Six tips for dealing with dentures: It isn’t so bad
Dentures have come a long way in recent years. They fit better, feel better, and look more natural than ever before, allowing you to eat, speak, and smile with confidence.
Yet, some folks shy away from the thought of getting dentures. This is often due to outdated or incorrect information, or worries about the cost.
If your dentist has recommended dentures, it might be worth some research to determine if dentures are right for you. Let's start by reviewing some of the more common questions people ask about Medicare, dentures, and cost.
How much do dentures cost?
The cost of dentures can vary greatly, from $600 for a basic set to more than $8,000 for a premium set.1 It's best to find out what your dentist recommends and to do some comparison shopping so you get a better idea of the costs.
Does Medicare cover dentures?
Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover dentures. In fact, it does not cover any routine dental services like exams, X-rays, or cleanings.
Is there another way to pay for dentures and dental services?
Yes, there are a number of dental insurance plans that include preventive dental care, and offer discounts on the cost of dentures and denture repairs. You can find more information about Humana dental plans here.
While dentures can be expensive, cost is not the only consideration. Some people assume that caring for dentures is a lot of work, but it's really not much different than caring for your own teeth. You can help keep your whole mouth healthy by following a few simple steps.
Helpful tips for dentures and dental care
Brush your dentures daily2
Dentures can develop tartar and bacteria, so they need to be brushed just like regular teeth. First, rinse the dentures with warm water, being careful not to bend or drop them. Then, gently clean them with a soft-bristled brush and non-abrasive denture cleanser. If you use denture adhesive, be sure to clean the grooves that fit against your gums. Always rinse the dentures well before putting them back in your mouth.
Soak your dentures daily in a denture cleanser3
After you brush your dentures each evening, soak them in denture cleanser. This will remove any food, plaque, and bacteria you may have missed while brushing. It also keeps your dentures from drying out and helps prevent bad breath. Follow the instructions on the cleanser container to see how long you should soak your dentures, and remember to rinse them thoroughly.
Remove your dentures for 4 - 8 hours a day4
Removing your dentures before bed is a good way to give your mouth a rest. It also provides time for healing if your dentures are causing any irritation or soreness. When they aren't in your mouth, put your dentures in warm but not hot water. This will help them keep their shape and prevent them from drying out.
Avoid sticky and hard foods5
Sticky foods can get stuck to dentures, or loosen your dentures as you chew, causing discomfort and discoloration. Harder foods, like some types of candy or even ice cubes, can damage your dentures. Hard candy, popcorn, or nuts can also break into small pieces and lodge between your dentures and gums, which can be painful.
Practice good oral hygiene6
Brush your gums, mouth, cheeks, and tongue with a soft-bristled brush and toothpaste before putting your dentures in each morning. This will help remove the plaque and bacteria that cause gum irritation and bad breath. Use the same routine before you go to bed each night.
Continue to visit your dentist for regular checkups7
Yes, even with dentures you still need to see your dentist! It's possible he or she may spot signs of irritation or infection before you do. And you can always ask to have your dentures professionally cleaned during your visit.
Dentures may not be for everyone, but they do provide several benefits. Not only can they help you enjoy a healthy, well-balanced diet, but they may even provide a boost to your self-esteem.
Interested in learning more about your dental insurance options? See the article Five ways for seniors on Medicare to get the right dental coverage.