Removable partial or full dentures require proper care to keep them clean, stain-free and looking their best. For good denture care and to maintain good oral health, you need to care for complete and partial dentures as carefully as you would look after natural teeth. Proper denture care is important for both the health of your dentures and mouth.
Here are some tips for on how to clean your dentures:
- Clean your dentures every day. Plaque and tartar can build up on false teeth, just like they do on natural teeth. If there is too much plaque on your dentures, this increases the risk of infection and irritation. To properly clean your dentures, either use a soft-bristled toothbrush or a toothbrush specifically for dentures. To keep them pearly white, use regular hand soap, detergent or a mildly abrasive toothpaste to keep the removable dentures clean.
Note: Regular toothpaste is too abrasive and can cause scratches in the denture acrylic.
- Take your dentures out every night and soak them. After you brush your dentures, brush your teeth and gums using a soft toothbrush. If a soft-bristled toothbrush hurts your teeth, run it under warm water to make it softer or try using a finger wrapped in a clean, damp cloth. By keeping them in water or denture solution, the acrylic won’t dry out over time, ensuring they won’t become brittle or lose their fit.
- Handle them with care. Since dentures are a very expensive appliance, it’s best to keep them out of the reach of children, pets and to be very careful with them as they can break. As an extra precaution, keep them on a towel or soft surface (to reduce the risk of them breaking) and stay away from toothpicks, hard toothbrushes or anything that can potentially cause damage.
General rules of thumb for denture care:
- Remember to visit the dentist at least once a year. According to the Canadian Dental Association, it’s important to visit your dentist at least once a year to examine your teeth and check if there are any oral sores (which can become cancerous). On these visits, your dentist will also look at the fit of your dentures since the gums and bones in our mouths change over time which can lead to an improper denture fit. Poorly fitting dentures can cause problems like sores, pain and burning and can be a sign of periodontal disease.
- Maintain a healthy diet. Research from the Canada Food Guide suggests that to maintain good oral health, it’s important that you’re eating a well-balanced diet with the essential vitamins and nutrients. Proper nutrition decreases your chances of gum disease.
- Don’t expose your dentures to elevated temperatures. Exposing your dentures to extreme hot or cold temperatures may cause dimensional distortion, thus affecting their fit. Soaking and rinsing should be done in room temperature solutions.
It’s important to maintain good oral health by keeping your dentures, any remaining natural teeth and mouth clean. Like natural teeth, dentures attract plaque, can stain and collect food particles that cause bad breath and irritate gums. If there are any questions or concerns that you may have when it comes to cleaning your dentures, ask your dentist about the range of adhesive products that may help stabilize the denture and be sure to ask all the questions you need as they are experts and they are there to help.