Adjusting to new dentures can take a few weeks, but once a patient has adjusted, it is easier to eat and smile with confidence. For those who have had tooth loss corrected through dentures, it can take some time before things feel normal inside the mouth. Dentures feel and function differently than natural teeth. They…
Avoid Using a Toothpick on Your Denture
Wearing a full or partial removable denture can replace missing teeth and make chewing, speaking and smiling more comfortable for those who wear it. However, these dental implements require daily care so that they last and do not require frequent repair. There are several ways individuals who wear dentures can protect them from harm, including avoiding the use of toothpicks as a cleaning implement.
Dentures are designed to replace multiple missing teeth on the upper or lower jaw. A partial denture may close gaps for two or three lost teeth, while a full denture replaces most or all of them. Unlike implants, dentures can be removed by the user for cleaning or by a dentist when they require adjustment or repair. Many types of dentures can last for years with proper care, including
- Soaking them at night
- Using cleansing tablets to destroy stains
- Protecting them from falls and from striking hard surfaces
Picking or scratching at the surface of a denture set may also cause damage, which is why using toothpicks may not be ideal as a cleaning solution for anyone who wears a full or partial set.
How toothpicks cause damage to dentures
While toothpicks usually cannot cause much harm to real teeth unless they are damaged or decayed, any type of toothpick can damage the surface of dentures if used improperly. The area between the surface of the dentures and the acrylic gum that bonds to the mouth’s gums can become scratched or discolored, even by a softer toothpick. In some cases, this damage can become noticeable and change the appearance of the dentures, which can alter the wearer's smile. Replacement dentures can be costly, so avoiding toothpicks can be a wise choice.
Toothpicks may cause gum pain
Not only can toothpicks cause harm to the surface of most dentures but most could also cause gum pain for those who use them. During use, a toothpick could slip and poke the gums, which may cause discomfort and bleeding, especially where the dentures sit. Over time, this pain may prevent individuals from wearing their dentures comfortably, and they may need to return to a dentist for a refit or to have the damaged gums treated. Avoiding toothpicks completely can prevent this issue and promote better gum health.
Alternative denture cleaning methods
Some people who wear dentures many only use toothpicks occasionally to rid their teeth of stubborn food particles; however, even inconsistent use of these cleaning implements might cause damage to the surface of most dentures. Users might consider other gentler methods of cleaning, including rinsing dentures under warm water, using gentle overnight cleansers that also kill bacteria and brushing them with denture toothpaste daily to banish stains and denture odor. Occasional trips to the dentist can also help provide those who wear dentures with cleaning and care tips that may help their partial or full set last a lifetime.
Denture wearers who use toothpicks may be causing them untold damage and causing gum soreness or pain. Learning proper cleaning methods can safeguard dentures and prevent the need for repair or replacement in the future.
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