The Proper Way to Brush Gums
Most denture wearers were not instructucted on proper care of their gums. It is just as important to brush your gums when the natural teeth have been lost as it was when the natural teeth were present. Brusing gums is best done using an extra soft toothbrush ,even a children's toothbrush, and regular toothpaste. Brushing of intraoral tissue is analogous to a massage which provides mechanical stimulation of the tissue which strengthens the tissue. It also improves blood circulation and thus nourishes the uderlying bone structures.
Regular brushing of the gums, especially important at nighttime, significantly reduces the resorption of the gums in the long term. It also increases the firmness of the soft tissue which gives a stable base for the dentures to rest on.
Here are basic Denture Care Guidelines:
- The dentures should be taken out of the mouth for the night and kept in a container of clean tap water.
- The gums should be brushed daily with a soft toothbrush and toothpaste.
- If you have not been brusing the gums until now, start by massaging the gums with your finger or with a wet washcloth wrapped aroung the finger with a little toothpast on it. After 4-6 weeks, start brushing gently with a soft toothbrush and toothpaste.
- Dentures should be cleaned daily with a denture brush and denture cream or plain soap. Following brushing, soak dentures in "Renew" solution (1 teaspoon of powder in half a cup of water) for 10 min., then rinse thoroughly and store in water or insert into the mouth. The Renew solution can be reused for several days.
- Denture tablets like "Polydent" can also be used for soaking but note that before soaking in any cleaning solution, dentures should be brushed with brush and soap. Toothpaste does not work as well for cleaning dentures. Toothpaste should be used for brushing of your gums and natural teeth only.
- If you do wear your dentures at night, take them out for 30 min. morning or evening to let the gums rest. It is especially important to brush your gums morning and evening if dentures are worn at night.
- Please note that, over time, the gums change slowly and after several years the dentures might not fit as well as they did when they were first made. It is recommended to come for checkup to your denturist once in two years. Sometimes only small adjustment is needed while some patients might need a reline of one or both dentures. Dentures should be replaced after 5 to 8 years, depending on how much the mouth has changed and how much the teeth are worn.
If you have any questions about the correct way to brush or floss, please contact our office.