An elderly woman smiling with dentures

How to Tell if You Need Denture Adhesive

Dentures are a great fix for many but can leave some wanting a better fit or stability. If your dentures don't stay in place like you'd hope they would, denture adhesive might be a fantastic solution for your needs. There's a lot to consider when caring for your dentures and applying adhesive, so we're here to help break down what you need to know.

Dentures and Denture Adhesive Overview

If you have missing teeth, there are various options to replace or cover them. Full or partial dentures are an attractive option for many as they’re removable and can improve your bite, speech, and appearance.

Denture adhesive (also called adherent or glue) is a product that helps temporarily attach your dentures to your gums. It helps increase stability and create a seal that prevents particles from getting trapped between your gums and dentures.

Many find their dentures fit and security to be adequate without the need for denture adhesive. Saliva is all that’s required to keep dentures in place for most.

Full and partial dentures should both provide a firm, comfortable fit that increases your ability to chew. If your dentures do not fit properly or are extremely uncomfortable, it may be a sign that you need to visit a dental professional for adjustment.

Helpful tip: It’s common to experience an adjustment period to new dentures, according to the American Dental Association. You may experience a poor fit, discomfort, or increased saliva while you’re getting used to your dentures.

When Should Denture Adhesive Be Used?

According to the Cleveland Clinic, denture adhesive can help:

  • Improve your confidence with dentures by increasing their strength and hold, along with your bite and sense of comfort.
  • Alleviate problems with adhesion due to dry mouth. Older people, those on medications, and those with medical conditions are more likely to experience dry mouth.
  • Enhanced strength of adhesion for those who put a strain on their face. This could apply to singers, teachers, athletes, or anyone else who finds themselves speaking a lot.

Denture adhesive isn’t the right choice if you:

  • Do not practice proper oral hygiene.
  • Are allergic to the material, or it causes aggravation.
  • Are trying to remedy poorly-fitting or overly uncomfortable dentures.
  • Haven’t had new dentures fitted by a dental professional in a long time. Your mouth changes over time, so it’s important to update the fit of your dental appliance.
  • Find yourself using more and more adhesive to get a proper fit.

It can be challenging to answer all your questions on denture adhesive. Should you be using it after a dental procedure or tooth extraction? Are you using it properly? It’s a good idea to consult your dental professional and follow instructions on the product packaging.

Maintaining Your Dentures

The American Dental Association notes that it’s essential to practice good oral hygiene, even if you have full dentures. In addition to caring for your mouth, you should clean your dentures daily to avoid plaque buildup and avoid stains. Proper care for your dentures will increase their lifespan, though it’s normal to need professional adjustment and care over time.

How to practice good oral hygiene with dentures:

  • Gently brush your gums, tongue, and the roof of your mouth daily before placing your dentures. This helps eliminate plaque and increases healthy circulation.
  • Rinse your dentures with water to remove extraneous debris or food matter.
  • Brush your dentures thoroughly at least once a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste to keep them clean and avoid causing damage to your dentures
  • Avoid bleaching or whitening products that could weaken your dentures.
  • When your dentures are not in your mouth, store them in a container where they can be fully submerged in water to prevent damage
  • Don’t try to repair or adjust your dentures on your own
  • Schedule regular appointments with your dental professional

Types of Denture Adhesive

What kinds of denture adhesive are out there? There are pastes, powders, wafers, and strips, with pastes being the most popular. An important thing to keep in mind is that the best choice is subjective. You might place a higher value on convenience, a firm fit, or easier cleanup than others do. If you’re having trouble with one variety of adhesives, it could be a good idea to try different types to see what works best for your individual needs.

A proper adhesive will provide stability and increase the seal created by your dentures. This will allow you to have more confidence when speaking and eating while preventing food from getting trapped between your dental appliance and gums.

There are many denture adhesive choices, so it’s vital to follow your dental professional's recommendation.

Important note: We recommend that you limit or avoid the use of any adhesive that contains zinc. Overuse of these products can increase the amount of zinc in the blood and lead to medical problems.

How to Use Denture Adhesive

Your dentures should be able to stay in place for most of the day if properly applied, though some may find the need to apply more denture adhesive throughout the day. If you find that your dentures become loose frequently, speak to your dental professional for advice or a better fit.

Steps to properly apply denture adhesive:

  1. Ensure that your dentures are clean. If they are not, take time to brush or rinse them.
  2. Apply adhesive to your dentures, following the instructions on the packaging.
  3. Immediately and carefully position your dentures and hold them in place for a few seconds.

How much adhesive should you be using? It could be a sign that you’re using too much if extra adhesive overflows into your mouth after placement. 2.4 ounces of adhesive should last someone with both upper and low dentures 7-8 weeks. Be sure to follow the instructions as provided on the packaging.

Denture adhesive is a fantastic solution for many looking to increase their stability, confidence, and comfort. Keep in mind that denture adhesive should not be used as a fix-all if your dentures do not fit properly. You’re now ready to make a healthy routine to care for your dentures and use adhesive correctly.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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