A Quick Guide to Denture Maintenance
Proper denture hygiene is important for your oral health and will prolong the life of dentures.
Just like brushing natural teeth, dentures need to be maintained to feel good, avoid the development of discomfort, sore gums, and keeping remaining teeth healthy for longevity. Poor denture hygiene poses a risk to oral and even general health. To avoid this here’s an easy to follow guide on oral hygiene when wearing dentures.
Four routines to keep in mind throughout the day.
- Rinsing routine after a meal or a snack
- Daily cleaning routine
- Overnight soaking routine
- Storing routine when not wearing
Prepare the following equipment
- Denture brush or any soft-braised brush
- Denture cleaning tablets. The tablets are dissolved in water to make cleaning and soaking solutions. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the preparation steps.
- Gauze or a soft toothbrush.
- Towel. This is used to handle dentures over a soft area to avoid breaking or chipping if accidentally dropped.
- Access to sink.
- Ultrasonic cleaner (optional). It is a machine that can clean dentures down to the microscopic level using high-frequency sound when emerged in water. Note that the use of ultrasonic cleaner does not replace a thorough daily brushing routine
Routine 1. Rinsing routine after a meal or a snack
Step 1. Remove and rinse. Use a towel on the side of a tub or place it in the tub. Run lukewarm water over dentures to remove debris and loose particles. Handle carefully and avoid bending plastic or metal parts.
Step 2. Clean your mouth. Use a brush with soft bristles on remaining natural teeth. Use gauze or a soft toothbrush to clean your tongue, cheeks, and palate. Remove any remaining denture adhesives if used.
Routine 2. Daily cleaning routine
Follow steps one and two from Routine 1 to start, then:
Step 3. Soak and clean dentures with a soft braided brush and denture cleansing solution. If used, remove any adhesive remainings. Always rinse denture cleanser before wearing dentures again. Never use denture cleanser inside your mouth
Routine 3. Overnight soaking routine
Soak dentures in a container with a denture-cleaning tablet dissolved in lukewarm or cold water. Follow the manufacturer's instructions on the denture-cleaning tablets. Rinse thoroughly before putting on. If special cleaning tablets are not available, follow denture cleaning routine and let it rest overnight in clean lukewarm water.
Routine 4. Storing routine when not wearing
When not worn, dentures should be placed in a solution made with a denture cleanser or in lukewarm/cold water if cleaning tablets are not available. Keeping dentures moist prevents plastic denture parts from shrinking that can cause poor fit and make it brittle.
What to avoid
- Abrasive cleaning materials, like stiff-bristled brushes, strong cleansers and abrasive toothpaste. These can damage denture material and lead to breaking.
- Whitening toothpaste. These pastes contain peroxide and do not change the colour of denture teeth.
- Bleach-containing products. These products can weaken denture material and whiten artificial gums. Chlorine can tarnish and corrode the metal parts of a denture.
- Hot water. Avoid hot or boiling water as it can warp your denture.
In addition to regular routines, keep in mind these two events when you should see your denturist:
- See your denturist yearly for checkups. Your denturist will examine your oral health, clean dentures and ensure proper fit if an adjustment is due.
- See denturist immediately if you have a loose fit, denture rocking or movement, feel discomfort or notice sore spots in the mouth.
Best time of day to you and as always - smile freely.