If you wear dentures it is essential to clean them every day and sanitize them on a weekly basis in order to properly care for them. Failing to do so, may not only damage the dentures and reduce their longevity but could cause health problems for you as well.
Over time, bacteria builds up naturally on the surface of your mouth. Gross, I know. If your dentures are not cleaned properly, bacteria can start to form on them and cause serious health problems such as staph infections. The following is a guide on how to properly and effectively clean your dentures.
Methods Used For Cleaning Dentures
There are two main methods used for cleaning dentures: brushing dentures and soaking dentures.Brushing Your Dentures
Brushing Your Dentures
To clean your dentures using this method, it is recommended that you use a denture brush so that all parts of the dentures can be reached in order to clean them. An ordinary toothbrush can be used, but you will just need to pay extra attention to make sure you reach all of the curved parts of your dentures.
Place a wash cloth on the bottom of your sink and then fill it up partially with water. This will provide a cushion in case you accidentally drop your dentures. If dropped onto a hard surface, dentures can break.
Hold your dentures firmly in your non-dominant hand, but not too tight or they could break. Apply a cleaning product and warm water to your dentures. You can either use a paste or gel that has been specifically designed for cleaning dentures or a nontoxic cleanser or one of the homemade remedies below.
Do not use a regular toothpaste or an abrasive or powdered cleanser. They might scratch your dentures which can give bacteria places to grow.
Hold the denture brush with your dominant hand and thoroughly brush all parts of your dentures. Make sure the bristles reach all of the curved and grooved areas. However, make sure to not scrub too hard or you could end up damaging your dentures. Thoroughly brushing your dentures can help to prevent tartar from forming.
Rinse off your dentures by holding them under running water and use your brush for rinsing off any remaining debris and cleanser. Inspect the dentures thoroughly to ensure they are clean. If there are any parts that have a slippery feel to them that might be an indication that there still is some plaque on them.
Once you are sure your dentures are completely clean you can either put them in water for soaking overnight or put them back in your mouth to wear.
Soaking your dentures
Take your dentures out. It is a good idea to have your dentures outside of your mouth for some amount of time every day so that your tissues are given a rest from being constantly in contact. However, your dentures do need to be kept moist when they are out of your mouth. A good way of doing this is to soak them overnight.
Use a chemical solution for soaking your dentures in. This helps to loosen deposits and stains that you can then brushed or rinsed away. These chemical solutions are designed especially for soaking dentures also are frequently anti-microbial as well as other benefits.
Choose an appropriate container. Make sure the container is the right size for storing your dentures and has a fitted cover.
Follow the instructions on the chemical solution package. There should be preparation instructions as well as advice on how long to soak your dentures. Only use warm water for promoting the cleanser’s action. Hot water may distort your dentures’ shape.
Submerge your dentures. Make sure your dentures are submerged completely in the solution and the place the cover on the container. Make sure that there are no parts of your dentures left exposed to air or out of the water.
In the morning, take your dentures out of the solution and then thoroughly rinse them in order to remove debris and chemicals. Brush your dentures thoroughly before you put them inside of your mouth.
Clean out the container. Empty the soaking container and clean it. Do this on a daily basis to make sure your dentures are always as fresh and clean as possible.
No matter which method you use for cleaning your dentures, there are some common practices you should follow to ensure that your dentures are kept clean and well maintained:
Remove your dentures and rinse them off after you eat to remove loose particles and food debris.
Always handle your dentures in a careful manner. When rinsing them off under the sink, consider placing a towel in the sink for cushioning in case you drop them. Be careful about not damaging or bending the clasps or plastic when you are cleaning your dentures.
After you remove your dentures, clean your mouth. Brush any natural teeth that you have with a soft-bristled toothbrush. A soft toothbrush or gauze can be used for cleaning your palate (roof of your mouth), cheeks and tongue. Have a look at our recommended list of electric toothbrushes that can help in the cleaning process.
Brush your dentures at least once a day.
Have dental checkups on a regular basis. Your dentist can recommend how frequently you need to visit in order to have your dentures professional cleaned and examined.
You dentist will also help to ensure that your dentures fit properly to help prevent discomfort and slippage. Also, your dentist will examine the inside of your mouth to ensure that it is healthy.
If your dentures are causing any discomfort or do not fit properly, visit your dentist right away. Loose dentures may cause sores, irritation, and infection. It is absolutely essential to keep your dentures clean to ensure good overall health and oral hygiene.
Homemade Remedies For Cleaning Dentures
One of the most effective and easiest ways to naturally clean and disinfect dentures is to use vinegar. Tartar builds up over time on your dentures and the acid is dissolved by the vinegar.
This natural cleaning solution can be made at home by combining equal parts of warm water and white distilled vinegar. Soak your dentures in this solution for 30 minutes at least or for the best results, overnight. Make sure to completely rinse your dentures before putting them back in your mouth again.
Baking Soda Solution
One of the most common ingredients in regular toothpaste is baking soda. This is because it is very good at loosening debris from teeth. To make natural toothpaste of your own, combine water with 2 teaspoons of baking soda to your desired consistency.
Thoroughly and gently scrub debris away from your dentures using a soft-bristled toothbrush. This is a very effective cleaning method that can be used daily to naturally clean your dentures.
Lemon Juice Soak
There are stain removal and bleaching properties in lemons. To clean your dentures with this method. Juice a lemon and combine it with one cup of warm water.
Soak your dentures in this mixture for 30 minutes maximum. Make sure not to leave your dentures in this mixture for too long since lemon does have an erosive effect that could damage your dentures. Rinse-off using cold water.
Store Products For Cleaning Dentures
There are a number of different commercial products for cleaning dentures. These can be readily found in pharmacies and other stores and are specifically made for cleaning dentures. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using these products.
Denture Cleanser Tablets
To clean your dentures with this type of product, an effervescent solution is made with the cleanser mixed water. Then the dentures are soaked in the solution. This cleans the dentures and kills germs as well.
The amount of time that your dentures should stay in the solution can range from a couple of minutes to overnight. Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer.
Denture Cleansing Gels, Pastes And Creams
These solutions are brushed onto your dentures and then rinsed off. Follow the instructions provided by your manufacturer.
Things To Avoid When Cleaning Your Dentures
The following are a couple of things that you should usually avoid when cleaning your removal dentures:
- Hot water: Your dentures may be warped by boiling or hot water.
- Products that contain bleach: These products can change the color of your dentures and weaken them.
- Dentures that have metal attachments should not be soaked in solutions containing bleach since they can corrode and tarnish the metal.
- Whitening toothpaste: These types of toothpaste tend to be abrasive and therefore should not be used on dentures.
Abrasive cleaning materials: You should avoid using harsh toothpaste, strong cleansers, and stiff-bristled brushes since they may damage your dentures.
It is essential to clean your removable dentures on a regular basis. Whether you choose to use a natural, homemade remedy or commercial product, make sure to clean your dentures on a daily basis to keep them properly maintained and maintain good health and oral hygiene.
Want to read some more? Check out our comprehensive list of best brushes for braces. They can easily be used to clean your removable dentures.
Author: Peter Mayhew
Peter is a dental hygienist in the city of Chicago, IL. In his free time he likes to write blogs and product reviews on anything dental health related.