Top Denture Repair Tips: A Complete Guide That You Need to Read
A good set of dentures should last you for at least 3 years and if you take good care of them, you can extend that to between 5 and 7 years. But even if you clean those dentures and do your best to properly maintain them, there will still come a time when your dentures need to be repaired, realigned, or even replaced. It’s unfortunate, and there isn’t always a way around this, but if you keep the following denture repair tips in mind, you’ll be prepared to deal with these issues when they arise.
Why Would Dentures Need to Be Repaired?
There are many reasons why your dentures might need to be repaired. The most common reasons for repair include:
- Chips and Cracks: We probably don’t need to tell you this, but denture teeth are not as strong as the real deal. They crack and chip more frequently and under less pressure. If your real teeth can chip when you bite down on an ice cube or a corn kernel, imagine how much damage it will do to fake teeth.
- Warping: Anytime that your fake teeth are left to dry out on the nightstand or placed too close to a heat source, it could warp the metals or the acrylics. Many minor repairs can be fixed, but if you warp the fixtures, they might be beyond hope.
- Staining: Smoking and consuming dark foods and drinks might stain your teeth and leave you in need of a good cleaning. If those stains become ingrained over months and even years of smoking, the staining that occurs on the teeth and fixtures could be too deep.
- Complete Destruction: If you drop your teeth onto a solid surface or accidentally stand on them, you may shatter them beyond repair. At this point, you just need to salvage what you can, contact your dentist, and see what they can do to help you.
Denture Repair Tips
The biggest tip that we can give your concerning denture repair is to contact your dentist. We’ve said it already, but it’s worth reiterating—any repairs that you make from home could destroy your dentures. But don’t worry, as we’re not going to end it there and we actually have some essential denture repair tips for you:
Don’t Use Superglue
Don’t reach for the superglue as soon as your dentures break. Your dentist won’t be very happy with you if they discover that you have stuck everything together using superglue. Not only was it not designed for that purpose but it doesn’t give them many options when you hand over the dentures.
Superglue isn’t easy to remove, and they will need to do that if they want to properly repair your dentures. A little glue might keep your dentures together now, but you can pretty much say goodbye to them over the long term. Even if your home-repair job stays intact for several weeks or months, the glue could seriously irritate your gums and cause inflammation.
How Much Does Realignment Cost?
Realignment will be required at some point if you are a long-time denture wearer. It’s common, it’s to be expected, and it’s usually not that expensive. Many dentists offer free realignments for a fixed period but it’s generally not too expensive once this period ends.
The exact cost of denture realignment will depend on a number of factors, including the extent of realignment required, the type of dentures that you wear, and where you’re getting the dentures realigned.
Don’t Throw Them Away
Don’t throw your dentures away just because they have become a little damaged. In fact, even if that damage is substantial, you should keep them just to see what your dentist can do. Maybe they can fix them and bring them back from the dead. Maybe you can fix them yourself and keep them as an emergency pair. You never know how useful they will be, and so you shouldn’t throw them away.
Buy a Denture Repair Kit
Denture repair kits are inexpensive kits that will help you to fix your dentures in a pinch. You can buy them from Amazon, Walgreens, CVS, and a few other locations. To avoid needing to rush to the store to buy a kit in an emergency, it’s worth buying one in advance and keeping it on standby for those emergency moments. Some of the best kits out there include:
- D.O.C Repair-It Advanced Formula: A kit that will cover you for 3 repairs and is available for less than $20 through several major locations. It can fix breaks and cracks and replace loose teeth. It also doesn’t have any strict storage instructions and can be stored in a cupboard until you need it. The D.O.C kit is one of the most popular repair kits on Amazon right now.
- Instant Smile Multi-Purpose Denture Repair Kits: This kit is a little more expensive than the option above, but it’s also more versatile and can help with realignments, as well. It is also available from Amazon.
- Dentemp Repair-It: A very low-cost denture repair kit that you can buy from Walgreens for less than $8. It can be used on all dentures, with the exception of Valplast Dentures.
What Should You Do If Your Dentures Break?
If your dentures chip, crack, warp, or shatter completely, you need to contact your dentist. Don’t be too quick to reach for the glue and Scotch Tape, as you might do more harm than good. In fact, a rushed repair could do further damage to the dentures and prevent your dentist from working their magic.
If the dentures are shattered seemingly beyond repair, then it’s entirely up to you, as there’s a good chance that your dentist can’t help you. Still, it’s worth contacting them just to see what they say.
How Often Should I Replace my Dentures?
Experts recommend that you change your dentures every 5 to 7 years on average. As you would expect, not everyone follows that advice.
We all know that we should change our mattress every 6 to 8 years, for instance, and yet many of us are still using mattresses we’ve had for a couple of decades.
There are sweat stains everywhere, it has been flipped hundreds of times, and some of the springs are poking through, but it still works, it still does its job, and so we hold onto it.
With dentures, you need to be a little more ruthless.
When you don’t have the funds to purchase a new set of dentures and you just want to get some extra months out of them, it’s perfectly acceptable to keep them a little longer. But there are several benefits to changing your dentures at this point, even if they seem relatively stable:
Dentures don’t really change shape, at least not substantially, but the same can’t be said for your mouth. Your gums recede, your bone is reabsorbed, and the dentures begin to look a little loose.
You might not notice this as you get used to them being a little looser than they should be. You start using a little denture adhesive, then a little more, and before you know it, several years have passed and you feel like you need half a tube just to hold them in for the day.
At this point, your dentures can still be realigned, but it’s often better to scrap them and get a new pair. And if they are damaged, that might be your only option.
Bacteria builds up on your dentures over time. If you use XODENT every night, you can remove a lot of that bacteria, but over the course of many years, as your dentures degrade and you suffer from some oral health problems, the bacteria may work its way into the mechanisms and stay there. When you replace your dentures in your mouth, you’re reintroducing that bacteria.
It goes back to the mattress example. Mattress companies don’t say that you need to change it every 6 to 8 years because they want more of your money. They say it because mattresses are warm, moist, and remain in close contact with our bodies. As a result, they become a literal hotbed for bacteria and that builds up over time.
Whether you smoke or drink wine, coffee, or tea, your dentures will gradually accumulate stains. It’s the same issue that you get with real teeth, only those stains can occur on the base as well as the teeth.
As with the gradual change in shape, you may not notice the slowly accumulating stains. It doesn’t happen from one day to the next and so you don’t realize just how discolored your dentures have become until you get fitted for a new set.
A lot of things can happen in 5 to 7 years. The dental sector is moving at a terrific pace and that half-decade is enough to witness significant changes in the materials, processes, and more. The dentures that you are given today will not be the same ones that you could get in 7 years. The differences might not be huge, but they should result in a set of false teeth that look better, feel better, and are potentially more budget-friendly.
Think of it in the context of phones and laptops. A $1,000 budget 7 years ago would have gotten you a device/machine that looks pretty subpar in comparison to the products being released today. Of course, the dental industry doesn’t move as quickly as the electronics sector, but there are still some big changes and it’ll be exciting to see how far your money goes today.
How to Keep Your Dentures for Longer
If you want to avoid any issues with your dentures, negating the need for those denture repair tips, just following these steps and those dentures will stay fresh, clean, and intact for many years to come.
- Clean Your Dentures Every Night: Before you go to bed, remove your dentures and place them in an XODENT bath, along with an XODENT tablet. Your dentures need to soak overnight. Not only will this ensure that your dentures are not in your mouth all day, where they can accumulate bacteria and create problems, but they’re also spending some time soaking and removing the bacteria and food particles from the day.
- Rinse After Eating: When you eat, food particles can lodge in your dentures, becoming trapped in the fixtures and the fake teeth. If you leave them there all night, you will give them time to fester, allowing the bacteria to do its thing and potentially weakening the dentures. Instead, remove them after eating, rinse them under the faucet, and rinse your mouth with water. It will help to keep everything fresh and clean.
- Use Mouthwash Sparingly: Do not soak your dentures in mouthwash. Prolonged exposure to alcohol could warp the materials, and there may be other chemicals that can cause harm, too. Mouthwash wasn’t designed for this purpose and you should only use specialized denture cleaning tablets, like those available here at XODENT. But don’t dismiss the mouthwash just yet, as you can still use it to rinse out your mouth and leave it nice and fresh before you replace your dentures.
- Use the Right Tools: You should never use a hard-bristled toothbrush when cleaning your dentures. You should also refrain from using toothpaste and whitening products, as you could damage them. We include everything you need to clean your dentures within our XODENT kits, including a soft-bristled brush that was designed to gently clean your dentures.
- Prepare a Travel Kit: Every XODENT kit comes with two wash basins, brushes, and strainer baskets. You can give one to your partner and keep the other for yourself, or you can use it as a travel kit! A travel kit is essential for all denture wearers as they can just grab it whenever they leave for vacation or go and see a friend. It means you will never be caught short and can always keep your dentures clean, even if you’re miles from home.
- Don’t Leave Your Dentures to Dry Out: If you have forgotten your denture cleaning kit and you’re spending the night away from home, it’s important not to leave your dentures on the nightstand where they will dry out and warp. Place them in a glass of water or a mild solution of mouthwash to keep them moist and give them a quick clean. Whatever you do, though, don’t use toothpaste or a standard hard-bristled toothbrush, and don’t leave them unprotected at the side of the bed!
- Watch What You Eat: Some foods will harm your dentures, potentially cracking the membrane that supports them and chipping the fake teeth. They can still be fixed at this point, but it’s best to avoid those issues in the first place. Some of the worst foods that you can eat include nuts and seeds, which can crack and chip, as well as tough meat, which can dislodge them. It should go without saying that you need to stop your bad habits as well, including nail-biting, opening bottles with your teeth, and chewing ice cubes.
It sounds like a lot of steps, but it’s actually really simple and you’ll spend less time caring for your dentures than you did your real teeth! The process of removing and rinsing your dentures and your mouth won’t take much longer than digging through your teeth with a toothpick; the process of cleaning them on a nighttime and gently brushing them in the morning should take half the time that it takes to brush and floss.
One of the biggest mistakes that denture wearers make is that they assume their absence of real teeth means they don’t need to care for their oral health anymore. But while it certainly gets easier and takes less time, you still need to spend some time caring for your oral health and your dentures. It is not a cop-out!
Summary: Denture Repair Tips
As noted multiple times already, it’s important to contact your dentist as soon as you have any issues with your dentures. It doesn’t matter how minor it seems or how desperate you are, your first port of call should always be your dentist. They will tell you what your next steps should be and how long the repair process will take.
You can also ask them what you should do in the meantime and whether or not there are any fixes that you can employ. Of course, they might recommend that you avoid doing anything, keep the dentures protected, and just wait until you see them—but that’s what they all say! As long as you are very careful with the repairs and you follow the instructions on the kit, you shouldn’t have an issue.
Don’t take our word for it, though. We’re not your dentist. We don’t know what your dentures are made from and what the issue is, and so you have to use your best judgment here, as well as taking the advice of your dentist.