Just because you’re wearing dentures doesn’t mean you’re let off the hook and no longer have to worry about your teeth. Just like natural teeth, false teeth can attract microorganisms and start to look dingy and discoloured. For this reason, it’s essential to commit to cleaning false teeth to help their long term health and appearance.
How to clean dentures?
Fortunately, the cleaning process is simple and requires three simple steps. Consistency is paramount to achieving the best results.
Step 1 – Brushing
Brushing is the step that many people skip, wrongly assuming that soaking their dentures will remove the daily build-up of debris. After removing the dental appliance from the mouth, the first thing is to brush it with warm water and a denture brush.
Dentures contain many nooks and crannies where debris and plaque can accumulate. Whilst ‘falsies’ cannot get cavities and gum disease because they are acrylic or plastic, this accumulation can still be harmful.
Brushing with a special brush will quickly remove this soft build-up from the grooves and indentations and only takes a short while, so don’t skip this step.
Step 2 – Soaking
The next step of our how to clean dentures guide is soaking. Typically, this takes place at night after brushing before bedtime. Place your denture in a cleaning solution to soak overnight. Doing so helps remove dental plaque and stains and disinfects the appliance, so it feels fresh and clean when you pop it back in your mouth in the morning. Furthermore, soaking dentures prevent them from drying out.
Patients often ask whether they need to remove their dentures at night. The answer is yes because it is healthy both for your dentures and your mouth. Gum tissues need time to rest without being covered by a denture and should not be kept in the mouth 24 hours a day.
Step 3 – Professional clean
Some denture-wearers may think they don’t need to visit their dentist unless they have a problem. However, a dentist should clean your dentures yearly. At the same time, they can evaluate the soft tissues supporting your false teeth and check their fit. A professional clean can remove more persistent stains than you can remove yourself at home.
So, now you know how to clean dentures, let’s look at what to avoid when cleaning false teeth.
A few things to avoid when you clean your denture
- Do not use toothpaste to clean false teeth, particularly whitening toothpaste. The abrasive particles can wear away the softer denture teeth, reducing their longevity.
- Do not soak the appliance in bleach to clean it. High concentrations of bleach may cause the pink gum base to change colour.
- Never use teeth whitening products on false teeth. The chemicals in these dental products only work on tooth enamel and, instead, can cause erosion.
- Finally, do not use a nail file or Dremel tool to remove stains from a denture. This roughens the surface and attracts more stains. Any adjustments to dentures always need to be followed by a polishing procedure to leave a shiny and stain-resistant surface.
The risks of not cleaning your dentures
Aside from looking dirty, there are health risks associated with not cleaning your denture and removing it regularly from the mouth. These include:
- A painful fungal infection (thrush) beneath the dentures, typically on the roof of the mouth
- Mouth sores and ulcers caused by a build-up of food debris between the gums and the dentures
Do you have more questions about how to clean dentures?
Call our friendly, experienced team at My Local Dentists (previously Leichhardt Marketplace Dental), and we’ll be happy to answer your denture care questions or supply you with a brand new high quality and natural-looking denture. You can contact us on (02) 9100 0188 or use our online booking service.