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Taking Care Of A Partial Denture

Handling a partial denture requires care.

When cleaning your denture, it's a good idea to stand over a folded towel or a sink of water just in case you accidentally drop the denture. Brush the denture each day to remove food deposits and plaque. Brushing helps prevent the appliance from becoming permanently stained.

It's best to use a brush that is designed for cleaning dentures. A denture brush has bristles that are arranged to fit the shape of the denture. A regular, soft-bristled toothbrush is also acceptable. Avoid using a brush with hard bristles, which can damage the denture.

Some people use hand soap or mild dishwashing liquid to clean their dentures, which are both acceptable. Other types of household cleaners and many toothpastes are too abrasive and should not be used for cleaning dentures.

Clean your denture by thoroughly rinsing off loose food particles. Moisten the brush and apply the denture cleaner. Brush all denture surfaces gently to avoid damaging the plastic or bending the attachments.

A denture could lose its proper shape if it is not kept moist. At night, the denture should be placed in soaking solution or water. However, if the appliance has metal attachments, they could be tarnished if placed in soaking solution. Your dentist can recommend the proper method for keeping your denture in good shape.

You can do serious harm to your denture and to your health by trying to adjust or repair the denture. A denture that is not made to fit precisely by a dentist can cause irritation and sores. Using a do-it-yourself kit can damage the appliance beyond repair. Glues sold over-the-counter often contain harmful chemicals and should not be used on a denture.

If your denture no longer fits properly, if it breaks, cracks or chips, or if one of the teeth becomes loose, see your dentist immediately. In many cases, dentists can make necessary adjustments or repairs, often on the same day. Complicated repairs may require that the denture be sent to a special dental laboratory.

©2010 American Dental Association. All rights reserved. Reproduction or republication is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission from the American Dental Association.

9/2/2008

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