- Your Oral Health
- Tips for Parents
- Gum Disease and Your Health
- Reduced Cost Clinics
It is important that denture wearers have a good routine of personal and professional care. Professional services are necessary to check the health of the soft tissue and examine the denture for proper fit, comfort and function. Personal care focuses on keeping the denture clean and soft tissue healthy.
Why should I clean my denture daily?
Daily cleaning of your denture is necessary to prevent a build-up of food, biofilm (plaque), calculus (tartar), and stain which can cause:
- problems with the appearance of your teeth
- mouth odor
- irritation to the tissues under the denture
- infections in the mouth
How do I keep my dentures clean?
- Rinse the denture under water after meals to remove loose food debris.
- Brush dentures at least twice a day this removes biofilm, food debris and helps prevent stains.
- Brush with water, soap, or a denture paste. Scouring powders or other abrasive cleaners should not be used because they scratch the denture. Scratches make the denture rough and food, biofilm and stain stick more easily.
- You can use a denture brush or a regular soft toothbrush to clean the denture, but use a separate brush for cleaning any natural teeth.
- Make sure you clean all areas of the denture well, especially the side of the denture that rests against the soft tissue.
- When the denture is not being worn it is best for it to be stored clean and dry. In the past it was often recommended that dentures be stored wet. The reason for this earlier recommendation was that dentures were once made of materials that could distort when allowed to dry out and this could affect the fit of the denture. Today’s dentures are made of materials that are not susceptible to distortion when dry. Storing dentures dry prevents the growth of harmful bacteria that may cause infections.
- Dentures that are heavily stained or that have calculus deposits may need to be soaked in a commercial denture solution available at most pharmacies. It is important that dentures are thoroughly brushed and rinsed before they are returned to the mouth.
- If dentures cannot be cleaned sufficiently using the above methods then it may be possible for your dental professional to clean them for you using an ultrasonic device.
- The most effective way to keep your dentures clean is by brushing them at least twice a day and storing them clean and dry.
Some helpful hints:
- When brushing the denture do not hold it too firmly or use excessive pressure as this can break the denture.
- Clean the denture over a sink half filled with water or over a towel to act as a cushion in case the denture should drop.
- Do not soak or rinse the denture in hot water, this can distort the shape and fit of the denture.
- Never scrape the denture with sharp instruments in an attempt to remove hard deposits. Instead, take it to a dental professional for them to clean.
- Never use a hard bristled brush to clean the denture. This can scratch the denture.
- Make sure to leave your denture out of your mouth while you are sleeping or for a period of time during the day. Wearing dentures at all times without allowing your gums a chance “to breathe”, can result in infections of the soft tissues under the denture.
- When your dentures are not in your mouth, store them clean and dry. If you insist on storing them wet be sure the container is clean and the water is changed daily.
Your gums are important too:
Not only do your dentures need maintenance, but care also needs to be given to the tissues under your denture.
- The gums should be cleaned daily with a soft toothbrush or a washcloth. This removes the biofilm and debris on the gums. It also massages and stimulates circulation.
- Massage your gums by placing the thumb and index finger over the ridge and use a “press-and-release” stroke.
Remaining natural teeth:
- It is very important to keep any remaining natural teeth free of biofilm.
- To clean your natural teeth, check out: brushing and flossing tips.
How do I know my dentures no longer fit?
With age, the jaw bones slowly change. Therefore, dentures that once fit may no longer fit correctly. You may need to have your dentures adjusted or replaced. If you encounter any problems, see your dental professional.
Even if you do not think you have any problems with your dentures or soft tissues it is important that you see your dental professional for at least annual examinations to help maintain your oral health.
Problems to be on the look out for include:
- problems chewing
- chronic cheek biting
- difficulty with speech
- red and inflamed tissues
- discomfort while wearing the denture
- cracked corners of your mouth