If you recently received a partial upper denture, it’s important to know how to care for it properly to ensure its longevity and oral health. A partial upper denture is a removable dental appliance designed to fill the gaps in your upper teeth caused by a missing tooth or teeth. Taking care of your denture is crucial in preventing damage, maintaining oral hygiene, and preventing oral diseases. Here’s a comprehensive guide to caring for your partial upper denture.
What are the types of dentures?
Your healthcare provider will recommend the best denture type based on how many teeth are missing. Your provider may use denture types including:
- Complete: These dentures rest on the gums. They replace a complete row of teeth on the upper, lower, or both gums.
- Partial: These dentures replace one or more missing teeth. The dentures attach to existing teeth or sometimes to dental implants (titanium screws).
- Fixed partial: Also called dental bridges, fixed partial dentures permanently attach to surrounding teeth. Only a dental expert can remove a fixed partial denture or bridge.
What are partial dentures?
A removable partial denture or bridge usually consists of replacement teeth attached to a pink or gum-colored plastic base, sometimes connected by a metal framework that holds the denture in place in the mouth. Partial dentures are used when one or more natural teeth remain in the upper or lower jaw. A fixed bridge replaces one or more teeth by placing crowns on the teeth on either side of the space and attaching artificial teeth to them. This “bridge” is then cemented into place. Not only does a partial denture fill in the spaces created by missing teeth, but it also prevents other teeth from changing position. A precision partial denture is removable and has internal attachments rather than clasps that attach to the adjacent crowns. This is a more natural-looking appliance.
How do partial dentures work?
Partial dentures are usually made of an acrylic base with the unique shape and color of a person’s gum. Attached to this base are several teeth made of ceramic, acrylic, or some other material. Partial dentures are made to fit precisely with a person’s gums and teeth. This means that a dentist starts the process by taking an impression or oral scan of the patient’s teeth. They use the model of the patient’s teeth and mouth to design the prosthetic. The dentist or prosthodontist then sends the design to a dental lab, where the dentures are fabricated.
Once the prosthodontist receives the fabricated dentures, they ask their patient to come in for a fitting. During the fitting, the patient can ask the dentist to adjust the dentures to make them more comfortable. The prosthodontist will advise the patient on what to expect from wearing partial dentures. They will give the patient tips on how to care for their dentures.
Wearing Your Partial Dentures
The first thing you may wonder with new partials is, “What can I eat?” You can enjoy plenty of denture-friendly foods—and even some options to satisfy your sweet tooth. You may also feel some gum discomfort because of your partial dentures, which is normal.
Will Eating With New Dentures Be Difficult?
Eating with new dentures will take a little practice and may be uncomfortable for some wearers for a few weeks. Start with soft foods cut into small pieces to get used to the new denture. Chew slowly, using both sides of your mouth. Add other foods until you return to a normal diet as you get used to new dentures. Be cautious with hot or hard foods and sharp-edged bones or shells. And avoid foods that are extremely sticky or hard. You should also avoid chewing gum while you wear the denture. Also, don’t use toothpicks while wearing dentures.
Caring for partial dentures
Partial dentures only work well if they are kept in good condition, which is an easy thing to do. Both your partial denture and natural teeth must be kept very clean on a daily basis to reduce the chance of new dental decay forming.
A new partial denture always feels a little strange when first placed in your mouth. Several days or even a few weeks is normal for you to become accustomed to it. If you follow our guidelines for home care, you should be able to enjoy many successful years of wearing your partial.
Clean your partial upper denture regularly.
Dentures, like natural teeth, tend to accumulate bacteria and plaque. To prevent bad breath, gum disease, and bacteria buildup, you should clean your denture at least once every day. The best way to clean your denture is by using a soft-bristle brush or one specifically designed for this purpose.
Begin by gently brushing your denture inside and out, moving it in circular motions. Avoid using abrasive toothpaste, as it may cause damage to your denture. Instead, opt for a mild soap or a special denture cleaner to help remove remaining dirt and stains. To ensure complete cleanliness, rinse the denture under running water once the cleaning process is complete.
Wear your dentures properly.
Your dentist or prosthodontist will instruct you how long to wear dentures and when to remove them. During the first several days after receiving your denture, you may be asked to wear it all the time, including while you sleep. Although this may be temporarily uncomfortable, it is the quickest way to identify the areas on the denture that may need adjustment. Once adjustments are made, you should remove dentures before going to bed. This allows gum tissues to rest and allows normal stimulation and cleansing by the tongue and saliva. The denture can be put back in the mouth in the morning.
Handle your partial upper denture with care.
Dentures are fragile and can break easily, especially if they fall or experience too much pressure. Be sure to handle your denture with care and avoid dropping it. When you take it out to clean it, place it on a towel or a soft cloth so it won’t be damaged if it falls.
When you remove your denture to clean it, carefully handle the clasps and other metal fixtures. Never bend or force them, as this can cause your denture to break and damage your mouth.
Soak your partial upper denture overnight.
One of the best ways to ensure your denture remains in good shape is by soaking it overnight. After cleaning it, rinse it properly and put it in a cleaning solution or water specifically designed for soaking dentures. This will not only eliminate bad odors but also help to remove any remaining plaque or bacteria.
Once you’ve soaked your denture overnight, be sure to rinse it thoroughly in the morning before placing it back in your mouth. Never leave your denture in your mouth without soaking it overnight, as this can cause unwanted stains and odors, damaging your denture.
Store your dentures when not in use.
Taking care of your partial dentures doesn’t end with cleaning; storing them properly is important, too. Whenever you’re not wearing your partial dentures, place them in a glass of water or denture cleanser solution to keep them from drying out. Also, make sure to keep your partials out of reach of children or pets to avoid any unwanted mishaps.
Visit your dentist regularly.
Even with proper cleaning, your partial upper denture requires periodic check-ups and adjustments from your dentist. During these appointments, the dentist will evaluate the condition of your denture, identify any problems, and make the necessary adjustments to improve its fit and comfort.
Your dentist can also thoroughly clean and polish your denture to remove any tartar or stains that cannot be removed with home cleaning.
Caring for your partial upper denture is essential to maintaining oral health. By regularly cleaning your denture, handling it with care, soaking it overnight, and scheduling regular dental appointments, you can ensure that it stays in good condition for years and provides you with the confidence and comfort you deserve. There is no need to go through life with gaps in your smile. So visit our offices, and our prosthodontist will take good care of you. In no time at all, you will have your old smile back.