Caring for your dentures is important at all times, whether you’ve had dentures for years or will soon be fitted for a set. To help you achieve oral health success, the dentists in Gainesville at Van Dyke General & Implant Dentistry share four tips to keep your dentures in tip-top shape.
1. Clean Dentures Daily
Dentures need to be cleaned daily to prevent the build-up of and aid in the removal of existing food residue, plaque, and tartar, same as natural teeth. Twice a day, Use a brush specifically designed for dentures with soft bristles with an approved denture cleaner and lukewarm water and rinse between brushings, such as after each meal. While there are many appropriate cleaners available, some styles and types should always be avoided, including:
- Bleach-based products: Because of its chemical strength, bleach weakens the overall strength of dentures, increasing the risk of breakage. Plus, unless the residue is thoroughly washed away, lingering bleach may cause irritation inside your mouth.
- Hot water: The heat from hot water may cause the dentures to warp and no longer fit properly, causing discomfort and issues when eating and speaking.
- Any abrasive cleaner: Brushes with stiff bristles and other abrasive cleaners, such as dish scrubbing pads, should be avoided. The harshness of these products can severely damage the dentures.
- Whitening toothpaste: Not only do they rely on chemicals, but many kinds of whitening toothpaste also contain abrasive particles that may mar the surface.
2. Be Gentle With Dentures
The crux of good denture care is to always be gentle and kind. Though they may appear sturdy, they’re quite fragile, so when handling or removing dentures from your mouth, stand over a folded towel or water-filled sink. If the dentures fall, the towel or water provides a buffer.
3. Soak Dentures Overnight — Every Night
Taking your dentures out before going to sleep allows your gums to rest, and it’s an opportune time to leave them in a soaking solution. This can be a solution provided by your dentist or purchased from a store, or plain water. The key is to keep them moist and to prevent drying which leads to cracking and changes in fit.
4. Schedule Regular Check-Ups With Your Dentist
Denture wearers shouldn’t neglect their overall oral health. Scheduling regular checkups with your dentist gives the dentist the chance to examine the dentures and your mouth to make sure everything fits appropriately. Loose dentures are a common cause of gum irritation and infection.
Common Questions About Denture Care
Can I Whiten My Dentures?
Yes, but only use denture-approved products. Acrylic is a common material used to make dentures but is susceptible to developing stains due to its high porosity. This is why it’s important to verify the cleaning products you’re using won’t remove the overall color and/or damage the dentures.
Should I Use Toothpaste On Dentures?
Generally, no. Even non-whitening toothpaste is considered too abrasive and shouldn’t be used. If you have a question about what to use to clean dentures, call Van Dyke General & Implant Dentistry.
Will Dish Soap Clean My Dentures?
Yes. If you use dish soap, make sure it’s a mild dishwashing liquid or hand soap and is used with a soft-bristle toothbrush and warm water. Thoroughly rinse the dentures after cleaning to remove any soap residue before putting them back into your mouth.
Can I Use Store-Bought Liners?
No. Each set of dentures is custom-fit to your mouth and its specific shape. Using store-bought liners doesn’t take these nuances into account and can injure your mouth and/or damage the dentures.