Tips to Keep Dentures Clean
Your dentures have restored your smile and of course, allowed you to once again enjoy some of those foods you may have missed eating. Created to fit your mouth, your dentures will be able to keep you smiling with ease. Do you know the best ways to keep your dentures clean? You may think that if you have dentures you don’t need to pay much attention to the health of your gums and the condition of your dentures. The truth is that there are just as many reasons to keep your gums, dentures, and whole mouth hygiene a focus.
It's important that you clean your dentures correctly. If you neglect to care for your dentures, it can lead to concerns with your oral and overall health. You could be at risk of some of the following concerns if you don’t care for your dentures.
- Bad breath
- Inability to correctly taste food and drink
- Swelling on your gums
- Sores on your gums that could potentially abscess
The improper care of your dentures can also result in stains or warping. What should you use to brush your dentures? How often should you brush them? We’ve got the answers you need, with helpful cleaning tips to keep your dentures clean and in tip-top condition.
The importance of cleaning
Experts recommend that denture wearers take three factors into consideration when caring for and cleaning dentures.
- The products that are used when cleaning dentures should be approved for use on dentures. They should not lead to damage to any part of the denture.
- Cleaning dentures should effectively remove plaque and help to prevent staining.
- Cleaning products used for cleaning dentures should be antimicrobial.
There are also several dental cleaning practices that can help you to reduce the buildup of bacteria and help to keep your dentures from damage.
- Soaking daily
- Brushing daily
- Removing partial and full dentures at night
- Routine dental appointments
It’s also important that you remember to clean your gums and the inside of your mouth when you remove your dentures to clean them. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean your gums, tongue, and the top of your mouth. An alcohol-free mouthwash can further help to keep your mouth clean and your breath fresh.
Dentures need to be brushed
Whether your dentures are partial, full, removable, or fixed (such as all-on-four dentures), they need to be brushed and brushed the right way to keep them clean. There is sometimes the idea that dentures don’t need to be brushed. While it’s true that dentures aren’t susceptible to the same types of damage as your natural teeth, brushing them plays an important role in keeping them in good condition. It also helps to keep your breath fresh.
- Keep in mind that it’s important to clean both partial and full dentures daily, and thoroughly. Ideally, you’d be able to clean your dentures after every meal to get rid of any food debris that might be lingering. This lingering debris on your dentures fast becomes the primary source of food for the bacteria that naturally occur in your mouth. This bacteria is responsible for the buildup of plaque and for the less-than-fresh breath you may find yourself with.
- While it may be tempting to use a hard toothbrush to clean your dentures, you should only use brushes that are approved for use on dentures. Your dentures are strong enough to hold up to regular daily use, but they are also easily damaged if not cared for in the right way. Soft-bristled toothbrushes are the better choice. Electric toothbrushes can be useful, but they are not always going to be as gentle as manual brushing is.
- Use toothpaste and denture cleaners, which could include cleaning pastes and foams, that are non-abrasive. Using abrasive toothpaste and other cleaning products could scratch the surfaces of your dentures. Small scratches can quickly turn into crevices for bacteria to grow and thrive.
- Denture soaks should be used to not only keep your dentures from drying out and cracking but to help clean and keep them fresh. There are plenty of options available over the counter, most offering the same type of results. Your dentist can also offer recommendations to help keep your dentures fresh and clean.
Store your removable dentures in a soaking solution overnight to make sure that they’re as fresh as can be when you’re ready to put them back in.
Take care with food and drinks that stain
Do you know which types of food and drink can leave stains on your dentures? Avoiding or minimizing your consumption of these foods and drinks can help to keep your dentures looking their clean best.
Some of these items may include the following.
- Red wine
- Fruit juices, particularly those with berries
- Sodas, particularly dark sodas
- Tomato-based sauces
- Soy sauces and balsamic vinegar
Using tobacco products can also lead to serious staining on your teeth and your dentures. It’s worth noting that the use of tobacco products can also result in other oral health concerns, including damage to your gums and the potential risk for certain types of oral cancers.
Routinely checking for damage
Every evening when you brush your dentures, take a bit of time to evaluate the dentures for any type of damage. Take a good look at each piece and each area of the dentures. Even a small scratch or indent can soon turn into something a bit more troublesome that will require extensive repairs if you don’t address the issues in a timely manner.
It’s easy to put off taking care of minor issues. But not addressing them when you notice them can and will lead to further damage and even complete breakages.
If your dentures are showing signs of damage or they aren’t fitting comfortably, it is the right time to make an appointment with your dentist or your prosthodontist. Good oral healthcare should continue even if you no longer have any natural teeth left.