A clean denture isn’t just attractive, it’s healthy! Read on to learn how to keep your dentures fresh and free of bacteria.
You will need:
- Container to properly store and soak your dentures
- Soft bristle tooth brush and/or a washcloth
- Denture cleansing solution
- Dish soap
- Small hand towel
Soaking your dentures
Cleaning your dentures starts with soaking them. Not only is it necessary to give your gums a rest, dentures must be kept moist to maintain their shape. Dentures that are left out to dry may become warped. Acrylic, which is the material used to make most dentures, is a very porous material. Though you cannot see them with the naked eye, your dentures are full of tiny pores which can harbor bacteria that leads to gum disease, bad breath, among other oral health problems. Brushing, alone, cannot penetrate these pores to eliminate these bacteria. Soaking your dentures is the most effective way to keep your dentures clean. It also helps to have a quality denture
Use a proper container.
Make sure you have an adequate container to soak your dentures in. Containers made specifically for soaking dentures can typically be found at any drug store or places like Wal-Mart and Target. These are especially nice because they have a lid which snaps into place, securing your dentures into the container. I’ve heard many nightmare scenarios from subscribers who left their dentures in an unsecure location and they were either accidentally dropped and broken or a pet made off with them. Whatever container you decide to use for soaking your dentures needs to be large enough for the water to completely immerse the dentures.
Fill the container with a denture cleansing solution.
Purchase a good denture soaking solution to soak your dentures in. Most of these come in tablet or powder form and can be found online or at your local drug store. These products are designed to kill bacteria on a microscopic level and, when used properly, are effective at eliminating around 99% of bacteria which colonizes your dentures. Make sure to follow the instructions on the package. Dentists recommend soaking your dentures between six to eight hours a day.
Cleaning your mouth
Since you don’t have teeth anymore, it’s probably useless to clean your mouth, right? Wrong. It is extremely necessary to continue practicing good oral hygiene habits to reduce bacteria and other disease causing microbes. Before putting your dentures back in, make sure you properly clean your mouth. It is okay to use a soft bristle toothbrush to gently massage the gums but don’t use anything to tough, as this could damage the soft tissues in your mouth. Most dentists recommend using a washcloth, instead. Start by wiping out your mouth, completely, and rinsing thoroughly to remove any debris. Then, take your soft bristled toothbrush or washcloth and gently massage the gums in a circular motion. This stimulates the gums and increases blood flow to the area, keeps the tissues healthy.
Cleaning your Dentures
Rinse your dentures.
After your dentures have soaked for the recommended time of six to eight hours, they will need to be cleaned. Carefully remove the dentures from the container and rinse them off in the sink. Dentures are very slick when wet and can easily fly out of your hands if you aren’t careful. Make sure the container is close to the sink when you remove them. It helps to keep them as close to your working space as possible. That way, if they drop, they won’t have far to travel and the chances of them becoming damaged is reduced. Make sure the water is lukewarm. Extreme temperatures can cause dentures to become warped over time.
Place a hand towel in the sink.
Once you have rinsed the dentures, place a small hand towel in the sink. If you think your dentures are slippery from the water, wait until you apply the soap or toothpaste. This is not a joke. I’ve dropped my dentures many times. Luckily, they never broke. The hand towel will provide a cushion for them should they fly out of your hands while you’re maneuvering them around during cleaning.
Apply cleaning solution to toothbrush.
Apply a small amount of dish soap, such as Dawn, to a soft bristled toothbrush. Hard bristles and regular toothpaste can cause small abrasions to the surface of the denture over time, leading to an overgrowth of bacteria, as well as a duller looking denture.
Gently brush dentures.
Start by gentle scrubbing the surface of the denture, paying close attention to the crevices between the teeth. Usually, I would go over the whole surface horizontally, then back over the surface with vertical strokes, working in quadrants to make sure that nothing was missed. Once the surface is clean, begin cleaning the top and bottom of the denture. I found that using a toddler toothbrush made cleaning the hard-to-reach areas much easier. Thoroughly rinse the dentures and you’re good to go.
Share your tips!
Do you have any tips that have helped you keep your dentures clean? Any favorite products? Share them in the comments, below!