Within this blog we will be covering all the key points to know about how to clean your dentures. This includes the cleaning process itself, items that should be avoided, dealing with your dentures at night and when visit the dentist.
Once food has been consumed it is essential that the dentures are rinsed immediately to avoid food debris/particles remaining on the dentures of a prolonged period of time. This can be done by simply running water over the dentures until any particles are removed. When you are doing this, it is essential to fill the sink slightly with water or place a towel underneath to ensure that if the dentures drop while cleaning, they will not break.
Brushing your dentures, a minimum of twice a day is vital and this should be done with a soft-bristled brush and using a non-abrasive cleaner. This will help eradicate any food particles or plaque, while avoiding any damage to the dentures themselves. If you happen to use a denture adhesive, then ensure you clean all the grooves of the denture and spend the necessary time to remove any residue from the mouth. It is essential to clean the mouth itself after dentures are removed to remove any potential denture adhesive and food debris/particles that may remain in the mouth. This should be done with a soft-bristled brush and should cover the tongue, cheeks, and palate of the mouth.
Dentures should also be soaked overnight, ensuring they stay moist and keep their shape. This can be done by placing the dentures either in water or a mild solution, following any tips on the solution instructions regarding the amount to use or time to soak. We would strongly advise against using any harsh/abrasive bleaching agents on your dentures, especially if they happen to be cobalt-chrome dentures. Before you put the dentures back in your mouth, you should ensure that they are rinsed comprehensively, this is especially important if you used a denture solution.
Items to Avoid
There are several items that you must avoid when cleaning your dentures as they can damage the dentures significantly, and subsequently result in them not being able to carry out their essential function. Some key items to avoid have been detailed below.
- Excessively hot water should not be used anywhere near your dentures as this can potentially warp your dentures shape and mean they no longer fit correctly
- Any abrasive materials should not be utilised to clean dentures as they can cause permanent damage, this includes hard-bristled brushes, abrasive toothpaste, or strong cleansers
- Neat bleaching products should also not be used on the dentures are they can potentially weaken the integrity of the dentures and change their colour
- Chlorine products must also not be used on dentures, especially chrome-cobalt dentures as the solutions with chlorine can tarnish and potentially corrode the metal attachments
- Strong whitening toothpastes should be avoided, as while they will not likely do too much damage to the dentures, they will also not do any good as the chemicals used will not change the colour of denture teeth
Dentures at Night
While you are able to wear dentures at night, it is recommended that they are removed. This is because there is significant pressure on your gums/jawbone from using the dentures all day, and thus removing them at night can allow your bones/gums to relax. Not only does removing the dentures at night avoid extra pressure, but it can also reduce the chances of pneumonia-causing bacteria reaching your lungs while you breathe at night. This has the potential of occurring if you keep the dentures in at night as your mouth can potentially be a breeding ground for bacteria/fungi which can enter your gums and soft tissues and even your lungs overnight night.
When to Visit the Dentist
If you have dentures, then regular dental visits are of the highest priority. It will allow hygienists to remove any plaque build-up the denture teeth and your natural teeth if you have partial dentures. This cannot be simply removed with a toothbrush, and thus these visits are essential. It will also allow for your oral situation to be fully evaluated and checks for potential periodontal disease. The dentist will also be able to help you if your denture may have loosened over time and fix the issue, as loose dentures can lead to significant irritation, pain, and potential infection. They will also be able to look at the condition of your denture teeth and potentially have them replaced with new teeth if they are fairly damaged or stained.