Although it may vary from person to person, your dentures (false teeth) should last you between five and ten years. However, over time, you may find that your dentures need to be relined or readjusted for a better fit.
If you’re seeing your dentist regularly, they will be able to advise you on when your denture might need repairing, or whether you need new dentures. However, this will vary depending on your denture care routine and how well they’ve been maintained.
Why might my dentures need replacing?
There are a variety of reasons why you may need your dentures repairing, or new ones altogether. Natural changes in the shape of your face can be a factor in needing to replace your dentures. As we get older our gums and jaw bone start to shrink – this is known as bone resorption. This process, and general wear, can mean your dentures become loose over time and you might begin to notice they don’t feel as secure as they once did. The ability to repair dentures depends on their condition and your dentist will speak to you about your options to maintain a natural fit; whether relining, rebasing or you might find it needs replacing.
You might want to consider having a chat with your dentist if you notice any of the following:
- Your dentures are making a clicking sound when you are talking
- Your dentures don’t feel as comfortable as they used to
- Your gums are irritated
- Your dentures appear to be visibly worn.
The upkeep of your dentures
There are several things you can do to maintain your dentures and take good care of your whole mouth while you’re at it:
- Clean your dentures every day. This may sound obvious, but just like your natural teeth, it's important that your dentures are cleaned every day to remove plaque and trapped food to ensure a fresh-feeling mouth. A combination of soaking, brushing and rinsing is often the best way to clean dentures.
- Remove your dentures before bed. Your dentures are used continuously throughout the day and dentists recommend removing your dentures at night so that your mouth is given a chance to rest. Whenever you take your dentures out, you can be confident they will keep their shape by leaving them fully immersed in water so they don’t warp or crack.
- Take care when handling your dentures. To prevent breakage, you might want to consider cleaning your dentures over a soft hand towel or over a basin of water – just in case you drop them.
If you’ve noticed your dentures aren’t as comfortable as they once were or they’re becoming loose, your dentist will be happy to advise you on the next steps. Properly maintained and securely fitting dentures will give your dentures a long life, allowing you to live yours.
Adapted from https://www.mydenturecare.com/en-au/expert-advice/living-with-dentures/looking-after-your-dentures/ , accessed July 2020