Proper denture care is important for both the health of your dentures and mouth. Here are some tips.
- Handle dentures with great care. To avoid accidentally dropping them, stand over a folded towel or a full sink of water when handling them.
- Brush and rinse dentures daily, but not with toothpaste. Toothpaste is abrasive and creates microscopic scratches where food and plaque can build up. Like natural teeth, dentures must be brushed daily to remove food and plaque. Brushing also helps prevent the development of permanent stains on the dentures. Use a brush with soft bristles that is specifically designed for cleaning dentures. Avoid using a hard-bristled brush as it can damage or wear down dentures. Gently brush all surfaces of the denture and be careful not to damage the plastic or bend attachments. In between brushings, rinse dentures after every meal.
- Clean with a denture cleaner. Hand soap or mild dishwashing liquid can be used for cleaning dentures. Household cleansers and many toothpastes may be too abrasive for dentures and should not be used. Also, avoid using bleach, as this may whiten the pink portion of the denture. Ultrasonic cleaners can be used to care for dentures. These cleaners are small bathtub-like devices that contain a cleaning solution. The denture is immersed in the tub and then sound waves create a wave motion that dislodges the undesirable deposits. Use of an ultrasonic cleaner, however, does not replace a thorough daily brushing. Products with the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance are recommended since they have been evaluated for safety and effectiveness.
- Take proper care of dentures when not wearing them. Dentures need to be kept moist when not being worn so they do not dry out or lose their shape. When not worn, dentures should be placed in a denture cleanser soaking solution or in water. However, if the denture has metal attachments, the attachments could tarnish if placed in a soaking solution. Your dentist can recommend the best methods for caring for your particular denture. Dentures should never be placed in hot water, which can cause them to warp.
The guidelines are supported by best evidence and based on consensus from key international experts.
Four key steps to optimal denture care, summarised in the below graphic and available in full here, were concluded:
|1.Daily cleaning of the dentures using mechanical action – brushing with a toothbrush or denture brush and an effective, non-abrasive denture cleanser.|
2.Daily soaking in a denture-cleansing solution – this seems to deliver extra chemical breakdown of the remaining plaque and some level of disinfection of the denture. Denture-cleansing solutions should only be used outside the mouth, and denture wearers should strictly follow the manufacturers’ guidelines.
3.Denture wearers should not keep their dentures in the mouth overnight, unless there are specific reasons for keeping them in. This guideline is even more important for people at a higher risk of developing stomatitis and for frail or institutionalised older people. Soaking in a denture cleanser solution after mechanical cleaning seems to be beneficial for preventing denture stomatitis and the potential risk of pneumonia events in these groups of people.
4.All patients who wear removable dentures should be enrolled into a regular recall and maintenance programme with their dental professional.