Lifespan of Dentures
Dentures are an expensive investment and certainly not one to be made unnecessarily frequently. It’s a common question for denture wearers to want to know how frequently they should expect to have to replace them. While this will vary for every person, on average dentures should last 5-10 years. However, there are some great options to extend the life of your dentures.
First choose a quality material for your dentures. The strength of the material the dentures are made from will directly affect the longevity of them. In addition, the ability to make minor repairs to the dentures to extend their life can also be affected by the type of material selected. The type of denture you select should be something discussed between you and your dentist to get the most appropriate option.
Second consider repairing or rebasing the dentures, if necessary, rather than replacing. Certain spots on the dentures will wear faster than others, which can be a great opportunity to repair rather than replace as there isn’t anything structurally wrong with the dentures. Over time the structure of the jawbone will change and may cause the denture to not fit properly. This is another scenario where repair rather than replace is a viable option. By completing what’s referred to as a “reline” the plastic part of the denture that rests against the gum tissue can be replaced with one that better fits the new shape of the jawbone and the remainder of the dentures can be reused.
Because of the changes in your mouth that take place over time, it’s recommended to have your dentist reevaluate your dentures annually. This will ensure they last as long as possible and are as comfortable and functional as they should be. There are also many bedside adjustments that can be made to your dentures during this visit to improve longevity and comfort.
The best way to get the maximum lifespan from your dentures is to remove and brush them carefully daily with toothpaste specifically created for dentures. In addition, soak the dentures in the proper cleaning solution or water while removed. Do not wear dentures at night and be sure to contact your dentist immediately if the dentures become too tight, lose or irritating to your mouth. Dentures are a significant investment, but with proper care they can last for many years.
How to Choose a Toothpaste
Nearly everyone brushes their teeth several times a day, 365 days a year, but does the toothpaste that you select matter? It can be confusing to stand in the toothpaste aisle and look at the dozens and dozens of choices and try to determine which one is best for you. Every label is selling a different aspect of their product – tooth whitening, fresh breath, gingivitis prevention, low price – how do you choose? There are a few facts to keep in mind when making a selection.
- Fluoride – this naturally occurring mineral has been proven to be effective in reducing cavities. Nearly all toothpaste brands use fluoride but there are a few alternative brands that don’t, so you’ll want to confirm.
- Check the Label – most of the ingredients between brands are pretty similar but it’s a good idea to check in case you have a sensitivity to a particular ingredient. It’s also important to buy toothpaste that is age appropriate for children. Read the label to find toothpaste that is infant safe, young child safe, and older kid appropriate.
- Baking Soda is best – the safest option for sensitive teeth is a baking soda based toothpaste. It’s gentle, yet effective in reducing stains and odors, and will leave you with the same clean feeling you’re used to after you brush your teeth.
- ADA Approval – you should only purchase toothpaste with the ADA seal on it. This seal indicates that the manufacturer has gone through the stringent, but voluntary, process of getting acceptance from the American Dental Association.
- Whitening Toothpaste – while it may seem like just advertising hype, the toothpastes with an ADA seal that claim to whiten generally do. They have abrasive ingredients which are effective at removing stains and polishing teeth. General over-the-counter whitening toothpastes may not be suitable for people with sensitive teeth though. If that’s your situation ask your dentist for a prescription toothpaste that can help.
- Tartar Control – tartar is created when plaque builds up on the teeth and hardens. Many people have plaque issues that go beyond what can be handled with regular toothpaste, brushing and scheduled dental visits. In this situation selecting a tartar control toothpaste can be a wise decision. It will contain chemicals, such as zinc citrate and pyrophosphates, which have been proven to prevent further build-up of tartar.
While there are definitely a large number of toothpaste options on the market, using a few tips can help you narrow it down to those that are best for you. From there it may make sense to try one, and if you don’t care for it simply try another. In general, toothpaste selection will vary depending on the needs of each consumer. Your dentist is always available to make a recommendation as well.
They’re Baby Teeth, They’ll Fall out Anyways
Many parents wonder if there’s really any benefit to fighting with a screaming toddler to get them to let you brush their teeth. The truth is those teeth are going to fall out either way at some point, so you really have to wonder if it’s worth the battle. However, proper oral care for baby teeth is extremely important for several reasons.
First, baby teeth have an important job to do, they hold space in the jaw for the permanent teeth which are growing underneath. If a baby tooth comes out too early due to lack of dental care, the permanent tooth can drift into the empty space and make it more difficult for the other adult teeth to find enough space to come in. This can result in over-crowded or crooked teeth.
Secondly, it builds an important habit for your child. It’ll never be easier than when your child is small to establish the routines of good oral care. Encourage your child to brush at least twice a day, floss when they get older, and use mouthwash. All of these are likely to become habits that will then stay with them for the rest of their lives.
The dentist can be an asset to you by showing you the best techniques for getting a grumpy toddler’s teeth brushed, teaching you how best for an older child to floss, suggesting techniques and timelines for getting rid of pacifiers and thumb sucking and much more. Your child should see the dentist when their first tooth appears or at their first birth day. Regular visits should continue twice a year until your child reaches adulthood.
You’ll also want to contact your local water supplier and determine how much fluoride is in your water. Bring that information with you to your child’s dentist appointment so they can ensure the child is getting enough fluoride. If necessary the dentist can prescribe fluoride supplements to fill in the gap. Finally, waiting too long to take your child for their first dental visit can result in a fear of the dentist for that child. If a child has gone regularly since early on in life they’re likely to be completely comfortable going as a teenager and later as an adult.
There really is no age that’s too early to start properly caring for your oral health. You need your baby teeth to be healthy and strong to set the stage for a lifetime of good dental prognosis. Not to mention if you don’t have healthy baby teeth the tooth fairy might not want them!
Tooth-Friendly BBQ Recipe
The All-American Burger can actually be a great choice for your teeth. Both beef and cheese are rich in calcium, which is essential for healthy teeth. Cheese also helps to neutralize plaque acid and to increase saliva production which reduces tooth decay. Beef also contains phosphorus, which helps your teeth to repair themselves.
Try this low-fat recipe:
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 tsp mustard
- 1 and 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Combine the ingredients in a bowl with salt and pepper for seasoning. Separate into four equally sized patties, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Grill and dress-up to your liking!