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  • Writer's pictureDr. Pearl E. Whites

Denture Myths Debunked

Updated: Apr 26

The latest CDC study shows that 1 of 6 senior citizens have dentures! So does that mean once I reach the wonderful golden years is my path bound towards partials or dentures? Let's address this along with other myths:

Am I bound for dentures just because I retire?

Myth #1: I'm bound for dentures

No. We see plenty of patients in their 80s and 90s with a full set of teeth. Genetics plays less of a role in whether your teeth stay healthy. Really it's about how well you care for your teeth. You are capable of keeping your teeth regardless if your parents in their 20s had dentures.

 

Myth #2: Dentures last forever

dentures don't last forever and do need to be cleaned

Sort of. This is a photo of our patient's denture he's had for 15 years. We say time for new dentures even before this point. Your bone shrinks the most the first 6 months after extracting teeth and minutely every year thereafter. This means you dentures will still get loose even after months or even years of having great-fitting dentures. When they loosen Dr. Nelson will recommend a "reline" where a liner is added or we'll need to send it in to the lab for improved retention. Let's take care of that before we reach the barnacle phase like the image to the right.

 

Myth #3: Dentures look fake

Old dentures look fake. New dentures look natural

Old ones, yes. New ones, no. Our goal is to fabricate dentures that no one recognizes as being fake. No more Bugs Bunny Teeth. No more covering your mouth to hide your teeth when you smile. Our dental lab is located here in southern Oregon and we are blessed to be on a team where the lab exclusively work with elect few dental offices they feel match their caliber of work. The photos shows the before denture (made 20 years ago) and the denture we made recently.


 

Myth #4: I don't need to brush my teeth after getting dentures

Well, technically that's true. You won't have any more teeth if you have dentures. However, we still recommend mouthwash for all the bacteria that camp out especially on your tongue. Dentures still need to be cleaned but not with "toothpaste." You can use regular hand soap with a "denture brush" and regularly use Polident tablets. When coming for your periodic visits at Central Point Family Dentistry we provide a complimentary professional cleaning of your removable partials or dentures. This is normally a $150 expense so it's worth it just for that.

 

Myth #5: I sleep with my dentures in my mouth and it's never a problem

Sleeping with dentures in is like sleeping with shoes on

Many patients say they have slept with their dentures in their mouth for decades and it has never been an issue. Au contraire. Several challenges occur. Redness like a sore or a white film develops. This is the equivalent of athlete's foot in the mouth when your mouth isn't allowed to take a break. We liken dentures to shoes in the sense that when you sleep, you don't sleep with your shoes on--in part because you could get athlete's foot. Same with your mouth. Gums are supposed to be stiff and when patients wear their dentures through the night it loosens them and makes the denture harder to stay seated, which can be embarrassing during meals or giving your public speeches to the masses. Your mouth needs an 8-hour break in the 24-hour day and that is typically at night. We encourage all dentures and partials to be removed when sleeping.

sleep with dentures out of your mouth and leave them in a container full of water

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