Taking care of your dentures requires more than dropping them in a glass of water at night, so ask your dentist for any tips about caring for your specific dentures. However, some care instructions are generalized.
- Even if you use an ultrasonic cleaner that dislodges food with sound waves, gently brush daily with a soft-bristled brush made specifically for dentures to remove food and plaque. This also helps prevent permanent stains. Hard-bristled brushes can damage dentures.
- Be sure to rinse your dentures after every meal. If you wear partial dentures, remove and clean them before you clean your natural teeth.
Detailed Guide for Denture Cleaning
- Rinse the denture/partial and brush away plaque and food debris regularly (once to twice a day). Place denture/partial into container of cleaning solution to continue the cleansing and disinfection process. Denture tablets for soaking are available at many stores and any brand will work, does not have to be expensive. (follow directions on container)
- CAUTION: Dentures/Partials may be slippery and can fall onto a hard surface and break the pink acrylic and / or the denture teeth. Always clean dentures over a soft towel or over the sink with the basin half full of water.
- CAUTION: Using a stiff or hard bristle brush on the denture can wear grooves in the acrylic and over time may cause the dentures to fit poorly. Be sure to use a soft bristle denture brush and wet the brush in warm water to soften the bristles prior to use.
- While denture is soaking, use a dampened washcloth or very soft toothbrush, dampened with warm water (or salt water solution) to wipe the inside of the mouth. Making sure to wipe the ridges (where dentures sit), tongue, lips, cheeks and roof of the mouth. If you wear a partial, use a soft toothbrush and make sure to clean all the teeth and tissues in your mouth thoroughly. This should be done at least once or twice each day.
- After denture/partial soaking, remove from solution. Using a moistened denture brush or regular soft bristled toothbrush with toothpaste, gently clean inside of denture, outside of denture and teeth. Use a mouthwash to give fresh taste and clean feeling.
- Next, thoroughly rinse the denture/partial with water and re-insert into the mouth.
- At night, it is recommended that you remove the denture/partial. This allows the tissue to breathe and heal by removing the pressure that is placed on the gums and tissues. Dentures/partials should be kept in water or mouthwash when out of the mouth to prevent drying out of the materials, which can cause distortion. If you are uncomfortable leaving them out at night, making sure to keep the mouth and denture/partial extremely clean is very important in maintaining healthy tissue.
- Remember that the gum tissue is in constant state of change, but the dentures are not. Over time your dentures may loosen and need to be professionally adjusted or relined. Have a dentist check your dentures annually, as well as having an oral cancer screening examination.
Over-the-counter cleaning solutions are easiest, but if you do not have any on hand, you can choose to clean your dentures in other ways.
- Wash your dentures with hand soap or mild dishwashing liquid. Toothpaste or household cleaners are too rough.
- Never use bleach because it can whiten the pink parts of your dentures.
- When you remove your dentures, stand over a folded towel or a full sink of water to prevent damage if you drop them.
- Place them in cold water – never hot or boiling – when you’re not wearing them to keep them moist and prevent them from changing shape.
Caring for you Mouth if You Have Dentures
- Even with full dentures, it is important to brush your gums, tongue, and palate with a soft-bristled brush every morning before putting the dentures in. This removes plaque and stimulates circulation in the mouth. Pay special attention to cleaning teeth that fit under the denture’s metal clasps. Plaque that becomes trapped under the clasps will increase the risk of tooth decay.
- If you wear a partial denture, be sure to remove it before brushing natural teeth.
- Clean, rest, and massage your gums regularly.
- Rinsing your mouth daily with lukewarm salt water will help clean the gums.
- Eat a balanced diet to maintain proper nutrition and a healthy mouth.
Seeing Your Dentist
If you have dentures, your dentist or prosthodontist will advise you about how often to visit, but every six months should be the norm. Regular dental visits are important so that your dentures and your mouth can be examined to ensure proper denture fit, to look for signs of oral diseases including cancer, and to have teeth professionally cleaned.
Proper use and care of your dentures will help you to eat and speak with ease and look your best. Follow your dentist’s instructions and keep up with your cleaning routine.
Please share your experience or thoughts on denture care in the comments section below.
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