Arthritis and Dentures: Five Tips for Navigating This Challenge

Posted on: 22 August 2016


Arthritis can affect multiple aspects of your life, including how you take care of your dentures. Unfortunately, for someone with arthritic hands, the dexterity needed to take care of dentures may be missing. However, to safeguard your dental health, you need to find some solutions and workarounds. Here are some ideas to help:

1. Find or make a large grip toothbrush.

So that you can brush your dentures, you need a toothbrush, but frustratingly, the little handles of most toothbrushes can be hard to grip if you have arthritis. Luckily, there are special toothbrushes that can help.

There are brushes made for people with arthritis that have large, easy-to-grip handles. In lieu of buying a new brush, have someone cut a deep slice into a tennis ball for you. Then, slip in your toothbrush and you have an easy-to-grip one.

2. Use a thick towel whilst cleaning your dentures.

Unfortunately, you may drop your dentures whilst cleaning them. So that they don't get damaged by banging into the sink, place a towel in the sink. Alternatively, place the towel on your countertop, set the dentures on that, brush one side, flip and brush the other side. Then, rinse them in a large plastic bowl full of water.

3. Soak dentures in a large bowl.

Typically, people use relatively small containers to soak their dentures in overnight. However, if you have limited dexterity, it can be hard to lift your dentures out of such a small container. Instead, soak your dentures in a large bowl that is easy to get your hands into.

4. Stock mouthwash and other oral care substitutes.

Ideally, you should always clean your dentures thoroughly. You should also brush your gums and tongue as well as your remaining teeth if you have partial dentures. However, at times, if you are having an arthritic flare up, keeping up with dental hygiene can be difficult. To make it easier during these times, have some oral care substitutes on hand. For example, instead of brushing, use antiseptic mouthwash.

If this only happens once in awhile, it should be fine. However, if you cannot brush on a regular basis, you may want to ask a relative or caretaker to help you.

5. Schedule regular oral cleanings with your dentist.

You shouldn't have to face the struggle of dealing with dentures and arthritis on your own. Luckily, your dentist can help. Schedule frequent cleanings. That way, your dentist can remove plaque and other buildup from your dentures and mouth on a regular basis.