If you have a single dental implant, you maintain it just like your other teeth: brush and floss. You might have to floss a little differently to make sure you’re getting in the right spaces, but it’s not a major change.

But if you have implant dentures, things might be a little different. Here are some of the steps you should take to make sure your implant dentures stay attractive and functional for long-term wear. Not all implant dentures are the same, so we’ve broken it down into categories. Find the sections relevant to your dentures.

senior man looking into a mirror while brushing his teeth

Implant-Retained Dentures

Implant-retained dentures are held in place by dental implants but still rest on your gums for support. You need to take these dentures out for at least some time every day. You can do the same thing with these dentures that traditional denture wearers do: soak them overnight.

There are good reasons to soak dentures overnight, but if you don’t like to do that, you do have another option. The implants can secure dentures so they won’t interfere with your breathing, nor will you swallow them accidentally. You can take your dentures out and soak them for an hour before bed, then put them back in. Don’t forget to thoroughly brush your dentures (see below) before soaking. At the same time, thoroughly clean your gums and don’t eat or drink anything other than water during this time.

There’s a twofold goal here: letting your gums rest–they’re not supposed to support your teeth–and cleaning your dentures. It’s important to clean your dentures as much as possible before sleep because at night your natural defenses against oral bacteria and fungi diminish at night. If you don’t clean them thoroughly before bed, you can increase your risk of health problems.

Removable, Implant-Supported Dentures

With removable dentures, you don’t have to take dentures out to let your gums rest. The dentures are supported by the dental implants. But you still have to make sure you are cleaning them properly.

Take these dentures out and clean them thoroughly to help avoid infection. Brush them thoroughly (see below), and make sure you get out any food residue or debris. Soak them if necessary to keep them clean.

Hybrid Dentures

Hybrid dentures can be removed, but not by you. Your dentist will remove them to clean them, if necessary, but you should also make sure to clean them thoroughly at home.

Brush dentures thoroughly (see below), and floss under the denture. Make sure you get the floss all the way around each implant and clean them thoroughly. There is special floss that can be used for this, and we can recommend other tools if this is difficult for you.

Brushing Dentures

Brushing dentures is an important part of keeping them clean. For removable dentures, take them out when brushing, especially if they are not secure in your mouth. This allows you to brush all their surfaces for thorough cleaning.

For fixed or hybrid dentures, keep them in your mouth and brush them more or less like natural teeth, making sure your toothbrush is acceptable for dentures.

Don’t use toothpaste for brushing dentures. Dentures don’t need the fluoride, which is mostly to help your tooth enamel, and abrasives in the toothpaste can scratch dentures, especially acrylic dentures. Instead, use recommended denture cleaners. Make sure the cleaner is approved for your type of denture: ceramic or acrylic dentures have very different properties and using the wrong cleaner could result in damage.

Enjoy the Benefits of Implant Dentures

With proper care, implant dentures can be very long-lasting replacements for your lost teeth. In addition, they can give you the ability to eat a full range of foods that you couldn’t enjoy with traditional dentures.

To learn more about the benefits of implant dentures, please call (803) 781-9090 today for an appointment with Columbia, SC denture dentist Dr. Adam Hahn at Smile Columbia Dentistry.