Dentures allow individuals who have lost their natural teeth to eat without restriction, speak clearly, and smile with confidence. Thus, their purpose is twofold: to restore function and to improve appearance. To ensure longevity, dentures must be cleaned and properly maintained on a daily basis.
While you may have heard many tips discussing how to clean dentures, one of the tougher tasks is keeping bacteria buildup at bay.
Here’s how bacteria accumulation on dentures can happen:
- Food gets trapped under the denture.
- Food is even more prone to stick to the rough surface of dentures than it is to living oral tissues. Even the slightest food deposits will promote bacterial buildup over time.
- Hairline cracks or scratches on the surface of the denture can easily become a breeding ground for bacteria to accumulate.
To avoid this accumulation, it’s important to know how to clean dentures properly. Keep reading to learn the best steps to keeping your dentures bacteria-free.
How To Clean Dentures
Just like natural teeth, your dentures require regular care to avoid mouth infections or problems that affect your health. This section discusses how to clean and maintain dentures daily using several easy-to-follow and effective steps.
Brush Your Dentures
One of the easiest ways to keep your dentures clean is to brush them daily using a soft-bristled denture brush along with a mild denture cleaning paste or liquid soap. Brushing your denture helps to eliminate food debris and sticky particles that attach themselves to dentures. Brush the entire surface area, both inside and out, paying special attention to the rough side that rests against your gums.
Rinse After Eating
Rinse and clean your dentures after each meal. Do this before food particles or debris have the opportunity to become stuck to the dentures. After your meal, remove your dentures in the privacy of the restroom and rinse them thoroughly under cool, running water.
Dentures must stay moist in order to maintain their shape and longevity. To do this, remove your dentures before going to sleep. Soak them while sleeping in cool water or a mild cleaning solution made especially for cleaning dentures overnight. Always read the manufacturer’s recommendations before using any product on your dentures. Certain cleaning solutions are not recommended for use on metal partial dentures.
Thoroughly Rinse Your Mouth
Taking care of your mouth is also important. Brush your gums with a soft-bristle toothbrush to stimulate blood flow. Brush your tongue to break up the film and debris that leads to bad breath. Rinse your mouth with warm salt water before putting your dentures back in your mouth. Rinsing your mouth vigorously with water will help clear any food particles from the tissue surfaces.
When Not in Use
When not wearing your dentures, store them in a glass of clean water. Never leave dentures out in the open, as this can alter their fit and cause bacteria to proliferate. Alternatively, you may store dentures wrapped in a damp cloth placed inside of a resealable plastic bag. Remember to use cold or lukewarm water to store your dentures. Repeated use of hot water can actually warp and damage dentures.
How To Clean Dentures With Peroxide?
If you don’t have a commercial denture cleaning solution available, a simple home-based method can be used to clean your complete dentures by soaking them in a dilute solution of hydrogen peroxide. In a bowl, combine half a cup of 3% peroxide with half a cup of cool water. Soak your dentures for about 30 minutes. This mixture is not recommended for use on metal or flexible partial dentures.
How To Clean Partial Dentures with Metal Clasps?
Similar to full dentures, you need to clean your partial denture by soaking it in a prescribed denture cleaning solution or cold water. Use a denture toothbrush to remove any lingering food particles after mealtime. Avoid using any abrasive substances, such as toothpaste, to clean partial or full dentures. Never use a peroxide-containing solution for partial dentures with metal clasps, as peroxide can pit and weaken the metal surface and the clasps.
What Happens When Dentures Are Not Cleaned?
One of the primary concerns that occur when dentures are not cleaned adequately is the buildup of bacteria that causes bad breath. In fact, denture wearers often experience bad breath since remnants of food residing in the mouth can become rancid within a few hours.
If you want to find out whether your dentures could be the reason for your bad breath, try placing the dentures in a sealed plastic bag. After a few minutes, open the bag and see if a foul odor is released. If so, your dentures are the culprit.
Inflammation of the oral tissue is another complication that may arise from the proliferation of bacteria. Bacteria starts building up on dentures when tough-to-remove food particles are deposited on them. These bacteria gradually attach to your gums and develop into an infection or other issues such as stomatitis. What’s worse is that many research studies have shown a link between poor oral health, chronic inflammation, and systemic illnesses such as diabetes.
How Often Should I Clean My Dentures?
Cleaning your denture at least once daily is recommended by dentists. However, it’s even better if you brush your dentures more often. Always try to rinse your dentures in the morning after waking up and before going to bed at night.
While sleeping, soak your dentures in a denture cleaning solution or a solution of water and mild liquid soap. For partial dentures, don’t forget to brush and floss your remaining natural teeth daily. Failing to do so will allow the teeth that support your partial to eventually fail, rendering the partial useless.
Denture Cleaning Dos and Don’ts
If your natural teeth are in poor condition or causing you pain, dentures can greatly improve your overall quality of life. Consider these important dos and don’ts for the optimal care and maintenance of your dentures:
Get a Toothbrush Designed for Dentures
It’s recommended to use a brush designed specifically for dentures to clean them properly. Denture toothbrushes are available at most drugstores and supercenters. If you are having difficulty finding one, your dentist can assist you in obtaining the denture care supplies that you require.
Clean Your Mouth After Dentures Removal
Many people falsely believe that they don’t need to clean their mouths after getting dentures. You still need to clean your gums, the insides of your cheeks, your tongue, and the roof of your mouth to prevent bacteria from growing. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush or a moistened washcloth to clean all of the tissue surfaces inside your mouth.
Seek Help When Dentures Become Ill-Fitting
Consult with your dentist as soon as possible if your dentures have become loose or no longer fit properly. Because your jawbone and your gum tissue naturally change with time, your dentures may fit differently throughout your life. Ignoring ill-fitting dentures can result in sores and make you more susceptible to mouth infections.
Don’t Wear Your Dentures While Sleeping
Never leave your dentures in your mouth while sleeping unless your dentist has specifically advised you to do so. The only exception to this rule is for the first few days after getting dentures for the first time. Once your mouth has become accustomed to your dentures, always remove them before going to bed.
Don’t Clean Your Mouth With Denture Cleansers
Remove dentures and partials from your mouth before cleaning them. Denture cleaners are not meant to be used on oral tissue and can cause harm and irritation to the living surfaces inside of your mouth. In addition, it is physically impossible to thoroughly clean removable dental appliances while wearing them.
Don’t Skip Your Regular Check-ups
Some people think they don’t need to visit their dentist for regular check-ups after getting dentures. They are wrong. Denture wearers still need to visit their dental professionals regularly for oral cancer screenings and to ensure that their mouth remains healthy. Your dentist will also examine your dentures for any signs of damage or defects and may even offer a professional denture cleaning while you are there.
Regular cleaning and care can make your dentures last for many years, allowing you to enjoy the confidence of a better smile and keep oral issues at bay. If your dentures are cracked, chipped, or otherwise damaged, contact your dentist immediately to have them repaired or replaced.
If you wear dentures and would like tips about how to clean your dentures, contact European Denture Center today! We are happy to help with all of your denture-related concerns. European Denture Center offers free consultations and provides high-quality dentures that are customized to your specific needs at affordable prices.
Contact us today to arrange a meeting with one of our caring denturists!