Cleaning dentures. Caring for your dentures
Removable partial or full dentures require proper denture care to keep them clean, free from stains and looking their best. It is important to treat your dentures like you would treat your natural teeth. They should be kept clean and caring for your dentures is just as important as caring for your natural teeth.
a. Cleaning your dentures
How often should I clean my dentures ?
We recommend that you clean them thoroughly at least once a day, and after eating when necessary. In between brushings, you can remove and rinse dentures after eating (when necessary) to remove food debris and other loose particles.
You should always clean your mouth after removing your dentures. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean your natural teeth, gums and tongue.
How should I clean my dentures ?
Always clean your dentures over a bowl of water or a folded towel in case you drop them.
Use a small to medium-headed toothbrush with soft bristles. Avoid using a hard-bristled brush as it can damage or wear down dentures. There are toothbrushes specifically designed for cleaning dentures.
Use a denture cleaner, mild soap or dishwashing liquid. Household cleansers and some harsh toothpastes may be too abrasive for dentures and should not be used. Toothpastes advertised as whitening pastes and bleaching gels are especially abrasive and should be avoided with removable dentures.
Gently brush all surfaces of the denture, including the surface that touches your gums, and be careful not to damage the plastic or bend attachments. If your denture has clasps, you need to take particular care when cleaning to avoid damage.
After removing your denture, it is important to brush your gums, tongue, and palate too. Use a soft-bristled brush and 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. Rinse your mouth with lukewarm salt water to help clean the gums.
Are there any special products I can use ?
There are some products available for cleaning your dentures, including special brushes, cleaning pastes and soaking solutions. For example, you can use an effervescent (fizzy) denture cleaner that will help remove stubborn stains and leave your denture feeling fresher.
You should always use these products carefully and follow the manufacturer's instructions. If you are not sure which products to use, ask your dentist.
Is there anything I should avoid ?
Do not use very hot water to soak the denture as it can weaken the denture causing it to break. If you have sensitive gums and your denture has a softer lining made for it, check with your dentist before using any cleaning products or fixatives as some products can damage the lining.
Some commercial cleaning products can damage metal dentures, so it is important to discuss cleaning options with your dentist if you have metal parts attached to your denture.
b. Caring for your dentures
Soak dentures overnight
Most dentists recommend removing your dentures at night to give your mouth a chance to rest. Dentures need to be kept moist when not being worn so they do not dry out or lose their shape.
When not worn, dentures should be placed in a denture soaking solution or in water. Do not use hot water, as it can cause them to warp.
Don't soak dentures with metal attachments in solutions that contain chlorine because it can tarnish the metal. Your dentist can recommend the best methods for caring for your particular denture.
Always rinse dentures before putting them back in your mouth as some soaking solutions can contain harmful chemicals. It is a good idea to brush your mouth every morning before putting in dentures. This removes plaque and stimulates circulation in the mouth.
Schedule regular dental checkups
One or more follow-up appointments are generally needed soon after receiving dentures for any necessary adjustments.
After that, your dentist will advise you about how often to visit, generally every six months should do it. Regular dental visits are important so that your dentures and your mouth can be examined for proper denture fit, to look for signs of oral diseases and tissue lesions, and to have your natural teeth professionally cleaned.
See your dentist promptly if your dentures become loose or you feel any kind of discomfort. Never attempt to adjust or repair dentures yourself. Do not use "over-the-counter glues" as they may contain harmful chemicals.
Last review and update: May 2018