Just like your natural teeth need to be maintained for oral health, dentures need to be kept clean, comfortable and well fitted for them to function. Knowing how to clean dentures can extend the lifespan of your prosthesis, and may also save you from breaking them through incorrect handling. Let’s take a closer look at cleaning false teeth and what you need to be aware of, to ensure yours stay in optimal condition.
Why It Matters?
Cleaning false teeth is vital because your mouth is full of bacteria. This means that your dentures will accumulate bacteria too. Just like your natural teeth develop a thick, sticky film of plaque each day, so too will your dentures develop plaque deposits.
Even if you have lost all of your natural teeth, maintaining a high standard of oral hygiene is essential for your gums and soft tissue, and for your bone health. It is still possible to develop gum disease, and dental hygiene has been associated with a number of health conditions that affect the body as a whole. Let’s take a closer look at how to clean dentures.
How To Clean Dentures?
Remove the dentures from your mouth prior to cleaning false teeth.
Use a soft-bristled toothbrush, different to the one you use to brush your remaining teeth, and a small amount of toothpaste, soap or mild detergent. Use small circular movements, paying attention to areas that might have a buildup of debris. Make sure you do not use harsh detergents or abrasive substances, as this could cause damage.
Rinse well after brushing and leave your prosthesis in a glass of water or denture soak overnight. Soaking your dentures will keep them supple and flexible. It will also remove any remaining plaque so that it does not calcify. Leaving them out of your mouth for around six hours a day will give your mouth a chance to rest and recover.
Be careful when handling your dentures. They are fragile and should not be dropped. If you have a partial denture take special care not to damage the clasps. To protect yourself against damage, you should always remove them over a basin that you have placed a folded towel over. This is to cushion the impact in case you do drop them. Alternatively, you can fill the basin with water. Insert and remove your dentures in front of the mirror so you can see what you are doing.
If you are using denture adhesive, make sure you remove all traces of it from your gums at the end of every day.
Don’t forget to brush your gums and tongue, as they can harbour bacteria too. Brush and floss any remaining teeth twice a day.
Don’t neglect your dental check-up appointments. Your dentist needs to inspect the condition of your mouth on a regular basis and to ensure that your denture still fits you comfortably.
Have your denture relined regularly. It is common for your denture to become looser over time. This is because of changes that occur to the tissues of your mouth, as well as wear on the denture. Having a denture reline will ensure a more comfortable fit that will make it easier to speak and chew.
What To Do About Sore Spots?
It may happen that you experience tender areas in your mouth as a result of wearing your denture. This is likely to be fixed by adjusting the denture to fit your mouth better. You should not attempt to make any adjustments yourself, but rather contact your dentist as soon as possible. You can treat the sore spots with a warm salt water rinse until you can see your dentist.
How To Get Rid Of Stains?
It is possible for your denture to be stained by food and drink like coffee and tobacco. Getting rid of the stains keeps your smile white and bright, and will help you to feel more confident. If you find that stains are developing despite your efforts at cleaning your denture regularly, you can try:
- Rinsing and cleaning your denture when you drink coffee or smoke
- Make a whitening solution by mixing water with vinegar or baking soda but make sure the baking soda is dissolved in the water.
What To Avoid?
Do not use whitening toothpaste or abrasive substances on your denture as this can cause damage. Also be sure to avoid hot water, as this can cause your denture to lose shape.
If you need more professional tips on how to clean dentures, please contact us for an appointment: (02) 8203 8760.