After being fitted with dentures, it’s important to know how to take care of them. While they might look like your natural teeth, they require different cleaning products and a distinct maintenance routine to stay in great condition.
Keep reading for detailed advice and denture care instructions.
Tips for How to Clean Your Dentures
Cleaning your dentures separately is an important step of your dental care routine. Follow the denture hygiene instructions below to ensure your dentures last as long as they’re intended to:
1. Handle Your Dentures With Care
Like your real teeth, dentures can chip or break, but they’re also susceptible to damage from harsh cleaning products. When you clean your dentures, use a toothbrush with soft bristles or a strip of gauze. Avoid bending the plastic parts or the clasps so that they retain their shape. Remember to only use products intended for dentures, too.
2. Clean Your Dentures Often
You should clean your dentures daily — just like your natural teeth and your oral cavity. Make sure you follow your dentist’s directions and keep the manufacturer’s guidelines in mind when you clean and soak your dentures. Many oral care products were designed for your natural teeth only, whereas denture cleaner is formulated to stay out of your mouth.
3. Soak Your Dentures
Should you keep dentures in water overnight? The answer is yes, since your dentures require moisture to maintain their shape. If you don’t soak them, they’ll eventually become brittle.
Be sure to only use mild solutions for soaking dentures in a water bath. Keep your soaking dentures in a place where they can rest undisturbed throughout the night. If you have questions about properly storing them, it’s a good idea to ask your dentist for specific tips.
4. Remove Your Dentures Regularly
Take out your dentures for cleaning purposes and any time you sleep. Removing dentures is easy, so you should be able to quickly clean and store them every night. Sleeping with your dentures in can lead to certain health issues, like bacteria buildup in your mouth, so it’s best to remove them before going to bed so you can clean them and give them a good soak.
How Frequently Should You Clean Your Dentures?
How to care for dentures properly depends on what type you have and whether you use adhesive. However, you should make sure you’re cleaning them frequently regardless of whether you get a partial or full set of dentures.
Most dentists recommend that you brush your dentures once daily, but you should clean them at least twice a day to ensure they’re as clean as possible. Getting into a routine can help you remember to care for your dentures properly every day.
Brush your dentures each morning after you wake up and each night right before going to bed, just like you’d brush your natural teeth. Soak the dentures in water with some mild soap or denture soaking solution overnight, and rinse them off in the morning before putting them back in.
What to Avoid When Cleaning Your Dentures
When it comes to cleaning, you should treat your dentures as a custom dental appliance instead of your natural teeth. While cleaning your full or partial dentures, avoid these methods:
- Hot water: Heat can warp your dentures, which is why using cold water for cleaning and soaking is ideal.
- Abrasive cleaning tools: Brushes with stiff bristles can scratch dentures.
- Harsh chemical cleaners: Strong cleansers and toothpaste contain ingredients and textures that are overly abrasive.
- Whitening products: Whitening products designed for tooth enamel often include peroxide, which is ineffective for whitening dentures and can damage them.
- Bleach: Soaking or cleaning dentures in products that contain bleach can weaken denture materials.
- Chlorine: Products that contain chlorine can tarnish the metal attachments on your dentures.
Tips for Keeping Your Mouth Healthy With Dentures
Even if you have full dentures, you still have to clean your oral cavity. Here are some quick reminders of the steps to take when caring for your mouth if you have dentures:
- Remove your dentures before cleaning them and caring for your mouth.
- Place your dentures on a towel while you’re cleaning your mouth.
- Avoid using toothpaste when brushing your dentures, unless you find a special, denture-friendly toothpaste.
- Brush your gums, tongue and roof of your mouth with regular toothpaste every day to keep your oral cavity healthy.
- Gently remove any denture adhesive from your gums and dentures before getting ready to go to bed.
- If you have some natural teeth remaining, brush and floss daily as usual.
- Rinse your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash to take care of germs that cause bad breath.
- Always rinse your dentures before putting them back into your mouth, especially if they’ve been soaking in denture cleaner.
When You Should Take Out Your Dentures
Dentures are easy to use, and you’ll quickly get used to taking them out and putting them back in. When you should take your dentures out depends on:
- Your eating habits: Rinsing your dentures after eating helps keep your mouth healthy. Run water over your dentures to clear out food particles.
- Your dental hygiene routine: You should clean your teeth and gums and your dentures separately every day, removing your dentures each time.
- Your sleeping habits: Remove your dentures before going to bed and before taking a nap.
Chewing With Your Dentures
When you first get your new set of dentures, it might take some time to get used to them. Start by chewing soft foods and give your gums the opportunity to adapt. When you start to eat solid foods again, take small bites and chew slowly.
Chew with both sides of your mouth, or work your way up to chewing with both sides if it feels strange at first. Your mouth will eventually adjust to the changes, and soon you’ll be munching on your favorite hard foods again.
Proper Denture Maintenance
Other than following your daily cleaning routine and using a nonabrasive denture cleanser, you should also maintain your dentures by soaking them. Always rinse your dentures before you put them back into your mouth. Rinsing your dentures removes the cleaning agent used to refresh them.
It’s also important to see your dentist for maintenance purposes. Inform your dentist immediately if your dentures are damaged or you notice them fitting loosely. Go to regular check-ups so your dentist can examine the fit of your dentures.
Get New Dentures With Drew Family Dentistry
Dentures are a rewarding dental treatment that can restore your mouth to its former state and allow you to eat the foods you enjoy. Getting dentures is also a big commitment, like all dental appliances. Fortunately, if you take good care of your dentures, you can enjoy this long-lasting solution for years to come.
Drew Family Dentistry offers a variety of dental care services. If you’re considering getting dentures to replace your missing teeth, we’d be pleased to fit you. Contact us to set up a consultation if you are a new patient at our office!