Everyday Denture Care Tips
Be mindful of your diet.
Avoid eating hard, sticky, or crunchy foods to reduce the chances of breaking your denture.
- Sticky foods can get trapped and stick to dentures and teeth. This can cause tooth decay, discomfort, and discoloration. Try to avoid chewy types of food like caramel and hard foods like nuts, which can loosen your dentures and/or cause them to fracture
- Choose more soft snack options like air-puffed vegetable crisps or a blended smoothie for a healthy snack that's easier on your teeth
Remember, dentures are made of acrylic, which is a highly rigid plastic. They can and will break no matter who makes them when heavy stresses are applied; and in these unpredictable times during our closure, we do not have the ability to repair them until you can once again visit your local practice.
Follow good hygiene habits.
It’s important to clean your dentures and mouth every day.
- Remember to brush your gums, mouth, cheeks, and tongue with a soft-bristled brush and toothpaste before putting dentures in each morning; this will help remove plaque and bacteria that could contribute to gum irritation and bad breath
- Like regular teeth, dentures can get stained and develop tartar and bacteria. To help keep your prosthetic whites clean, first rinse them to remove food particles. Then brush gently with a dampened soft-bristled brush or denture brush using a mild hand soap or dishwashing detergent and warm water. We encourage you to avoid bleaching agents and toothpastes, which can damage your dentures
If you use denture adhesive, clean the grooves that fit against your gums to remove any remaining adhesive.
Soak dentures daily (unless they have a liner inside).
After you brush, soak your dentures daily with a nonabrasive denture cleanser to remove food, plaque, and bacteria.
- A bonus— soaking dentures in a cleaning solution can also help kill germs that cause bad breath. Check with the manufacturer's suggestion on how long you should soak your dentures. Never use denture cleansers inside your mouth and be sure to rinse dentures thoroughly before putting them back into your mouth
- Different types of denture cleaners are available, including effervescent, gels, and creams
Never soak dentures that have a soft liner on the inside. Soaking a denture with a soft liner will cause the liner to become hard and rigid -- losing its soft, comfortable, forgiving properties.
Give your mouth a 6- to 8-hour break (Avoid wearing your dentures while sleeping).
Be sure to remove your dentures for 6 to 8 hours a day to allow the tissues of your mouth to heal from any soreness or irritation that may have occurred throughout the day.
- Sleeping without dentures is a good way to give your mouth a rest
- Store your dentures in warm—not hot—water or a dentist-approved solution; this helps keep your denture’s shape and prevents them from drying out
When handling your dentures, fill your sink with water or keep a towel underneath them to prevent your dentures from breaking if they fall.
Cut your food in small pieces.
Remember: there is an adjustment period in which you continue to get used to chewing with your dentures; this can affect your overall health and digestion if you are not eating well-balanced meals because you are avoiding certain foods.
- By cutting your food into smaller pieces, this will help you to better chew
- Add gravies or a small pat of butter to soften up some foods for chewing
Also, chew on both sides of your mouth to avoid dislodging your dentures while eating.
Dry mouth may cause irritations of the mouth and gums and increase chances of bacterial decay. As a denture wearer, you may experience dry mouth on occasion.
- It is important to stay hydrated so your body can replenish fluids like saliva
- The general rule of thumb is to drink at least eight ounces of fluids daily
Also check with your physician if you are taking any medications that may contribute to dry mouth.
Use this time to get used to your dentures.
Use this time when many of you are at home due to COVID-19 “stay-at-home” orders to continue to get used to wearing dentures.
- Getting used to dentures takes some time. Not only is eating impacted but also speaking
- One way to help you with your speech while wearing dentures is to practice reading aloud
- Practice different sounds to allow the muscles of the tongue and mouth to get used to navigating with the dentures in place
- Call a friend, family member, or loved one during this time of social distancing to practice speaking with your dentures