White teeth are everywhere in today’s society. From advertising to celebrities and influencers, white teeth are perceived to exude health, and people with radiant white smiles appear to be full of energy and vitality.
Commercial products to whiten natural teeth have been around since the 1980s, when in-office bleaching treatments first became available. But what about those who wear false teeth? How can they improve the whiteness of their smiles? We will explain denture whitening and how to whiten dentures safely.
Can Dentures Be Whitened?
There is a difference between whitening dentures to remove stains and trying to change the color of denture teeth. No method exists to lighten or change the color of denture teeth in a completed denture. To do this, you need a new denture manufactured with a lighter shade of teeth.
Denture whitening restores the original tooth color by removing superficial stains that have accumulated through time and wear. The longer stains are allowed to build up, the more difficult they are to remove. Smoking and tobacco products, coffee, tea, blueberries, cola, wine, and other foods containing natural or synthetic dyes are common causes of stains that can make denture teeth appear dull and yellowed.
All too often, people resort to home remedies and unsafe methods in an attempt to whiten their dentures. Soaking them in household bleach will not whiten denture teeth. In fact, chlorine bleach will actually break down the material that the denture is made from, resulting in a textural change that causes the acrylic to become brittle.
As a practicing dentist, I have seen dentures that have been soaked in bleach every day for years. It’s not pretty. Chlorine bleach and other household cleaners will literally turn the pink acrylic an off-white color and eat away the finish of the teeth, creating a rough surface. Toothpaste and at-home bleaching products designed for natural teeth are far too abrasive for dentures and will cause the denture teeth to become scratched, allowing more stains to form and making the dentures look worse. It is possible to ruin your dentures if you don’t use products known to be safe for cleaning dentures.
The 5 Best Ways to Whiten Dentures
1. Develop a Routine to Thoroughly Clean Your Dentures Daily
Knowing how to remove stains from dentures seems simple enough. But life happens. You get in a hurry and gloss over the process.
The technique of how to clean denture stains involves using denture paste or liquid soap and a denture brush to physically brush away plaque and stains that have formed since the last cleaning. It is much easier to prevent plaque and stains from accumulating if they aren’t allowed to build up. With time, plaque becomes hardened and turns dark, making it impossible to remove with brushing alone.
Not cleaning your dentures can also lead to illness and infection. Dentures are covered in as much bacteria as natural teeth. Certain bacteria are more toxic than others and can lead to gum inflammation or respiratory infections like pneumonia and MRSA. Patients with underlying health problems are especially susceptible to bacterial infections and need to keep their dentures clean to avoid introducing harmful pathogens to their systems.
2. Denture Cleansers
There are effervescent solutions made specifically for dentures. Simply follow the package’s directions and soak the dentures for the period of time recommended. These cleaners are not to be confused with regular bleach which can damage dentures. Sometimes using a non-abrasive denture cleaner is all it takes to whiten the teeth and improve your smile!
3. Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda
Whitening dentures can involve using a stiff paste made from baking soda and hydrogen peroxide applied to dentures with a soft-bristle denture brush. Use this to remove any film or discolorations that have accumulated but can’t be removed with liquid soap or denture paste. This paste whitens by removing stains and is mild enough that you don’t have to worry about scratching the surface of the denture.
4. Use a Professional-Strength Denture Cleanser
If you have tried the previous methods on stained or yellowed teeth and are still wondering how to whiten dentures and remove stubborn stains, here is another method. Whitening your dentures may involve using a different chemistry than most over-the-counter products offer. Stain Away Plus Denture Cleanser whitens and brightens dentures while killing odor-causing germs. This product contains a combination of Potassium Mono-persulfate, Sodium Carbonate, Sodium Percarbonate, Sodium Bicarbonate, and Citric Acid crystals. When mixed with water, the fast-acting effervescent powder removes stains within five minutes. This product is safe for use on full dentures to remove superficial stains and prevent plaque build-up.
5. Have Your Dentures Professionally Cleaned
Dentures that have become scratched or have lost their luster often have developed microcracks and crevices that allow stains to accumulate. These stains are difficult, if not impossible, to remove at home. One of the best ways to whiten dentures is to allow a dental professional to clean them periodically.
A dental office or laboratory has the materials and equipment necessary to polish out superficial scratches and restore the surface of the denture to a like-new finish. This can be money and time well spent to improve the appearance of your dentures.
The Best Way to Whiten Dentures May Be a New Denture
If your dentures look worn and dull and you’ve tried all of the remedies suggested in this article without the results you were hoping for, new dentures are certainly an option. European Denture Center’s selection of 3D-printed or milled dentures will improve your smile, appearance, and confidence in social settings. New dentures allow you to start with the tooth color that suits you best. Combine that look with the denture care information presented here and you’ll be on a path to maintaining the beauty and appearance of your new dentures for many years to come!
European Denture has dentures to suit every aesthetic and price point. Check out more information about the many styles of dentures offered by European Denture Center.