The 10 Best Denture Adhesives
10. Wernets Fixative Powder
9. Super PoliGrip Powder
8. Secure Denture Bonding Cream
7. Secure Adhesives
6. Ezo Denture Cushions
5. Effergrip Extra Holding Power
4. Fixodent Original
3. Super PoliGrip Extra Care
2. Sea-Bond Original Uppers
1. Fixodent Plus
A Brief History Of Dentures
If your eyes are the window to your soul, then your teeth are the gateway to your lower intestine. Okay, maybe that's not the most poetic image in the world, but the fact remains that it's really hard to live a full, nourished life without a complete set of choppers.
The first dentures, dating back to around 700 B.C.E., were fashioned out of animal or human teeth threaded together with gold wire. Unfortunately, they degraded quickly, so they weren't a suitable long-term solution.
While the dentures themselves didn't last very long, the technique used to make them did, remaining the prevalent method until the Japanese invented wooden models in the 16th century. To make them, the patient's mouth was molded using softened beeswax, and then wood was carved using the impression as a guide. These teeth were much more durable and effective, although you did run the risk of splinters.
The most famous person to sport wooden dentures, of course, was George Washington — except he never actually wore them. He actually had a bridge plate made of ivory, into which human and donkey teeth were inserted. This helped keep his fangs in working order, while also laying the groundwork for countless jokes comparing politicians to donkeys.
Washington might have opted for porcelain teeth instead, as these were invented around 1770 by Alexis Duchâteau. However, those porcelain teeth had two major problems: they chipped easily and were too white to be convincing. Instead, human chompers (eventually called Waterloo teeth because they used teeth taken from dead soldiers after the Battle of Waterloo) were much more popular.
Sometime around 1820, a goldsmith named Claudius Ash was tasked with finding a better method for making dentures, as human teeth were so valuable that it inevitably encouraged grave robbing. Ash mounted porcelain teeth on a solid gold plate, making dentures that were both more effective and better looking.
A few decades later, a handful of scientists, most notably Charles Goodyear, discovered a way to mold and harden rubber. This process, known as vulcanizing, was immediately recognized by dentists as a suitable way to create dentures. Unfortunately, the rubber was brown and, well, rubber-looking, so it was only used to make the main plate, while porcelain was used for the teeth themselves.
Today, false teeth are still made of porcelain, although acrylic resin is increasingly becoming more popular, as it's easier to adjust, fastens more securely, and is less expensive. The plates, meanwhile, are usually made from plastic or occasionally cobalt.
Regardless of how they're made, though, modern dentures are more durable, more aesthetically-pleasing, and considerably more comfortable than their historical counterparts. Indeed, if anyone catches you with donkey teeth in your mouth nowadays, you'll likely have some explaining to do.
Benefits Of Denture Adhesives
If you need dentures, it's important to find a set that's comfortable and fits snugly in your mouth. Most of this work should be done by your dentist — and your dentures should fit snugly on their own — but it never hurts to have a little insurance, which is where adhesives come in.
The most important thing that a denture adhesive can give you is peace of mind. You can go out in public and interact normally, including at meals, without worrying about your dentures slipping or falling out. This prevents any emergency trips to the bathroom or embarrassing explanations. If you're at all self-conscious about the fact that you wear dentures, then a good adhesive is worth every penny.
Keeping the false teeth in place is especially important because they can cause sores, infections, and even cancer if they move around a lot. Think of how an ill-fitting shoe can cause a blister, and you'll have a pretty good idea of what poorly-secured dentures can do to your mouth. A strong adhesive can help prevent that from happening.
It's difficult to overestimate just how much your teeth can affect your everyday life, so keeping your dentures secured is supremely important. You'll be able to talk and interact freely, eat without fear, and avoid painful sores — basically, you'll get to live your life like you would if you didn't need dentures, and isn't that the whole point?
Choosing The Right Denture Adhesive For You
There are several different types of adhesive to choose from, including powders, strips, and creams. Which type is best for you will likely come down to personal preference, but there are pros and cons to each.
Powdered options contain loose adhesive that you sprinkle over the surface of your dentures while wet before securing them in your mouth. They form a very strong bond, and you don't have to worry about the adhesive oozing between the gaps in your teeth, which can make them more comfortable. However, many users don't care for the texture or taste of powders.
Strips — which can also come in liner or wafer form — are bits of adhesive that you place inside your dentures before putting them on. They're very comfortable and easy to use, but they also tend to be a little more expensive than other options.
The most popular option is adhesive cream, which is a paste that you use to line your dentures. They're popular because they're pretty good at everything without being outstanding at any one thing; you'll get a firm grip, relatively easy cleaning, and a simple installation process. However, they do tend to leak through the spaces in your dentures unless applied perfectly.
One other thing to always do before buying an adhesive is to check the ingredients list. Some options use zinc in their formulas, and constantly exposing yourself to the mineral can be hazardous to your health. If possible, only buy brands that say they're zinc-free on the box.
With a little trial and error, you should be able to find a denture adhesive that enables you to live your life to the fullest.