.
- Use a tongue scraper or soft toothbrush to clean the tongue from the back to the tip as many germs are harboured in the tongue.
- Clean dentures over a water-filled sink or a towel to prevent breakage in case they slip from your hands.
- Use a denture brush with denture paste to brush all surfaces including the underneath or gum side of the dentures. Rinse with warm water. Clean all surfaces of the metal wires [clasps] on partial dentures.
- Do not use household bleach or abrasive cleaners to clean dentures.
- Remove denture adhesives daily from the dentures and the mouth to prevent infections and irritations of the tissues. Use only zinc-free denture adhesive products.
- Soak dentures in a denture cleaner such as NovaDent® or commercial cleansing tablets at least once daily.
Help for dry mouth
A side effect of many prescription medications is dry mouth (xerostomia). Saliva production is affected by some diseases such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and by cancer treatment. A dry mouth increases the risk of gum disease and tooth decay, especially if tooth roots are exposed due to gum recession and bone loss.
It also makes denture retention (snug fit) more difficult.
- Avoid using a mouthwash containing alcohol.
- Biotene® products (toothpaste, rinse, gel, mouth spray, gum) sold in drugstores help to moisturize and provide relief for dry mouth.
- Sipping on water, sucking on ice chips, using sugar-free candies and gum may also help to moisturize a dry mouth.
Natural teeth need regular examination by a dentist and regular professional cleaning by a dental hygienist.
Dentures need to be examined yearly by a denturist to evaluate their condition, fit, ensure the bite is correct, and for professional cleaning. Denturists Nancy Tomkins and Cliff Muzylowsky can assess the health of the mouth, as well as provide the services necessary to ensure comfortable, well-fitting dentures. We make nursing home calls and work with many local dentists to ensure your oral health concerns are addressed.