To keep your smile looking its best, your dentures must be cleaned regularly in order to ensure they’re clean and free from stains. Just like natural teeth, dentures are also susceptible to plaque and yellowing if not removed daily. In addition to visiting your dentist at least once per year to have them checked, you can keep your removable partial or full dentures sparkling by following these steps:
Be sure to handle your dentures carefully and prevent damage if dropped by removing them over a sink filled with water. Upon removal, clean your natural teeth, tongue, and palate with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
Run dentures under warm water, especially after eating, to remove any loose food particles and debris.
Use a denture cleanser and avoid toothpaste, soap, vinegar and bleach for cleaning, as they are not designed for the job and could potentially cause damage to the prosthetic. Gently scrub with a soft-bristled brush daily to disinfect all surfaces of the denture (this step is important to kill the plaque bacteria which grow in the minute scratches of dentures and cause odor).
Since most dentures need to remain moist to keep their shape, it is vital to soak them in a mild solution overnight. Avoid soaking dentures which are comprised of metal attachments in solutions that contain chlorine since it can tarnish the metal. Before putting your dentures back in your mouth, remember to wash them off with water because denture-soaking solutions contain harmful chemicals which can lead to vomiting, pain or burns if swallowed.
As recommended by the American College of Prosthodontists (ACP), it is important to schedule regular dental checkups. While having your dentures examined and professionally cleaned by your dentist, it is important to take this time to ask for advice or receive answers to questions you have about oral care. If your dentures become loose, see your dentist immediately as they can cause irritation, infection and sores.
Every two years, dentures should be refit and after five to ten years, they should be remade. This is because natural changes in your mouth cause the bony ridge that dentures sit on to become smaller over time. Your oral care professional will let you know when an adjustment, relining or new dentures are needed.