Dentures and Retainers Comparison
Researchers at the Eastman Dental Institute at University College London recently found that if retainers are not cleaned thoroughly and regularly, excessive germ buildup could easily occur. Those microbes could transfer to the wearer’s mouth as soon as they placed the mouthpiece. For their study, they compared oral samples from those who wear retainers and from those who do not wear a dental mouthpiece.
Everyone’s mouth contains hundreds of different bacteria, many of which are beneficial, but for this study scientists were looking for two in particular which are not normally found in a healthy mouth:
More than 50% of retainer wearers had these microbes on their tongues and inner cheeks as well as on their retainers. This doesn’t post a dire threat for healthy individuals, but it could cause more serious harm for those with weakened immune systems, like many seniors. These bacteria typically live in small communities covered with a thin layer of slime, called biofilm, and once established, they can be very difficult to remove. Those who wear dentures could face the same risk, since dentures are placed in and out of the mouth on a regular basis.
Preventing Bacteria in Dentures
Transmission of microbes can occur when a denture is frequently moved between its storage place and the mouth. Those storage containers are typically plastic and rarely washed. Proper hygiene is currently the most effective way to prevent transmission of these microbes, according to researchers. Patients and caregivers should also be made aware of the consequences of not adequately cleaning their dentures, as many seniors fail to brush or disinfect their dentures before or after each use. Here are some tips for keeping these microbes at bay:
Dentures remain in the mouth all day every day, so proper care is necessary to maintain a healthy-looking smile. If dangerous microbes are allowed into the mouth, it could rot any remaining permanent teeth or cause infections in the gum or supporting bone structure. With some careful attention to hygiene, seniors can help prevent these harmful microbes from entering their mouths.