A Beginner’s Guide to Denture Cleaning

denture cleaning

Over 41 million people in the US benefit from wearing dentures. Dentures are comfortable, and allow the wearer to feel confident in their smile. However, when it comes to denture cleaning, even the most experienced denture wearer might feel uncertain. 

There are a few simple steps you must follow to clean dentures. Keeping your dentures to a good standard of hygiene is important. Unclean dentures can lead to excess bacteria in your mouth, which ultimately could result in further tooth loss. 

To find out everything you need to know about cleaning your dentures and denture cleaning products, keep reading below. 

Do the Different Denture Types Require Different Cleaning Methods?

There are three main types of dentures. All three require regular cleaning to maintain the dentures themselves and good oral hygiene. You may need one or more kinds of dentures throughout your lifetime. 

Complete

Complete dentures are likely the ones you are most familiar with as they are often seen in film and TV. Dentists use these kinds of dentures to substitute entire rows of teeth. Some people only need them on one row (e.g. bottom or top) whilst others need them to replace all the teeth in their mouth. 

To clean complete dentures, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a denture cleanser. Brush them lightly after meals, in the morning, and before bed to remove food and bacteria. 

Always make sure to remove your dentures before using a denture cleanser. At night, you can also soak your complete dentures in a cup of cool water. This helps them maintain their support and structure. 

Fixed-Partial

Fixed partial dentures are used to mask the appearance of missing teeth. However, dentists fix them in place. Therefore, if removal is necessary, a dental specialist will have to carry this out.

This makes them convenient for those with one or two missing teeth that want to avoid other kinds of dentures. 

Fixed partial dentures, or dental bridges, are completely permanent. Therefore, they can’t be removed when you wish to clean them. Simply brush your dental bridge as you would your other teeth using a soft brush. 

Partial

Like fixed partial dentures, partial dentures substitute missing teeth. They are attached to teeth or dental implants by your dentist to fill the gap caused by missing teeth. However, unlike fixed-partial dentures, partial dentures can be removed and cleaned.

Clean your partial dentures using the same method you would to clean complete dentures. A soft-bristled brush is recommended to give the dentures a thorough cleaning without damaging them. 

When you first have partial dentures implanted in your mouth, your dentist with recommend keeping them in for 24 hours to begin with. After this, it is easy to remove and clean them, however, they should be replaced quickly after cleaning. 

What Are the Most Common Denture Cleaning Products

There are several denture cleaning products you should keep on hand to keep them clean. There are other, more specific products you may choose to use depending on your dentures and oral hygiene preference. However, the list below comprises everything you should have in a basic denture cleaning kit. 

Soft-Bristled Brush

A soft-bristled brush is the best kind of toothbrush you can use for your dentures. It ensures your dentures get the cleaning they need without damaging them or causing structural changes. Use a soft brushing motion as you would on regular teeth when cleaning your dentures. 

Denture Cleanser

There are various denture cleansing solutions available for you to choose from. A good denture cleanser will gently remove any dirt, food, and bacteria from your dentures. This ensures they are clean and won’t adversely affect your health when you wear them. 

White Vinegar

White vinegar is also a great way to get clean dentures and it can even remove staining. Add a drop or two of white vinegar to cool water and soak your dentures overnight to combat harmful bacteria and keep them clean. 

What Not To Use On Dentures

Some dental hygiene products aren’t suitable for cleaning dentures. Using these on your dentures could affect their structure and may not clean them as well as you may think. If you have dentures and are curious about what should and shouldn’t be used to clean them, make sure to follow up with a dentist. 

Toothpaste

Perhaps surprisingly, toothpaste isn’t a suitable denture-cleaning tool. The purpose of toothpaste is to clean the enamel on real teeth, removing food and bacteria from them. However, it is too harsh to be used on dentures and could scratch them, making them less efficient. 

Toothpicks

Toothpicks are also a poor choice when it comes to denture cleaning. The sharp edge of a toothpick is great for removing food between regular teeth. However, it will scratch your dentures and can even damage the seal between the denture gum and the denture tooth. 

Floss

For a similar reason to toothpicks, you should avoid using floss during denture cleaning. You may think that running floss between your dentures will remove hidden food particles. However, it will only scratch your dentures.

This could mean you will need to buy new dentures earlier than necessary. 

Can a Dentist Clean My Dentures For Me? 

The good news is that a dentist can most definitely clean your dentures. While keeping them clean at home is necessary (just like regular teeth) seeing a dentist often to clean them professionally is a great way to look after them. 

You and your dentist will create a plan regarding how regularly you should visit to have your dentures cleaned. This may depend on your previous oral hygiene or the kind of dentures you have implanted. Always make sure to follow the guidance of your dentist as they have the expertise to keep your dentures and your mouth clean and healthy. 

Step-By-Step Denture Cleaning Guide

Cleaning your dentures at home is easy. Make sure to follow these steps to remove any bacteria and keep your dentures as hygienic as possible.

1. Post-Food Cleaning

Giving your dentures a quick clean after you eat is very important. It stops excess bacteria from building up, especially in between your dentures. Simply run your dentures underwater for 30-60 seconds.

2. When You Remove Your Dentures, Clean Your Mouth

If you still have some natural teeth left, it is important to keep these clean. You can use a regular toothbrush and toothpaste on your natural teeth. You may also wish to use mouthwash but only do so when not wearing your dentures. 

3. Brush Your Dentures Twice a Day

As you would with normal teeth, you should gently brush your dentures in the morning and at night. Do so when you have removed them from your mouth and use a dental cleanser and soft-bristled brush. 

4. Ensure You Allow Your Dentures to Soak Overnight

After brushing your dentures at night, place them in a glass of water. You may wish to add white vinegar or a denture cleanser to the water to enhance the cleansing effect.

5. Clean Your Dentures Before Putting Them In

After you have soaked your dentures all night, it is very important to rinse them off before you put them back in your mouth. The components that make up dental cleansers shouldn’t be swallowed, so they must be rinsed away. 

What Other Ways Can I Take Care of My Dentures?

Taking care of and cleaning your dentures properly will allow you to get the most out of them. Never soak your dentures in water that is too hot, as this can damage any adhesive and affect its structure. 

You should also avoid bending or roughly handling your dentures. This too can damage the structure and make it more difficult for your dentures to fit in your mouth. 

When Are Dentures Needed?

While many people seem to associate denture use with the elderly, this idea isn’t correct. Many people use dentures throughout their life and regardless of their age.

For example, a person may need dentures after an accident if someone has lost teeth. Others get dentures to replace any gaps in the mouth caused by missing teeth or teeth that have not grown properly. 

If you feel you need dentures for whatever reason, get in touch with a team of dental specialists who can talk you through the process. 

Follow This Denture Cleaning Guide For Healthy Dentures!

Proper denture cleaning is an important part of oral hygiene. If your dentures aren’t regularly cleaned, you risk adding harmful bacteria to your mouth.

Luckily, DIY denture cleaning isn’t too difficult! The wide range of denture accessories and cleaning products available makes it easy to keep your dentures clean and ready for anything. If you ever do have trouble cleaning your dentures or aren’t sure if you are doing so correctly, an oral hygienist or dentist can guide and advise you. 

For an expert opinion on all things denture related, get in touch today. Our team of denture specialists is waiting to help you on your denture journey.