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Dentures Require Careful Handling

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Dentures deserve careful handling and, in many ways, taking care of them is more work than caring for natural teeth.

It is like your skin – needs good care. A little compromise or laziness will show the outcome in no time. Just as there are a number of Trucs de Beaute to take care of your skin and appearances, similarly there are tips to care for your dentures as well. Following these tips can go a long way in denture maintenance.

The November issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter covers tips to care for these precisely crafted and relatively delicate items.

Prevent breaks: Dentures can break if dropped only a few inches. Cleaning should be done over a folded towel in case they are accidentally dropped.

Clean gently: Dentures should be gently scrubbed every day with a soft-bristled toothbrush using a denture cleaner, mild soap or dishwashing liquid. Aggressive scrubbing can damage or bend metal clasps or other components.

Soak overnight: Most dentures need to remain moist to keep their shape. Soaking them in water or mild denture solution is usually fine. A dentist may offer specific recommendations for soaking.

Choose products wisely: Abrasive cleaners and harsh toothpastes such as whitening pastes are abrasive enough to damage dentures. Soaking dentures in bleach can cause the pink part of the denture to whiten. Placing dentures in hot or boiling water can cause the plastic to warp.

Avoid do-it-yourself repairs: All dentures need periodic adjustment by a dentist to ensure a comfortable fit and avoid problems. Repairs should not be undertaken at home because they will likely cause damage. Repairing a cracked denture with glue from the hardware store is a particularly bad idea, as glues contain harsh chemicals not suitable for the mouth.

Brush the mouth, too: Good oral hygiene helps avoid problems such as soreness, irritation and infection. Brushing the gums, tongue, palate and any remaining teeth helps remove bacteria and stimulate blood flow to these soft tissues.

Mayo Clinic Health Letter is an eight-page monthly newsletter of reliable, accurate and practical information on today’s health and medical news. To subscribe, please call 800-333-9037 (toll-free), extension 9771, or visit Mayo Clinic Health Letter Online.

About Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic is the first and largest integrated, not-for-profit group practice in the world. Doctors from every medical specialty work together to care for patients, joined by common systems and a philosophy of “the needs of the patient come first.” More than 3,700 physicians, scientists and researchers, and 50,100 allied health staff work at Mayo Clinic, which has campuses in Rochester, Minn; Jacksonville, Fla; and Scottsdale/Phoenix, Ariz.; and community-based providers in more than 70 locations in southern Minnesota., western Wisconsin and northeast Iowa. These locations treat more than half a million people each year. To obtain the latest news releases from Mayo Clinic, go to www.mayoclinic.org/news. For information about research and education, visit www.mayo.edu. MayoClinic.com (www.mayoclinic.com) is available as a resource for your health stories.

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About The Blog Author

Teresa Duncan received a degree of Master of Science in Healthcare Management from Marymount University. With over 22 years of healthcare experience (15 in dental), she has unique insight into the world of dentistry. Her specialty is helping dentists and managers increase revenue. By focusing on accounts receivable and insurance management, she helps dentists increase the value of their practice. As a member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, she has a special interest in helping dentists identify and safeguard against employee embezzlement.

Teresa is founder and president of Odyssey Management.

She is a Fellow and Educator for the ICOI’s Association of Dental Implant Auxiliaries. Look for more articles from her regarding practice management, dental implants and oral health care news. She was named 2010’s ADIA Educator of the Year.

Teresa is a member-at-large on the board of the Academy of Dental Management Consultants.

Teresa is a Trustee for the auxiliary education-focused DALE Foundation.

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