Caring for dentures
Keeping dentures clean is essential to keep them looking nice, to prevent mouth odour, remove the daily accumulation of bacteria and food debris, and keep the mouth lining healthy. Dentures should be named, especially for patients in hospital or residential care.
How often should dentures be cleaned?
Rinse the denture following eating. Ensure the underside of the dentures are brushed as well as the side with the teeth. Rinse the mouth with water before putting the dentures back to ensure the gums are free of food debris.
What if it is not possible to clean dentures after every meal?
As an absolute minimum, dentures at least should be cleaned once a day. If left longer, plaque will build up to unhygienic levels that may harm the gums and the lining of the mouth.
What is the most suitable method of cleaning dentures?
A variety of different types of denture cleanser are available. There are pastes, solutions and powders. Choosing the most suitable method for dentures can help to remove debris and staining, and may also extend the life of the denture. The choice of cleansing method depends on the type of denture so check the denture cleaner labelling and instructions.
Remove debris by brushing with a soft toothbrush, liquid soap or washing-up liquid, and cold water. Avoid too strong a solution of denture cleanser and do not leave the denture in to soak for longer than the instructions advise as this may cause damage to the denture.
Never use household bleach. It is too harsh and strong-smelling for cleaning dentures.
How can I avoid damaging dentures while they are being cleaned?
Always brush dentures over a basin of water. Then, if you accidentally drop the denture, it will be cushioned by the water, and will not break. Avoid stiff brushes and avoid toothpastes designed for natural teeth. Both these cleaning methods will be very abrasive, and over a period of time will wear away the denture.
Should dentures be taken out at night?
Dentists usually recommend that dentures are cleaned every evening, and then left out until the following morning in order to rest the gums. However, some people feel uncomfortable without any dentures, and prefer to continue wearing them during the night. If the denture is kept in at night, it should be free from food debris and bacteria-containing plaque. Good denture hygiene every day helps to keep your denture in good condition and your mouth healthy.