If you thought getting dentures meant you could slack off on brushing your teeth, I have news for you. Dentures have to be cleaned every day in order to avoid bad breath, inflammation of the gums, sores, and infection. Keeping your dentures clean will remove plaque buildup, food particles, tartar, and stains.
The key to keeping your dentures in top condition is brushing all surfaces gently but thoroughly with a soft nylon toothbrush and mildly abrasive toothpaste or denture cleaner. In between, rinse the dentures in the sink under lukewarm running water after every time you eat. You should also soak your dentures in a denture solution for at least 30 minutes a day. This will help to ward off bad breath caused by the dentures absorbing odors and bacteria, as well as removing stains from the surface. Be sure to rinse the dentures with clean water before placing them back in your mouth.
There are also a few precautions you should observe to keep your dentures in good working order.
- Always brush your dentures over a towel or a sink full of water. If you drop your dentures, this will cushion the fall, otherwise they can break.
- When soaking your dentures, be sure the water is not too hot. Hot water can cause them to warp and change the way they fit.
- Always use soft bristled toothbrushes and mildly abrasive toothpaste or cleanser to brush your dentures. Hard bristles and more abrasive cleaners can scratch the surface, giving plaque and bacteria and place to hide, leading to odor and stains.
- If you start to notice tartar accumulating on your dentures, take them to a dentist for cleaning. Resist the temptation to use a sharp object to clean them yourself, you could scratch the surface. Also avoid any temptation to try to bleach your dentures as this could whiten the pink part of the denture.
- Keep your dentures moist when you don’t have them in your mouth. Allowing them to dry out too much can cause them to fit differently. When you take them out, leave them in a container of water or denture cleaner. If your denture has metal parts, talk to your dentist about the best way to prevent them from tarnishing.
- It is generally recommended that dentures be removed at night. Doing so allows your gums to rest without the dentures rubbing. Constant pressure from the denture can aggravate the wearing away of the bone, which changes the way your dentures fit. It can also lead to sores which can become infected.