Good care of dentures not only extends their life but also maintains optimum hygiene and avoid stains, odours, plaque and tartar (hardened plaque, also known as calculus). Looking after them can be much easier than looking after your natural teeth, as you can take them out and have a good look to make sure you haven't left any food behind!
General denture care
- Always use your fingers to remove, replace or adjust your denture. Do not bite dentures into position – this will stress both your dentures and your existing teeth.
To keep your dentures clean
- Brush your dentures every day, ideally after each meal.
- It’s best to clean them over a basin of water or a folded towel – this way you should avoid any damage if you accidentally drop them.
- You should hold each denture between your thumb, index and middle fingers because there is a risk of dentures being squeezed or broken if held in the palm of your hand. Lower dentures should be held in the centre, not at the sides.
- You should use a soft to medium brush, which won't scratch the denture. Do not scrub too vigorously.
- Use cold or lukewarm water, as hot water will warp the dentures.
- Do not use household cleaners or antiseptic on your dentures. Do not use normal toothpaste either, as it can in fact abrase the plastic material of the dentures. A better solution is to use hand soap, liquid soap or a special denture cream as they are not abrasive. Rinse your dentures well afterwards.
- You can also soak your denture using a special solution or tablets. Remember, though, that you will still need to brush the denture to make sure it's really clean. Again, you'll need to rinse it before putting it back in your mouth.
- Do not attempt to sanitise dentures with bleach – it is harmful to your dentures and will damage their appearance.
- Do not attempt to sanitise dentures with boiling water – this could cause them to crack or distort.
- Don't forget to brush your remaining natural teeth too, to keep them clean and to stimulate the gums. If you are wearing full dentures, gently brush the gums daily to massage the tissue and keep them healthy so they can properly support the dentures.
Care at night
When you first get your dentures, try to wear them constantly for the first 24 hours.
After this period, we recommend that dentures are removed overnight – to allow your gums to rest and the blood supply to restore the tone of the cramped tissues – unless you've been diagnosed with a jaw joint problem. Some people can experience jaw discomfort if they sleep without their dentures.
When not in your mouth, dentures should be kept in a container of water (i.e. a glass or a denture box) to keep them moist – otherwise they can dry out and distort out of shape, discolour or become brittle.
Caring for soft liners
If your denture has soft liners, they too will require home care and proper cleaners to maintain their vitality. Your dental prosthetist can provide professional cleaning as well as education in the maintenance of your soft liner.
As with all removable dentures, soft liners require a regular check-up to ensure good fit.
Do you need a soft liner?