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At White Bear Smiles, we strongly believe in education, both for ourselves and for our patients. We've found that patients who take charge of their dental care and ask questions about their health, our practice, and dentistry in general tend to have better overall outcomes.
So go ahead! Ask us your questions! We're happy to take the time to give you the information you need to make decisions about your care.
We've collected some of our most commonly heard questions here, but if you need more information or you don't see your question, don't hesitate to give us a call. We're here to help.
Geriatric Dental Care
The good news is that more and more people are keeping their teeth as they grow older. The most important thing is to keep visiting your dentist at the interval that they recommend for your particular situation. If your health or medication situation changes, advise your dentist right away. It could have an impact on how your dental treatment proceeds.
How to Prevent Gum Disease
Dental decay remains a problem for the mature adult. Be sure to brush twice a day, especially after meals, and pay particular attention to the gum line. Flossing, of course, remains vital. As we age, dry mouth can become a problem. Talk to your dentist about ways to stimulate the flow of saliva. In addition to your fluoride toothpaste, your dentist may be able to recommend special toothpaste for sensitive areas in your mouth.
Caring for Your Dentures
If you wear dentures, be sure to clean them and your mouth thoroughly each day. Talk with your dentist about how frequently you need to have an oral check-up and to have your dentures checked.
Now, more than ever, there is hope and there are good options. Lost teeth often result in changes of the bite over time, loss of function and nutrition, leading to more decay, bone loss, and breakdown -- and of course there's the esthetic issue of missing teeth.
These adverse effects can happen slowly, so that you don't really notice them until they are quite advanced. The more we can maintain and improve our dental health now, the better we can deal with the problems of dental aging.
Modern dentistry can more simply and easily correct and improve these situations with implants that look and feel like teeth, life-like bridges, thin and flexible partials, and even better dentures! Several options usually will work, and the patient and their dentist can determine which one is most appropriate for their situation and budget.
Ask your dentist what options may be right for you, or feel free to call us for a complimentary consultation.
- Steady pressure on the denture will promote clotting and will decrease the initial flow of blood. Slight bleeding can last 2-3 days though.
- Use an ice compress on affected side for 20 on and 20 minutes off for the first 36 hours, as able.
- Limit your diet to soft nurturing foods and plenty of fluids for the first week.
- Don't take the dentures out today, but rinse your mouth with warm salt water before going to bed. (1 tsp. salt in 1 cup of water)
- Starting tomorrow, carefully remove the denture twice a day and clean with a toothbrush and a low abrasive toothpaste or denture cleaner. Rinse your mouth with warm salt water.
- Sleep with the denture in your mouth for one week unless otherwise instructed. Then you should take it out when sleeping in order to relax the gum tissues, and let them breathe.
- Due to the gum shrinkage that occurs within the first 6 months, you may go through periods of a loose fitting denture. A temporary liner will be inserted as needed. Denture adhesives can be used during the period also.
- Following the gum shrinkage period (approximately 6-12 months) a more permanent reline will be placed, or a new denture made.
- You may experience sore spots caused by the denture being too long or from uneven pressure being applied to the healing gum tissue. We will adjust the denture as these problems occur. Please call our office as soon as you notice any sore spots.
How Long Do Dentures Last?
With proper care, a set of dentures should last a long time. However, it's likely that over time dentures will need to be relined, remade or rebased, not because of problems with the apparatus, but because of the natural changes aging causes in your mouth. Bone and gum ridges can shrink or recede, making jaws line up differently. Shrinking ridges can make dentures fit less securely.
Loose dentures can lead to health problems like sores and infections. A loose denture also can make chewing difficult and uncomfortable and can change your facial features. To make a rebased denture, the dentist uses the existing denture teeth and makes a new denture base.
Caring For Your Dentures
These are some of the reasons why it's important to remain vigilant about your oral health and make regular trips to the dentist even after you begin wearing dentures. Every morning, for instance, you should brush your gums, tongue and palate with a soft-bristled brush before you put in your dentures. The brushing removes plaque and stimulates blood circulation in your gums. A balanced diet that provides proper nutrition is also important for denture wearers.
Ask your dentist for advice on making your dentures last. At White Bear Smiles, we specialize in geriatric dentistry and dentures. Contact us to schedule a dentures consultation!