If you are wearing dentures for the first time right now, or have been a denture wearer for many months or years, I’m sure you have struggled many times to find the answer to the question often asked: “Which is the best denture glue?’ Let me say this at the very start, I have worn a denture ever since I was nine years old and I am now in my eighties. Therefore I’ve had a few years to ponder and search for an answer to that perplexing question.
I would like to give you a short, quick answer, and say: “Do this, or use that” – but I’ve found there is more to the problem than most people realize. The more I think about it the more complicated the answer seems to get. At one time I was so frustrated with denture “glues,” I went directly to my dentist and said point-blank, to him: “Doc, what kind of denture cream or glue do you use with your dentures? What do you think I should use?” He thought for a couple of minutes and replied: “Terry, as a matter of fact, I don’t have dentures, I still have all of my “natural” teeth, so I can’t tell which “glue” is best for you or anyone else to use. My advice is for you to try them all until you find one that meets your needs to make your denture feel: stable, secure and as immovable as possible while you are chewing, talking drinking and sneezing.”
Well, I thought to myself, that was an answer, but not one that helped me at all. I still had the same problem I had before I asked my “expert” dentist for his help.
Of course, my dentist did go on to explain to me, at length, why it was that I might need a “glue” to hold my denture in place. He began by giving me a brief history of dentures and their use from ‘way back in the 1500s to the present time. He told me the first dentures were believed to have been made by the early Etruscans, before the Romans captured them. Those dentures, then called: false teeth were only made for rich people and they were made only for “show” not for eating! Why? Because, back then, there was no good way to hold those false teeth in place while the wearer was eating, chewing, drinking and trying to talk normally with a mouth full of fake teeth.
Much later in history dentists who were then called “tooth barbers” figured out ways to keep false teeth in place using such things as: thread, catgut, and even gold wire. Those wires had to be very carefully put in place. Once the false teeth were wired in place they were not easily taken out. The result was the wearers of those dentures often left them in place too long and the teeth began to smell bad. Another process was to “wedge” the false teeth in and around any remaining natural teeth. Then, because those artificial teeth were only good for “show” and still too loose for chewing, the wearer always went alone into a private room, took his false teeth out, and proceeded to drink or chew his meal as best he could while there in the private place where no one could watch him “gum” his food.
Skipping ahead a few hundred years to today, people who must wear dentures are still struggling with the same old problem of wearing dentures that are too loose for comfort, too loose for chewing, and too loose for talking and sneezing!
However, help is on the way! Recently there has been a surge of activity by modern dentists to use what are called “dental implants.” In short, implants are a series of metal pins drilled into the jawbone in such a way that the denture is snapped into place and held there quite securely. Dental implants seem to be the best way yet devised to keep dentures comfortably in place at all times. The problem, of course, is that they are very expensive. One of my customers told me his initial cost for dental implants was $30,000. “Of course”, he told me, ” the procedure also required many visits back to the dentist’s office and several extensive adjustments to get a comfortable fit.”
Here are three less expensive kinds of denture “glues” that you may want to try:
1. Pastes: There are a number of glue-like products you can buy in tubes in supermarkets and chain drug stores. You squeeze the paste-like product onto your denture, spread it around with your fingers, then put the denture in your mouth. The glue never hardens, and it holds the denture in place fairly well. However, when it comes time to remove the glue from the denture (to renew the application), you may have some trouble removing all of the glue from your denture because it is a messy and time-consuming process.
2. Pads: Another product you may consider is one that is in the form of a treated fabric pad. It is made in the shape of your choice of upper and/or lower dentures. You moisten it with water before putting it on your denture and then put it into your mouth. The moistening process transforms the treated fabric into a sticky adhesive that will adhere well to both the denture and your gums. It works quite well for a day or two but if your denture is loose, you will find that particles of food can become lodged between your gums and your denture. When that happens you have to discard the fabric material and start over with a new (replacement) pad. These are available in places like Wal-Mart and Target.
3. Liners: You could also test the benefits of a product I think is the “best.” It is a new denture liner or re-liner. It is a putty-like compound that is pre-shaped in your choice of either uppers or lowers. To use, you first peel off a protective pink covering, then you place the 1/8″ thick translucent (tasteless, odorless) denture liner compound on the top of your dry upper denture (or on the bottom of lower denture). Next, you put the denture(s) in your mouth bite gently to “seat” the putty-like liner for a comfortable fit. Then, remove the denture(s), sprinkle a small amount of dry adhesive powder (included) onto the surface of the liner. Finally, put the denture(s) back in your mouth. Later, at bedtime for example, you use your fingers to remove the liner and wash it clean with running water, and put it back onto the dry denture. Do this cleaning process once a day. and the liner can be re-used several times..
I think the best denture “glue” is a denture liner that is made to meet the needs of most denture wearers of both upper and lower dentures. A denture liner “glue” or compound is made to stay always soft and mold-able, no mixing is needed, it is easily shaped – like putty – to fill all annoying gaps in the denture and it can be easily adjusted by the wearer to achieve maximum comfort while chewing and talking. Removal of the denture liner is just a matter of peeling it off of the denture in one piece. Then it can be rinsed clean under a water faucet, dried and put back on the dry denture and reused many times. No mess, no fuss and it gives you the best denture “glue” available today!