Denture Care Made Simple

How To Care for Your Dentures

Dentures improve your smile by replacing lost teeth. These false teeth are made from materials like metal and acrylic and are designed to look like natural teeth. Even though you have denture teeth, cleaning them regularly is still important. 

Cleaning your dentures is more involved than simply brushing. Several steps are required to keep your dentures in good condition. Read on for how to maintain and clean your dentures as part of good denture care.

 

Key Takeaways

  • How you care for your dentures differs slightly between traditional and fixed implant-supported dentures.

  • Clean your dentures daily with brushing and soaking.

  • Quality denture care prevents gingivitis and periodontal disease.

  • It’s essential to continue to have regular checkups with your dentist.

  • See your dentist if you have concerns about the status of your oral health or the quality or fit of your dentures.

 

What Are the 3 Types of Dentures?

There are three different types of dentures available to choose from. Both permanent and removable options replace all of your teeth or just a few.

3 Types of Dentures

  1. Complete full dentures
  2. Partial dentures
  3. Implant-supported dentures

 

1. Complete Full Dentures 

Full dentures are a “complete” set of false teeth that replace all teeth in a person’s mouth. These dentures can typically be placed within 8-12 weeks after all of a patient’s teeth are removed. 

 

2. Partial Dentures 

Partial dentures replace some teeth for patients with some remaining natural teeth. Your dentist can recommend the best partial dentures if you have some remaining natural teeth. They are typically acrylic, but flexible dentures can be nylon or thermoplastics. [1] 

 

3. Implant-Supported Dentures 

Implant-supported dentures use a dental implant to replace missing teeth. The implant stays secure and gives solid support to the remaining natural teeth. Dental implants require surgery. Still, they can improve the patient’s oral health by protecting and preserving the jawbone and remaining teeth. [2]

Summary

There are three primary types of dentures: complete, partial, and implant-supported. Partial and complete dentures are removable, while implant-supported dentures remain in the mouth long-term. Choosing dentures vs. implants is a decision you should make in consultation with a dental professional.

 

Why Is Denture Care Important? 

Caring for your oral health is just as important if you have dentures as it is with your natural teeth

Proper denture care maintains the life of your dentures and prevents gum disease. Plaque builds up on your false teeth; if left unchecked, it can cause bad breath, further tooth loss, and gum disease. The removal of dental plaque prevents gingivitis and periodontal disease. [3]

Summary

Denture care is vital to maintain good oral hygiene and prevent gingivitis and periodontal disease.

 

Denture Cleaning Tools 

The American Dental Association recommends brushing and soaking dentures for effective cleaning. [4] To do this, you will need the following:

  • Water
  • Nonabrasive denture cleanser
  • Soft-bristled toothbrush

Summary

Proper cleaning tools include a soft-bristled brush and a nonabrasive denture cleanser.

 

How Do You Take Care of Dentures? 5-Step Cleaning Instruction

Effective cleaning requires you to brush and soak dentures.  

  1. Remove dentures carefully over a folded towel on the bathroom counter to protect them if they are accidentally dropped.
  2. Rinse dentures with lukewarm water.
  3. Use a soft bristled toothbrush to loosen and remove plaque, bacteria, and loose food particles. Take care to clean all tooth surface areas and remove any denture adhesive. Rinse dentures again after brushing.
  4. Soak dentures in warm water or a non-abrasive denture cleanser overnight. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for using the denture-soaking solution properly.
  5. Rinse dentures with warm water before wearing.

Although you shouldn’t use toothpaste to clean dentures, you should use toothpaste on your gums and tongue twice per day when you remove your dentures. This will help clean your mouth and prevent bad breath. If you have partials, brush and floss your remaining natural teeth. 

 

Denture Care for Implant-Supported Dentures 

Caring for implant-supported dentures differs slightly depending on whether your dentures are fixed or removable. Here are some tips for cleaning implant-supported dentures: 

  1. Gently brush your dentures with a soft toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste to remove food debris.
  2. Use a water-flosser with an implant brush to clean hard-to-reach places on fixed devices.
  3. For removable implant-supported dentures, soak them in a cleaning solution overnight, as you would with other types of dentures.
  4. Consider biannual appointments for professional cleaning.

Summary

Care for your removable partial or complete dentures by brushing them daily and soaking them in a non-abrasive cleanser overnight. For fixed implant-supported devices, a water-flosser can help with cleaning.

 

5 Things To Avoid When Caring for Your Dentures

It makes sense to avoid using materials or tools that could cause damage to your dentures, but you might be surprised and what those things are.

5 Things To Avoid When Caring for Your Dentures

 

1. Abrasive Toothbrushes 

Abrasive brushes and abrasive cleaning materials can scratch or damage your dentures. 

 

2. Bleach Products 

Bleach-containing products can weaken dentures and change their color. Chlorine solutions can damage metal attachments, eroding and tarnishing the denture base. 

 

3. Whitening Toothpaste 

Whitening toothpastes contain hydrogen peroxide, which can damage your dentures.

 

4. Hot Water 

Hot water can warp your dentures. Always use lukewarm or cool water overnight for soaking your appliance.

 

5. Overnight Wear 

It’s not advisable to wear dentures overnight while you sleep

 

Over time it can cause health issues due to the build-up of bacteria in your mouth. Bacteria will deteriorate your gums, eventually degrade the structure of your jaw bone, and increase the risk of pneumonia for elderly denture wearers. [5]

Summary

Avoid harmful chemicals, whitening toothpaste, and bleach-containing products for cleaning. Always remove your dentures overnight to prevent bacteria from building up in your mouth, and soak dentures in cool or warm water.

 

Long Term Denture Maintenance

Dentures don’t last forever, but caring for them properly can help them last as long as possible.

 

How to Care for Dentures When Not in Use 

The most important thing to remember when not using your dentures is to keep them submerged. If acrylic is left to dry out, it will lose shape, leading to brittle and ill-fitting dentures that break easily. Considering how much dentures cost, care and maintenance is the best way to avoid replacing them prematurely. 

 

How to Repair Broken Dentures 

As tempting as it is to try and fix your dentures at home, it’s imperative to make an emergency appointment with your dental office when they break. Your dentist can check them thoroughly and make any necessary repairs. 

If your dentures break in half, there’s not much you can do until you get help. You can fashion a temporary fix using a bonding agent specially designed to fix broken dentures. These kits include safe bonding material for short-term repairs. 

 

How to Whiten Dentures and Remove Stains 

You can avoid stains by soaking your dentures in a denture cleanser daily. If this is not enough, here is how to whiten dentures: 

  • Baking soda – Make a baking soda and water paste, and use a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean your appliance.
  • White vinegar – Soaking in white vinegar overnight and cleaning with a toothbrush in the morning provides removal of stains and bacteria.
  • Denture bleach – Add a teaspoon of mild dental bleach to a cup of water. Soak your dentures for around 15 minutes, and then rinse.
  • Salt – Soaking in saltwater or dabbing a wet toothbrush in salt effectively cleans and disinfects false teeth.
  • Mouthwash – Soaking dentures in denture-safe mouthwash has added whitening properties.
  • Floss – Flossing the tight spaces in your dentures helps remove stains caused by bacteria and food debris. 

 

When to See Your Dentist 

It would be best if you continued to visit your dentist every six months for regular care and maintenance. Regular dental appointments are essential to maintain your oral health. In addition, make an appointment if your dentures:

  • Slip or don’t fit properly
  • Feel uncomfortable or cause pain
  • Make noise when talking or eating
  • Are visibly worn or broken

 

 Also, consult a professional if you develop:

  • Mouth sores
  • Bad breath
  • Bleeding gums

These are signs that you’re not experiencing proper denture fit due to loose dentures.

Summary

Always keep your dentures moist and don’t let them dry out. Only use proper denture adhesive to make temporary repairs on broken dentures until you see your dentist. It would be best if you continued to have regular oral checkups or anytime you have concerns about your dentures.

 

FAQ

We’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions to further answer your questions about denture care.

 

What Should I Soak My Dentures in Overnight?

Should Dentures Be Kept in Water?

Can You Leave Dentures in All the Time?

How Many Hours a Day Should You Wear Dentures?

 

Conclusion 

Dentures improve your smile and build self-confidence after tooth loss. Cleaning dentures properly will extend your appliance’s life and maintain your oral health foundation. Soak and brush your dentures each night and maintain regular dental care. Your dentist can assist with any problems or concerns about your dentures.

 

References:

  1. Akinyamoju CA, Ogunrinde TJ, Taiwo JO, Dosumu OO. Comparison of patient satisfaction with acrylic and flexible partial dentures. Niger Postgrad Med J. 2017 Jul-Sep;24(3):143-149. doi: 10.4103/npmj.npmj_54_17. PMID: 29082902.
  2. Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “Dental Implants: What You Should Know.” U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA, https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/dental-devices/dental-implants-what-you-should-know.
  3. Nikawa, Hiroki, et al. “Denture Plaque - Past and Recent Concerns.” Journal of Dentistry, Elsevier, 23 June 1998, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0300571297000262.
  4. “Dentures.” American Dental Association, https://www.ada.org/resources/research/science-and-research-institute/oral-health-topics/dentures.
  5. Sage Journals: Your Gateway to World-Class Research Journals. https://journals.sagepub.com/.

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