During the holiday season, many denture wearers put their teeth to the test with plenty of eating, drinking, and socializing.
Here are some ways to avoid the most common causes of holiday-related denture chips and breaks. And if the worst happens, we’ve got some tips for how to survive until the problem can be fixed.
Watch out for “trouble” foods
Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa – there are many reasons to celebrate at the end of the year. All of these holidays involve special foods, some of which can wreak havoc on your teeth.
Chewing or gnawing on foods like hard candies, nuts, and turkey bones can create undue stress on your denture. Sticky foods like dried fruits, toffee, and caramel can stick to teeth and make it difficult to chew.
The best way to minimize the risk presented by hard and sticky foods is to avoid them. However, if you can’t or don’t want to steer clear of your favourite holiday treats:
- Eat slowly and cautiously.
- Cut food into small pieces to make sure that you have an easier time breaking them down.
- Try to chew on both sides of your denture rather than favouring one side. This will spread out the chewing forces and reduce the stress on any specific area of your denture.
Baby an older or previously broken denture
Dentures older than seven years are susceptible to breakage due to changes in both denture fit and the denture’s materials.
A loose or ill-fitting denture will lead to uneven stresses being placed on your dentures when you chew. An older denture may have worn chewing surfaces, which will cause you to bite and chew with excessive force. And the acrylic in an older denture is more susceptible to breakage, especially when placed under stress. As such, an older denture is at greater risk to the dangers presented by hard and sticky foods.
If your denture has previously broken, treat it gently to prevent excessive and damaging stress to your denture. Most breakages happen because of poor denture fit or worn teeth, as both cause unequal pressure and stress on the denture when you chew. A repair will correct the crack or break but will not correct the fundamental problem that caused the break. This means that your denture will be particularly susceptible to the risks of eating hard and sticky foods.
Keep a backup
It can be uncomfortable and embarrassing to endure or a broken denture – or go without it. To avoid this situation, consider saving your last denture as a backup. Some patients have a duplicate denture made for just such a situation.
Your previous denture may fit, function, or look different than your current denture. However, it can help tide you through personal or work situations when you need an intact denture.
If you have a backup denture, make sure to store it in a sterile liquid solution so that it does not dry out and warp.
What to do if your denture breaks
A denture can break, chip, or crack at the most inconvenient of times. If your denture breaks, here’s what to do.
- Contact your denturist as soon as possible to discuss scheduling a repair. If you call when the office is closed for the holidays, leave a message so they can follow up with you when they reopen.
- If your broken denture causes serious discomfort or no longer functions, stop wearing it until it can be repaired.
- Try wearing your backup denture (if you have one) as needed until your current denture can be repaired.
- Do not attempt to adjust or repair your denture yourself. The materials denturists work with are very specialized and should not be modified without a denturist’s guidance. You may end up causing more damage than you started with.
- Never use crazy glue or other commercially available adhesives to patch your denture as these are not meant for ingestion or internal use.
Best wishes from all of us at Vernon Denture Clinic for a happy and healthy holiday season!