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How do care for my flipper tooth that I have as a back up if my crown (which is the front tooth) falls out? Do I always keep it in water, even for months at a time?
By sull from Boston, MA
See all the nice suggestions below in the archives. I wear my flipper tooth on a daily basis. I treat it like dentures, I put in a denture bath at night and use denture tablets in the water. If you don't actually wear yours regularly I suggest you change the water about every 3 or 4 days or maybe a week at most and put in a new denture tablet at that time.
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Now that I have a "flipper" in my mouth (small removable denture, I had teeth with short roots, alas), I have to take it out at night to prevent irritation. I cope with that in 2 ways: #1 I use brace wax to plug up the little gap left without my appliance overnight. #2 - I use a nice recycled small opaque cosmetic jar (mine is lilac) to keep my appliance in. It's pretty and discrete and I keep it loosely closed to let it dry out.
Remember all the old cartoons about leaving your teeth in a glass overnight? I certainly want to avoid anything remotely resembling that.
Oh, I found that I had to use an emery board to carefully file down the acrylic flipper to fit comfortably and I use denture cream to assure a tighter fit. None of which my dentist informed me of!
By pamphyila from Los Angeles, CA
I'm a dental hygienist, familiar with these things, and my suggestion is not to let the flipper dry out. The acrylic can warp over time and ruin the fit, and it doesn't take very much warping. Splash a little cheapie mouthwash on it? peroxide? I know about the short roots, me too, sorry, not a well-understood phenomenon. Good luck and good for you for adjusting it yourself, it's not that hard. God bless you. (02/15/2008)
I have a flipper also. I remove it at night and store it in one of my son's old retainer containers. I soak it in water and occasionally add a half of a denture tablet to keep it sparkling. I don't see the need to put wax in your mouth at night. (02/16/2008)
I keep mine in a plastic box for dentures, but I like your idea better. I let mine soak overnight in water with a little bleach added, brush it with toothpaste, and use a denture tablet once in a while. I've heard that toothpaste can cause scratches on dentures, but have not noticed that problem on my plastic flipper.
My dentists also didn't tell me to use a little denture cream for a more comfortable fit. One was mortified when I asked him to grind it down a little so it wasn't so thick. Later I found out that different dentists use different dental labs, and some labs are better than others. If I lose that flipper again, I now know which lab I want my replacement from.
My dog once thought it was a dog bone, and I found that the pieces could be put back together and re-baked for less than $100.