To quickly adapt to the feeling of wearing new dentures, we recommend wearing your dentures at all times — even at night, at first. After you have become more accustomed, you can take your dentures out at night. This is a good time to clean them and give your mouth a rest.
Fill your sink with water.
This helps prevent breakage in case your dentures accidentally slip out of your hands while cleaning them. You may also want to cushion the sink and counter with a soft cloth or towel.
Rinse your dentures thoroughly.
Like natural teeth, dentures can get stained and develop tartar and bacteria. To help keep those pearly whites, well, white, use cool or warm water to rinse your dentures free of any large or loose food particles before brushing them. (Never use hot water! It can warp your dentures.)
Brush your dentures.
When brushing dentures, use a soft-bristled or denture brush, warm water, and a dentist-recommended, non-abrasive cleaning agent. If cleaning solutions are not available, you can use dish soap (not dishwasher detergent) with lukewarm water. Brush thoroughly and gently, scrubbing both the inside and outside of your dentures. This will help eliminate any harmful bacteria. If you use denture adhesive, clean the grooves that fit against your gums to remove any remaining sticky residue. Finally, rinse your dentures well under the faucet to remove all traces of cleaning paste.
Do not use brushes with stiff bristles, regular toothpaste, alcohol, bleaching agents, or vinegar — which can damage your dentures — unless directed to do so by your dental professional.
Soak your dentures.
After you brush, soak your dentures overnight (unless they have a soft liner inside) in warm water or a dentist-approved, non abrasive denture cleanser/solution. This will help prevent your dentures from drying out and protect their shape, as well as remove food and prevent the buildup of plaque, bacteria, and odor-causing germs.
Never use denture cleansers directly inside your mouth and be sure to rinse dentures thoroughly before putting them back into your mouth.
Brush the rest of your mouth.
Lastly, brush your gums, tongue, cheeks, and top of your mouth with a soft-bristled, regular toothbrush and toothpaste. This will help stimulate circulation and remove plaque and bacteria that could contribute to gum irritation and bad breath. Repeat this step before putting in your dentures in the morning.
How to Clean Partial Dentures and Partial Dentures with Metal
If you have partial dentures, follow all of the above steps for cleaning. The only difference is that having partial dentures means you also have natural teeth that require care, so proper oral hygiene is just as, if not more, important. Taking care of your teeth and your partial dentures will help keep them stain-free and functioning properly, prevent bacteria, and help them last longer.
If you have partial dentures with metal, brush gently to avoid bending the attachments. Soak in a cleaning solution made specifically for dentures with metal and follow the manufacturer’s instructions as they may not be made to soak overnight. Follow the soak by softly brushing again.
As with regular dentures, do not use boiling water, the dishwasher, or the microwave to clean or soak your partial dentures as it may warp their shape. Do not use whitening toothpastes or abrasive household cleaners either.
Even with partial dentures, it is important to give your mouth a break to allow the gum tissue to rest and to allow for natural cleansing by the tongue and saliva. Keep partial dentures soaked overnight in water or a mild denture solution. Consult your dentist about the correct way to store your partial dentures while sleeping. Massaging your gums in the morning and evening with your finger or a soft bristle toothbrush will also help stimulate blood flow and improve tissue health.
How to Remove Plaque and Stains from Dentures
The best way to keep your dentures and partial dentures stain-free is to clean them regularly! But we know that, even with the most committed oral hygiene regimen, stains and plaque buildup can happen. (Hello, coffee and tea drinkers!)
In addition to consuming food and drink that are particularly prone to causing yellowing, daily life can also lead to plaque and tartar on your teeth and dentures. Both contain bacteria, which forms on the surface of your teeth and/or dentures and can cause gum disease, denture decay, and discoloration.
If you notice discoloration, soak dentures overnight in a cleaning solution or denture stain remover. Or, use fast-acting cleansers then soak overnight in water. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. In the morning, rinse your dentures well before wearing. Repeat every day. If you have partial dentures, make sure you are using a product formulated for partials.
If you can’t seem to get rid of the stains on your own at home, consult a dental professional. They will likely be able to remove surface stains and buildup with their equipment and recommend the cleaning product that’s best for your type of denture.
Everyday Tips to Keep Your Dentures Clean
- Follow good hygiene. Stick to the tips and steps above for brushing dentures and your mouth daily.
- Be mindful of your diet. Avoid eating foods that can get stuck in, dislodge, or even fracture your dentures. Trapped foods can cause tooth decay, discomfort, and discoloration.
- Chew, chew, chew. Cut your food into small pieces and eat soft-textured foods while you get used to eating with your dentures. Chew on both sides of your mouth to avoid dislodging your dentures.
- Stay hydrated. Make sure to drink plenty of water to replenish saliva and avoid dry mouth, which may cause irritations of the mouth and gums and increase chances of bacterial decay.
- Attend your regular dental appointments! Your dentist will examine and clean your dentures professionally and make any needed adjustments to ensure a good fit and comfortable use. You should get your dentures cleaned professionally yearly!
Additional Denture Services
As a denture wearer, you know that caring for your dentures is an important part of your oral health. Our practices offer a variety of denture services, designed to ensure you are comfortable with your dentures and happy with your smile.