Caring for Your Dentures
Steps for Daily Denture Care
- Dentures are usually made of a plastic resin and sometimes they contain metal parts. They are delicate and may break easily if dropped even a short distance. When holding dentures to clean them, hold them over a folded towel or a basin full of water to protect them.
- Remove loose food particles from dentures by first rinsing them thoroughly in water. But remember, rinsing alone is not enough to clean your dentures.
- Moisten a soft-bristled brush, preferably one designed for cleaning dentures. Hard bristles will scratch your dentures.
- Apply denture cleanser (choose one with the American Dental Association seal of approval). If you do not have one available, you may even use a mild hand soap or dishwashing soap.
- Gently scrub all surfaces of your dentures to remove plaque, while taking care not to scratch the surface.
- Thoroughly rinse dentures, as traces of cleanser or soap may irritate your gums.
- Before placing dentures back in your mouth, brush your gums, the roof of your mouth, and your tongue with a separate soft brush to remove plaque and stimulate circulation. Rinse your mouth well.
- Unless your dentist recommends otherwise, remove your dentures overnight (6-8 hours) to allow your gums to rest. During this time, store dentures in water. This will keep them from drying out and losing their shape. Keep your dentures away from children and pets.
- Do not try to adjust dentures yourself by sanding, filing, or bending.
- An adhesive may be recommended when you first get them to improve stability. After that you may use adhesives once in a while as a temporary measure for old or poorly fitting dentures. Ask your dentist about your options and look for adhesives with the American Dental Association seal.
- Do not use hot or boiling water, bleach, or other abrasive household products or items. This will cause dentures to warp and/or discolor.
- Do not attempt to scrape the plaque or tartar off with a sharp instrument.
- You can use conventional toothpaste to scrub, but do so gently to avoid abrasion.
- You can use an ultrasonic cleaner to care for dentures. But be aware that using it does not replace daily brushing.
When to See Your Dentist
- Mouth sores
- Problems chewing food with your dentures
- Chronic cheek biting
- Cracks at the corners of your mouth
- Gums that begin to bleed easily
- Dentures that become loose in your mouth
American Dental Association http://www.ada.org
Mouth Healthy—American Dental Association http://www.mouthhealthy.org
Canadian Dental Association http://www.cda-adc.ca
Canadian Dental Hygienists Association http://www.cdha.ca
Denture cleaning. British Dental Health Foundation website. Available at: http://www.dentalhealth.org/tell-me-about/topic/older-people/denture-cleaning. Accessed November 12, 2014.
Dentures. British Dental Health Foundation website. Available at: http://www.dentalhealth.org/tell-me-about/topic/older-people/dentures. Accessed November 12, 2014.
Dentures. Mouth Healthy—American Dental Association website. Available at: http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/d/Dentures.aspx. Accessed November 12, 2014.
Felton, D, Cooper, L., Evidence-based Guidelines for the Care and Maintenance of Complete Dentures. J Am Dent Assoc. 2011;142:Suppl 1:1S-20S.
Learn more about denture adherents. American Dental Association website. Available at: http://www.ada.org/1316.aspx. Accessed November 12, 2014.
What are common signs and symptoms of periodontal disease? American Academy of Periodontology website. Available at: http://www.perio.org/node/258. Accessed November 12, 2014.
What is a denture? Know Your Teeth—Academy of General Dentistry website. Available at: http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=w&iid=186&aid=1230. Updated January 2012. Accessed November 12, 2014.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 11/2014 -
- Update Date: 11/27/2012 -
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