Removing Stains from False Teeth
One common challenge presented to denture wearers is that of staining. Your once dazzling, bright smile may become dull after several months of normal wear. While some staining is bound to happen, there are certain foods, beverages, and lifestyle choices which will cause the most difficult stains to appear. The best way to combat staining is to prevent it before it even happens, but there are still different techniques and products which will help resolve even the most stubborn stains.
Why do dentures stain?
Most dentures are made with acrylic. Though you can’t see it, acrylic is a porous material which absorbs food and saliva, much like a sponge would, which causes staining and bacteria growth.
Anything which stains natural teeth, such as coffee, sodas, red wine, and smoking, can also stain your denture teeth and denture base.
Some dentures are more prone to staining than others.
All dentures are not created equally. As stated above, acrylic is a porous material, which is the main reason dentures tend to stain. A low-quality denture will typically have more pores in the denture base and teeth, which leads to more staining. A higher quality denture, such as one that is processed with Ivoclar’s Ivobase injection system, will significantly reduce the number of pores which harbor bacteria and food debris.
How can you prevent staining?
Avoid using abrasives on your dentures.
In addition to soaking your dentures, it’s very important that you brush your dentures, as well. However, keep in mind that regular tooth paste and hard bristled toothbrushes are too abrasive for acrylic. Both can cause tiny scratches on the surface which can harbor more bacteria and lead to more staining. Imagine pouring coffee onto a flat, slick piece of plastic, then pouring it onto a slab of concrete. The concrete is more likely to hold onto the coffee stain because of the texture.
When it comes to toothbrushes, you want to make sure to get one that has soft bristles. I’ve found that toddler toothbrushes not only have softer bristles, but also have smaller heads which allow for cleaning in smaller spaces in the grooves of the denture. As for toothpaste, it’s best to avoid it, if possible. Dish soap is not only free from abrasives, it does a wonderful job at cleaning the dentures. If you do get toothpaste, you should always choose one that is labeled as nonabrasive. Sensodyne, particularly their Pronamel line, is a popular brand which is less abrasive than similar commercial brand toothpastes.
Limit stain-causing food and beverages.
Limiting foods and beverages which cause staining, as well as abstaining from tobacco use, will drastically cut down the amount of staining the occurs with your dentures. However, if you’re anything like me, ditching your coffee is a no-go. After I have my coffee for the day, I immediately clean my teeth. So far, this has really helped prevent staining. My hybrid dentures do not come out so it’s especially necessary for me to take preventative measures against staining.
Soak your dentures.
Simply brushing your dentures is not enough to get them clean. A tooth brush is not going to be able to penetrate the pores in a denture and eliminate all the bacteria and food debris. It is important that you soak your dentures in a good cleaning solution every day. The recommended time for soaking is between 6-8 hours a day. When I was a denture wearer, two of my favorite products for keeping my dentures clean and stain free were Polident’s Overnight Whitening Antibacterial Denture Cleanser and Stain Away Plus Denture Cleanser Powder. I used Polident for my daily soaking regimen and used Stain Away once a week.
Keep up with your dental appointments.
Keep your regular dental appointments and ask about having your dentures cleaned professionally. Dentures are just as susceptible to plaque as natural teeth. When the plaque hardens into calculus, it can’t be removed by simple brushing and soaking. At this point, it requires professional polishing and cleaning to keep them healthy and free of harmful bacteria.
Preventative care and routine maintenance are critical in not only keeping your smile bright, but also in keeping it healthy.
Share your tips!
If you have a bright, dazzling smile, we’d love to know your secret! Share your tips in the comments below!
This post is sponsored by Ivoclar Vivadent. For more information on Ivoclar Vivadent denture products, visit www.morethanadenture.com.