Third teeth – care and handling for a healthy set of teeth into old age

People are getting older – but this does not always apply to their teeth. Then the so-called “third teeth” are in demand. It doesn’t matter whether it’s removable dentures or fixed dentures: Dealing with “the third party” is initially unfamiliar and takes some getting used to. We give you tips on how to handle and care for your third teeth properly.

New dentures: Initially a phase of getting used to it

It will take a few days to fully adjust to the new teeth. It can be difficult at first to speak some sounds. The quickest way to get over these hurdles is with a bit of  language training,  undisturbed in front of the mirror.

Also, the jaw will need time to practice eating and chewing with the third parties. It is best not to use the incisors first. The easiest way to change is to eat  soft food in small bites  for the first few days.

Proper care for third teeth

Regardless of whether it is a removable prosthesis or a fixed denture: oral hygiene is just as important with the third teeth as the care of the real teeth, because a bacterial coating can also form on the artificial teeth.

Plaque  causes  inflammation  of the gums and jawbones, which can damage valuable implants. In order to avoid costly repairs, here are some helpful tips that will hopefully make your third teeth last for a long time.

Proper care of removable dentures

The following tips will help you properly care for removable dentures:

  1. It is important to clean dentures after every meal. Here it is usually enough to take the teeth out of the mouth and rinse them under clear water. 
  2.  The main care is already done  once a day with a special  prosthesis brush.
  3. It is advisable to also use a  denture  cleaner, which uses special cleaning substances to ensure that plaque and calcareous tartar that have already formed can be removed again. 
  4. Dental floss and  oral irrigators  can also be used as usual to give the spaces between the teeth the necessary care and cleanliness and are also highly recommended for third teeth. 
  5. When wearing full dentures, the gums should also be massaged regularly, preferably daily, as the dentures cover the oral mucosa on the jaw and palate and thus prevent natural cleaning by  saliva  and  tongue  .
  6. The cleaning of the removable dentures is ideally done over a sink filled with water – this way the dentures do not break so easily if they fall off.
  7. If you take out your dentures for a long time, it is best to keep the dentures in water.

Care tips for fixed dentures

In the case of fixed dentures, such as crowns, partial crowns, implants or bridges, you should observe the following tips for proper care:

  1. Clean your teeth or dentures twice a day with a toothbrush.
  2. Interdental brushes (interdental brushes), dental floss and possibly additional oral irrigators should be used once a day to clean the interdental spaces. Special dental floss for cleaning implants is commercially available. Interdental brushes should be metal-free to avoid scratching the surface of the implants.
  3. It is best to use a fluoride toothpaste without abrasive particles.
  4. Do not neglect regular check-ups and ideally go to the dentist twice a year for a check-up.

When dental care is difficult

Older people in particular often find it difficult to recognize plaque on third teeth and to clean dentures properly due to declining eyesight and decreasing manual dexterity. Then the help of nursing staff or relatives may be necessary to ensure daily  dental care  .

In some cases – especially in the case of limitations due to a physical disability – a toothbrush with an individually designed handle can also make dental care easier.

The third ones are no longer sitting properly – what now?

With removable dentures, it is quite normal for the prosthesis to lose its hold over time. Because the chewing pressure is first transferred to the oral mucosa and only then to the jawbone – instead of as with natural teeth, which absorb the pressure themselves and pass it on to the bone in a reduced form. The jawbone breaks down due to the heavy load.

A regular visit to the dentist at intervals of six to nine months therefore has the highest priority in order to ensure that the dentures fit perfectly and thus   avoid unpleasant pressure points .

Pressure points with removable dentures

Pressure points can be prevented with special adhesives. They form a soft, elastic cushion under the dentures and offer better support. Especially in the early days,  adhesives help  to familiarize the jaw with the still unfamiliar foreign body in the mouth. With a well-fitting prosthesis, the natural film of saliva between the artificial tooth and the oral mucosa usually assumes the task of the adhesive.

If pressure points and thus  pain have already  formed, they can be treated with mouthwash and ointments from the pharmacy. Herbal remedies such as  thyme , sage or chamomile can also help to counteract the symptoms. If problems persist, it is always advisable to see a dentist

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