Wearing dentures enables you to enjoy eating and speaking again, but to ensure optimal dental health you must know how to clean your denture properly. At Lotus Smiles Dental, we are committed to educating our patients to make dental care easier. Let’s have a look at some important information on how to keep your dentures clean, stain-free and comfortable to wear.
Regardless of whether your dentures are partial or full, they need to be kept clean and free of stains. It is easy for bacteria to build up on your false teeth but with a dental hygiene routine that includes a daily cleaning and overnight deep cleaning, you can ensure this doesn’t happen.
You will need to handle your dentures fairly often, so be sure to exercise care so that you don’t break or damage the plastic while you clean.
The Importance Of Clean Dentures
Clean dentures prevent the build up of bacteria in your mouth. Bacteria can cause bad breath and inflammation of your soft tissues and over time, this can lead to infection.
Patients who don’t wear clean dentures may also experience a condition called denture stomatitis, which is the development of mouth sores that may appear at the corners of the mouth. Unmanaged infection can also lead to periodontal gum disease, further bone loss and tooth loss.
Remember To Remove Your Dentures After Every Meal
Once you have finished eating, you should rinse your dentures to remove any food particles or debris. We recommend that you use a towel over your basin while you’re doing this, so that if you drop them you won’t damage your dentures.
Why is this important?
The plastic substance that dentures are made out of attracts food much easier than the soft tissues in your mouth. Not only does this create a potential problem for bacteria to multiply, it can also be very uncomfortable. Because dentures take up so much space in your mouth any food that is trapped or collected will be very noticeable.
There are also several areas that dentures make you more prone to accumulate bacteria in:
- The bottom of your mouth can trap food and bacteria under your lower denture
- Food and debris can become trapped in the space between your upper denture and your palate
Brush Your Dentures Every Day
It’s best to clean your dentures with a soft bristled toothbrush or a piece of gauze. Avoid using toothpaste because toothpastes contain abrasive substances that might be beneficial to natural teeth but which can create little breaks or tears in your dentures where bacteria can accumulate.
Hard toothbrushes can also cause damage to your dentures and should be avoided.
Using a soft brush that is specially designed to clean dentures and spending a reasonable amount of time keeping them clean is the best way to go. Regular brushing will ensure that stains do not accumulate on your dentures. Once you are satisfied you have brushed your dentures sufficiently, rinse them gently.
Use A Denture Cleaner
Denture cleaners are recommended to remove invisible bacteria and to give your dentures a deep clean. They are often sold as effervescent tablets. It’s best to use a detergent formulated specifically to clean dentures so they do not get damaged. You should never use bleach or vinegar on your dentures, particularly if you notice a stain. Rather discuss this with your dentist because bleach can cause permanent damage or cause your denture to become misshapen.
Soaking overnight is a good way to remove any build up on your dentures. After your dentures have been immersed for the allocated time period, you should give them another gentle brush and rinse.
Don’t Forget To Clean Your Gums
When your dentures are soaking, you should ensure your gums and soft tissues are kept clean by brushing them with a soft bristled toothbrush. Inspect your gums regularly to check for any mouth sores. Make sure you visit your dentist on a regular basis, so that he or she can evaluate your oral health and check that your dentures still fit comfortably.
What Not To Do
Your dentures are delicate and should be handled carefully to avoid damage and breakage.
Do not …
- Use bleach, household cleaners or detergents to clean your dentures as this can damage them. Even if the damage is not visible, these cleaning agents can cause microscopic tears in the plastic.
- Clean them with very hot or boiling water as this can cause them to loose their shape.
Denture Repairs And Adjustments
If your dentures feel loose, do not feel tempted to adjust them to fit better, rather make an appointment to see your dentist. You will need to have them adjusted as your gums will shrink over time and ill-fitting dentures can cause inflammation and irritation. Most repairs and adjustments can be done on the same day. You will need to have your dentures relined every five years or so. Do you still have questions on how to clean your denture, or how you can make your dentures more comfortable? Please get in touch with us: (03) 8737 9359