Talk to Your Dentist about Denture Adhesives and Denture Care
Denture Adhesives: A Guide for Patients
Randy F. Huffines, D.D.S. Ó 2008
What are denture adhesives?
They are powders, creams, and liquids that can stick to both dentures and gums and increase denture retention.
If my new denture has been made correctly, why might I need an adhesive?
It can improve retention and chewing. It also helps with conditions such as dry mouth. If you have had a stroke or have suffered bone loss beneath the gums, a denture adhesive will certainly help.
Which denture adhesive should I use?
Avoid pads and cushions because they can alter denture bite. Powders do not last as long as creams, but they are easier to clean off your gums and dentures. Follow your dentists advice on which is best for you.
How should the denture adhesive be applied?
Powders: The mouth and denture should both be cleansed and kept wet. Tap a thin layer of powder over the entire tissue side of the denture. Gently shake off the excess. Insert the denture and press in place for 5 seconds. Close your teeth together, swallow, and clench your teeth together tightly for 10 seconds. If you have a dry mouth, it may help to first coat your mouth with saliva substitute or water before placing the denture on your gums.
Creams: Clean your mouth and denture well. Dry the denture. For the upper denture apply 5 pea-sized dabs of adhesive equally spaced to the side of the denture that contacts your gums. For the lower denture apply 3 pea-sized dabs. If you have a dry mouth, immerse the denture in cool water for 30 seconds to let the adhesive soak up moisture. Insert the dentures and press in place for 5 seconds with your fingers. Close your teeth together, swallow, and clench your teeth together tightly for 10 seconds. If you have used the right amount, only a little should ooze out from under the denture borders. Over time you will find out just how much cream you need.
How should I clean out the adhesive?
You can brush out powder denture adhesives from your dentures with warm water. You can also brush powders away from the gums. Creams are harder to remove. You have to scrub under the denture with very warm water like a denture brush. If it is hard to remove the adhesive, soak it overnight and then brush it. You can also scrub the denture with an electric toothbrush while the denture is immersed in a sink of warm water. Remove the cream from your gums by holding hot water in your mouth to soften the adhesive and scrub with a moistened washcloth that is wrapped around a finger.
Why are regular checkups still important?
If you no longer have natural teeth, you may assume that you do not need to see your dentist. This is a dangerous misconception. Dentists work on more than teeth. The supporting tissues beneath your dentures, for one, will continue to change throughout your life. As your gums shrink, your dentures and gums will become mismatched. Many people do not notice this is happening until the mismatch becomes so severe that it requires surgery to rectify. The dentist can find these problems early on and deal with them. Your dentist can also check for oral cancer, which threatens 50 percent of people with dentures.