Community Blog

How Often Should Someone With Dentures Visit the Dentist?

By Vicki and Brian Day

Family caregivers like you always have the opportunity to learn more each day and to try something new in caring for your aging loved one, like cleaning and maintaining their dentures. Dentures also require special care by professionals to keep them in good repair, free from damage and fitting well. Failure to care for dentures properly can yield consequences that are very dangerous for your aging loved one. That’s why regular visits to the dentist are a must when caring for aging loved ones with dentures.

Caring for Dentures at Home

Under the guidance of your loved one’s dentist, you can take care of the day-to-day cleaning at home. Every night, you’ll need to clean their dentures with a soft toothbrush and a mild liquid soap, like dish soap. Be sure to scrub every part of the dentures because bacteria, plaque and food particles can all stick to them, just like natural teeth. Denture adhesive can also stick to the dentures, so take care to get that off as well. When you rinse the dentures, make sure to avoid hot water as that can damage the dentures.

Dentures need to be stored in liquid when not in use, usually in a special container designed especially for them. The container is then filled with water or a special denture solution. Never let the dentures dry out because that can change their shape or cause them to warp. If you aren’t around to care for your loved ones, make sure the home care assistants are familiar with this nightly ritual as well. Dentures can be costly and time consuming to fix or replace, so it pays to take care of them.

Visiting the Dentist With Dentures

Dentists should see patients with dentures at least every six months, but sometimes they want more frequent visits. At the dentist’s office they will check out the fit of the dentures and whether or not they need adjusting. The shape of your aging loved one’s mouth can change due to weight loss or gain, gum disease and more. The dentist can professionally clean the dentures in the office as well for outstanding results.

The dentist will spend time looking at the soft tissues and any remaining natural teeth with your aging loved one. They will check for mouth sores or ulcers, inflammation, irritation and even signs of oral cancer. Just because an elderly person doesn’t have any natural teeth doesn’t mean they can’t benefit from frequent dentist visits. The dentist can also repair or adjust dentures that don’t seem to fit quite right or that may have been damaged when dropped or accidentally bent.

With regular dental visits every six months or more, your elderly loved one will be able to chew, speak and smile with confidence. Don’t allow your loved one to skip dental appointments. If transportation is a problem, call on other family members, home care assistants or hired transportation services. If there are every any questions or problems with their dentures, it’s a good idea to set up an appointment. Their dentist should be happy to address any concerns with denture care and oral hygiene for seniors.