Proper denture care is an essential part of a daily routine. Full and partial dentures should be cleaned daily to remove bacteria. Regular care keeps your dentures free from stains and your mouth in good health. On this page, we break down the steps to take when caring for dentures and how to make sure your mouth stays healthy.
If you would like to talk to someone directly for advice on your care regimen, Chandler Goltz, DMD is here for you. You may reach us by phone at (985) 570-9103. Our practice has experience treating patients in Slidell and the surrounding area.
Taking Care of Dentures
Daily care for full and removable partial dentures follows a different regimen than care for natural teeth. For instance, as part of your routine after eating, you should rinse your dentures to remove any food particles and bacteria.
At least once a day, preferably before going to bed, you should follow these steps to keep your dentures clean and in good shape:
▣ Safely remove dentures after eating. A University of Michigan study recommends taking them out over a towel or sink filled with water. Dropping dentures, even just a few inches above a hard surface, can cause them to crack or break.
▣ Rinse and brush dentures with soft bristles and no toothpaste. Run your dentures under a sink to remove plaque and food particles. It is best to use brushes and cleaners specifically designed for dentures. Hand soap or mild dishwashing liquids are also acceptable cleaners. However, most household cleaners could damage dentures and are not advised. Never use toothpaste to clean dentures as it is too abrasive. After running your dentures under water, rinse and apply cleaner to the brush. Scrub your dentures gently, moving the brush’s bristles over every surface. Brushing too hard could alter the shape of the plastic and affect the metal band attachments.
▣ Put dentures in cool water or solution overnight. Dentures may only be placed in cool water as warm water can warp its shape. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), dentures must also stay moist at all times. Some dentures should only be placed in water as a solution may dull the metal attachments. If a solution is advised, there are several popular brands to choose: Efferdent®, Polident®, and Retainer Brite®. We can recommend whether to use a solution in your daily denture care.
▣ Once dentures are set aside, brush your teeth and gums with a soft-bristled brush. Caring for partial dentures still requires regular flossing and brushing of natural teeth. When caring for full or partial dentures, brushing your gums and tongue stimulates circulation; this is especially important to do after affixing your dentures in the morning. Make sure to massage and wash out your mouth with salt water regularly when dentures are removed.
▣ Thoroughly wash off denture solution before placing them back in the mouth. Dentures should be rinsed to avoid ingesting solution. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, swallowing solution can cause irritation, swelling, or trouble breathing.
If the dentures are not removable and stick to the patient's gums, then the dentist will recommend a different cleaning regimen. In many cases, caring for implant dentures will be the same as taking care of permanent teeth with brushing twice a day.
“In many cases, caring for implant dentures will be the same as taking care of permanent teeth with brushing twice a day.”
▣ How a Dentist Can Treat Your Denture Needs
Even if you have lost all your teeth, it is essential to seek professional dental care regularly. A dentist can advise the right treatment and cleaning techniques for your dentures. Patients with dentures should seek care every six months unless a dentist recommends otherwise. Dentists can also look for signs of oral cancer, perform routine cleaning, and examine dentures for fit.
Over time, you may need to adjust or repair your dentures. After receiving dentures, follow-up appointments are typically made for adjustments. If your dentures have breaks, chips, cracks, or a loose tooth, you should contact a dentist immediately. Most repairs and adjustments can be made on the same day. However, complex maintenance might need to be sent to a repair specialist. Your dentures will typically last five to ten years before needing replacement, but complete replacements can be made earlier.
“If your dentures have breaks, chips, cracks, or a loose tooth, you should contact a dentist immediately.”
▣ In-Home Care for Dentures
Do not attempt to adjust or repair dentures by yourself. Do-it-yourself kits can permanently damage dentures or harm one's oral health. Household glues should never be used as they can contain harmful chemicals if swallowed. The U.S. FDA warns against overuse of denture adhesives and suggests to use only use as a temporary solution when dentures become loose. Certain denture bonding products have Zinc, which may cause health problems if used in excess. When used responsibly, you may choose from a variety of denture adhesives, such as Fixodent® Original, Super Poligrip®, and DenTek® Secure. For more information on how to repair or adjust your dentures, you may contact us to speak with a qualified professional.
Maintaining good oral hygiene and consistent dentures cleaning can help reduce the number of visits to a dentist. For partial dentures, clean the teeth that rest under the metal clasps diligently as plaque tends to build under the clasps. Avoid using whitening toothpaste on natural teeth. Never use products containing bleach on your dentures as it can tarnish the metal attachments. Eating well-balanced meals also contributes to a healthy mouth. For more useful tips on denture care, contact one of our John J. Killeen, DDS dentists.
“Never use products containing bleach on your dentures as it can tarnish the metal attachments.”
▣ What to Do if You Damage Your Dentures
While dentures are durable when in use, they are not invincible. Simply dropping the dentures on a rough surface can break, chip, or damage the dentures. If this happens, it is crucial to seek our professional services for repairs. The patient needs to protect the dentures to prevent further damage and should not try to wear them if the dentures are too damaged. We can ensure the dentures receive the repairs they need to function properly without irritating the patient’s mouth when in use.
Repairing dentures is not the time for patients to attempt a DIY (Do It Yourself) project. One wrong move can damage the dentures further and increase the risk of harming the patient’s mouth. During the appointment, we will determine the extent of the damage before developing the patient’s treatment plan. In some cases, the repairs may take several appointments to complete. The length of treatment time will depend entirely on the condition of the dentures and the issue we need to repair.
Once complete, we will make sure the dentures fit the patient’s mouth and send them on their way. If there are any future concerns or questions about proper denture care, our team can help during a consultation.
“We can ensure the dentures receive the repairs they need to function properly without irritating the patient’s mouth when in use.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Does effective denture care include adjustments and repair?
With good denture care, how long will dentures last?
What other supplies are necessary for cleaning dentures?
Does routine denture care mean more visits to the dentist?
Can cleaning dentures whiten them?
How do I know if a denture care product is effective?
▣ Alveolar Bone
The alveolar bone is the bone surrounding the root of the tooth that keeps the tooth in place.
A clasp is a device that holds a removable partial denture prosthesis to the teeth.
▣ Denture Base
The denture base is the part of the denture that connects the artificial teeth with the soft tissue of the gums.
Edentulous is a term that applies to people who do not have any teeth.
▣ Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease is a condition that causes inflammation of the gingival tissues and membrane of the teeth, leading to tooth loss without professional treatment.
Pontic is another term for an artificial tooth on a fixed partial denture.
Rebase is the process of refitting denture prosthesis by replacing the base material.
Reline is when a professional resurfaces the surface of the prosthesis with a new base material.
Resin and Acrylic are resinous materials that can be components in a denture base.
Stomatitis is the inflammation of the tissue that is underlying a denture that does not fit properly. It can also result from other oral health factors.