Denture Care 101: How to Maintain and Clean Your Dentures for Long-lasting Comfort

cleaning teeth performed by professional dentist

Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you, and if you have dentures, keeping them clean and well-maintained is essential for your comfort and confidence. This comprehensive guide will provide you with all the information you need to care for your dentures properly and ensure they last for a long time.

Types of Dentures

Before diving into denture care, it’s essential to know that different types of dentures are available. Some of the most common types include:
  • Complete dentures replace all the teeth in the upper or lower jaw or both.
  • Partial dentures: These replace just a few missing teeth and typically attach to existing teeth with clasps or precision attachments.
The care instructions for your dentures may vary depending on your type, so it’s crucial to follow the guidelines provided by your dentist or denture manufacturer. Let’s discuss the various aspects of denture care that apply to most types.

Daily Denture Cleaning

One of the most important aspects of maintaining dentures is cleaning them daily. Dentures can accumulate food particles, plaque, and bacteria like natural teeth. Daily cleaning can help prevent these problems and keep your mouth and dentures healthy.

Here are some steps to follow when cleaning your dentures:

  1. Remove your dentures from your mouth after eating and rinse them under running water to remove any food debris and loose particles.
  2. Be gentle when handling your dentures during cleaning to avoid bending the plastic or damaging the clasps.
  3. Brush the dentures using a soft-bristled toothbrush and a nonabrasive denture cleanser or mild soap. This will help remove food, plaque, and other deposits from the denture surfaces.
  4. Rinse your dentures thoroughly under water after brushing to remove any cleanser residue.

Remember, using toothpaste on your dentures is not advisable, as toothpaste can be abrasive and may scratch the denture surface, making them more susceptible to staining and bacteria buildup.

Denture Soaking Solutions

Apart from daily cleaning, it’s necessary to soak your dentures overnight. This helps them retain their shape, as most dentures need to stay moist. Soaking them in water or a mild denture-soaking solution is usually recommended. Be sure to check the instructions your dentist or denture manufacturer provided for the appropriate soaking method.

Avoid using bleach products when choosing a denture-soaking solution, as they can weaken the denture material and alter its color. Also, if your dentures have metal parts, do not use chlorine solutions, as they may cause the metal to rust or tarnish.

After soaking your dentures overnight, make sure to rinse them thoroughly under running water before putting them back in your mouth.
Some denture-soaking solutions contain harmful chemicals that can cause irritation or other issues if swallowed.
Denture Soaking Solutions​

Caring for Natural Teeth and Mouth

While proper denture care is critical, it’s equally essential to care for the rest of your mouth after removing your dentures. This includes your remaining natural teeth, tongue, cheeks, and palate. Regular oral hygiene can help prevent gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath.
Here’s how to clean your mouth after removing your dentures:
  1. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean your natural teeth, taking care to brush along the gum line and on the chewing surfaces.
  2. Use a soft toothbrush or gauze to gently clean your tongue, cheeks, and the roof of your mouth. This will help remove food debris, bacteria, and denture adhesive residue.
  3. Maintain regular dental checkups and cleanings to ensure the overall health of your teeth and gums.

Denture Adhesive Removal

Denture adhesives can be used to help secure dentures in place and improve their fitness. However, removing any remaining adhesive from the dentures and your gums after use is essential.
To remove denture adhesive, follow the earlier cleaning steps, paying extra attention to the grooves that fit against your gums. Remove any adhesive residue on your gums using a soft toothbrush or gauze.

Dentist Check-ups and Adjustments

Even with proper denture care, you must schedule regular dental checkups with your dentist. They can help ensure that your dentures fit correctly, preventing discomfort and slippage. Your dentist will also check the overall health of your mouth, including your gums, remaining teeth, and the areas where your dentures rest.
If you notice a change in the fit of your dentures or experience any discomfort, visit your dentist promptly for adjustments. Wearing ill-fitting dentures can be uncomfortable and lead to irritation, sores, and infections.

Tips for Avoiding Denture Damage and Discomfort

Here are a few tips to help you avoid damaging your dentures and minimize discomfort:
  • Avoid using abrasive cleaning materials, strong cleansers, or harsh toothpaste on your dentures.
  • Do not use whitening toothpaste or bleach-containing products, as they can damage or discolor your dentures.
  • Avoid soaking dentures in boiling water, as it can warp their shape.
  • Place a towel in the sink or on the counter while cleaning your dentures to help prevent damage if you accidentally drop them.

The takeaway

In conclusion, properly caring for your dentures is crucial for ensuring their longevity and overall oral health. By following the guidelines and tips provided in this article and consulting with your dentist for personalized advice and adjustments, you can enjoy a comfortable and confident smile for years to come.