Full dentures fit over the gums via a flesh-colored acrylic base. Upper dentures cover the palate (the roof of the mouth) while lower dentures are horseshoe-shaped to allow room for the tongue. Even though dentures and partials are prosthetic dental devices, they still require proper maintenance. This ensures not only the health of the gums and overall health of the mouth, but that the dentures stay in good shape to last a long time.

It’s necessary to take out the dentures every night. This gives the gums a rest from wearing the dentures all day. When handling them, it’s recommended to hold dentures over a folded towel or basin of water – they are delicate and can break if dropped. Dentures should be brushed to remove food deposits and plaque. This will help keep them from getting stained and developing an odor. After being cleaned, dentures should be kept in a denture cleanser soaking solution or plain water. This will prevent them from drying out when not in use. Never use hot water, which could cause them to warp.

The gums, tongue, and palate should also be cared for when the dentures are removed. Brush them every morning with a soft-bristled toothbrush before inserting the dentures. This stimulates circulation in those tissues and helps remove plaque where bacteria live.

If the dentures develop a break, chip, or crack, or become loose, make a dental appointment as soon as possible. Do not attempt to make adjustments to them at home as this could cause them to be damaged beyond repair.