Applying and Using Denture Adhesives for a Perfect Fit

When dentures fit properly and are well-maintained by regularly scheduled visits to the dentist, there is usually no need for a denture adhesive. Over time, though, even well-fitting dentures will become loose. This is because the bone structure in the mouth will gradually shrink. We go over applying denture adhesive in the following article.

This shrinkage creates a need for a denture adhesive, though it is not meant as permanent solution to loose dentures. It is important to discuss these issues with your dentist, because continuing to wear ill-fitting dentures can actually increase bone loss.

A denture adhesive can bring about temporary relief, because they fill in the gaps the shrinkage has caused until your dentures have been relined, or if necessary, a new set of dentures made. There are a few different types of adhesives, including pastes, powders, and strips. There are none that are considered better than others in the way they hold the dentures in place, though some do prefer certain types of adhesives over others.

Powder Adhesives- Applying Denture Adhesive

applying denture adhesiveThe best way to apply a powder adhesive to your dentures is to first clean the dentures as you normally would. Next, wet the dentures and apply a thin layer of powder in the manner shown on the box or carton purchased. Most will have pictures as well as instructions.

Shake off any loose powder, as it will come off in your mouth if too much is used. A quarter of a teaspoon is usually the right amount of powder to use. The last step is to insert the dentures into your mouth, hold them in place briefly, and then release them.

You should only need to apply the powder adhesive once per day, and a box or carton should last for at least two months or more. If the dentures are fit too poorly to stay in place with the recommended amount of powder, do not use more in an effort to prolong their use.  Instead, check with your dentist for an adjustment, or to have new dentures made.

There are some denture wearers who prefer the powder over the cream adhesives, as they find that their dentures are easier to clean after each use, but that is only a personal preference, and does not reflect the way the dentures are held in place in the mouth.

Cream Adhesives- Applying Denture Adhesive

applying denture adhesiveThe instructions on how to use the cream adhesives are similar to those on the powder, in that the dentures must first be cleanedbefore using. You then apply the cream in either thin strips or a series of smaller dots, also as shown on the purchased package.

As with the powder, insert the dentures into your mouth, and hold them in place for a few moments before releasing them.  It is also recommended that only the amount indicated on the package be used—if too much is used, it can squeeze out from under your dentures and into your mouth. Likewise, be sure not to put the cream too close to the edges, for this same reason.

The cream has a slight advantage over the adhesive strips because you have more control over where it is placed on your dentures, but again, this is only a preference for some patients.

Adhesive Strips- Applying Denture Adhesive

applying denture adhesiveOnce again, the first step to applying the adhesive strips is cleaning your dentures, but after cleaning they must be dried thoroughly. Your hands must be dried as well before attempting to use the strips. When this is done, peel open and remove the strip from its wrapping.

Then lightly moisten each strip under the tab, and attach it to the dentures as indicated on the packaging. It is best not to overlap them—if they are too long, tear them to the proper length instead, or if you prefer, cut them with scissors before you moisten them.

When the strips are all applied, and any bubbles have been smoothed out, rinse out your mouth with water, and insert the dentures into your mouth. As with the powder and cream, you hold them in place, but then you must bite down to ensure that the strips are secure. Also, as with the two other products, do not place them to close to the edges, as they will expand, and could squeeze out of the sides.

Caution and Recommendations

It must be noted that some brands of denture adhesives contain zinc, and overuse of these products can create an excess of zinc in the body, which can lead to some severe health problems. These issues can appear slowly over time, resulting in numbness, tingling sensations, or even nerve damage, mostly in the feet and hands. Most of these symptoms have been found in those who report chronic overuse of the denture adhesives. Some even have been discovered to use two tubes a week, when most products should last about two months or more.

applying denture adhesiveThere have been no problems reported for patients who use the zinc-containing adhesives as recommended on the labels. So, if used correctly, the adhesives should have no adverse effects, but if you are concerned, consult with your dentist, and even your doctor if you have been prescribed some form of zinc supplements.

And if you’d prefer to use the products that do not contain zinc, there are many brands that are available zinc-free, and this will be stated clearly on the packaging.

As stated above, applying denture adhesive are only truly needed for those dentures that have become loose, as a temporary solution, but there are persons out there who feel the use of an adhesive can offer more of a feeling of security and confidence by providing a tighter fit, especially in new users. Adhesives also help to prevent any food pieces from slipping under the denture plate. Not all patients feel the need to use these, but if you would like the added comfort, be sure to use denture adhesives as directed, and if you have any questions or concerns regarding these products, bring them up with your dentist.

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