Dentures are not the longest-lasting tooth replacement option. However, they don’t have to wear out too fast. The longer your dentures last, the fewer times you’ll need replacement dentures and need to make visits to the dentist.
Keeping your dentures in good shape makes it more likely they will last the expected 8-10 years or maybe even longer.
Here’s how you can help your dentures last as long as possible.
Invest in Quality Dentures
How long your dentures last depends on their initial quality. Cheap dentures are designed to be disposable. If they don’t wear down, they will break or they will get so stained and absorb so many odors that you want to replace them. Poor fitting dentures are especially likely to break or wear down quickly.
Take care of your dentures as you should. Use recommended care products. Using home-made cleaners or cleaning products intended for other uses can damage your dentures.
Don’t let dentures dry out–this can make them warp, which will make them more likely to break.
Wear Them Most of the Time
It’s a good idea to wear your dentures most of the time. All the time you have your dentures out increases the risk that they will be dropped, dry out, get lost, or even be stolen by a bird or your dog!
Ideally, you should have dentures you can eat with, but if not, take them out when you eat and put them right back in.
Take Dentures Out at Night
The only time you should really take your dentures out is when you sleep. This is a good idea because it gives you an opportunity to soak your dentures, getting them cleaner and removing stains and bacteria.
It also protects your dentures from nighttime clenching and grinding, which can be much more forceful than your regular biting and chewing. If you have breathing problems or experience TMJ related to sleeping without dentures, you can either get a custom mouthguard or a special set of nighttime dentures.
See Your Dentist for Relines
Because dentures don’t stimulate your jawbone the way natural teeth do, your body will continue to remove bone from your jaw, which changes the fit of your dentures.
To account for this, your denture might need relining. This adds material to the denture to make up for the lost bone.
If you don’t do this regularly, your dentures lose their fit and are more likely to wear out and break.
Never Try to Repair Dentures at Home
Minor denture problems like changing denture fit can tempt you to try to repair dentures at home. However, a faulty attempt at denture repair can cause more damage than it fixes. It can make it impossible to repair your dentures after all. This includes relining your dentures at home.
If your dentures break, take them to your dentist for repair.