As with natural teeth, it is very important to keep dentures clean. They must be kept free of plaque and tartar build-up to ward off gum problems such as denture stomatitis (thrush). If you have any questions with regards to how to clean dentures, ask your dentist.
The following gives some general guidelines on denture hygiene.
- Clean your dentures at least twice a day. It is best to clean them once before putting them in early in the morning and then at night after removing them. Dentures must be removed at night!
- Be careful while cleaning. As dentures can be brittle, dropping them may cause them to crack. Therefore it is a good idea to clean them over a bowl/sink filled with water or over a towel. If you do drop them they will have a soft landing!
- Brush your dentures to remove food, plaque and debris. Then rinse the dentures, using tepid water and, if you prefer, a tablet containing a denture cleaner can be added to the water. Then repeat the process of brushing and rinsing. Ensure you brush every part of the denture. Also make sure you remove any denture adhesives you might have placed during the day.
- Your dentist can advise you on what brush and pastes to use.
- In the case of stubborn stains or tartar building up on the dentures, your dentist or hygienist can clean them for you.
- Do not use any bleach or bleach-containing product to clean your prostheses. Bleach is too harsh for dentures. It can weaken them over time and also make them look worn away.
- Remove your dentures every night to give your mouth a ‘rest’. This is very important in terms of keeping the gums healthy and preventing infections. If you have a partial denture (i.e. you have some natural teeth remaining) it also helps to keep your own teeth healthier.
- Keep the dentures in water when they are not in your mouth. This will help prevent them weakening through cracking and crazing over time. Always brush the dentures in the morning again before replacing them. Use fresh water every night.
How to Clean Dentures: Specific Advice
If you have a special soft lining under the denture, this needs particular attention to avoid it breaking down while brushing. Your dentist will advise you on how to clean with a soft lining.
If you have a metal denture, some normal denture toothpastes can be harmful to the metal. Extra care is also needed when cleaning metal dentures as they usually have hooks and clasps that are weaker than the bulk of the denture. These hooks are usually important in keeping the denture stable and as such you will want to be careful when cleaning them.
Learning how to clean dentures takes a bit of time and practice. It is important that your dentures are kept clean to ensure a healthy mouth. Use the tips above and advice given by your dentist to ensure a your dentures stay clean and fresh!
Return to the main page on getting dentures here.