How to Care for and Clean Your Dentures
A denture is a dental prosthesis that consists of artificial teeth and gums. If you’re considering dentures or already have them, you might need clarification about how to care for them properly. Below are seven tips on how to clean and keep your dentures in excellent condition and maintain a healthy mouth.
Handling and cleaning your dentures
Like your natural teeth, dentures can also get damaged. One of the best ways to maintain dentures is to keep them clean and moist. Dentures can easily break or crack if left to dry out or if they fall.
Always clean or handle them over a soft towel or basin of water to give them extra protection in case they fall. After cleaning them, soak them in a denture solution overnight.
You’ll need a soft-bristled toothbrush, water, a soft towel, and denture cleaning solution or mild soap when cleaning your dentures. Avoid abrasive toothpaste, cleaning solutions, or hard-bristled toothbrushes, as they can damage dentures. Use the following steps:
- Fold a soft towel and place it on the bathroom sink.
- Remove the denture and rinse it with warm water.
- Use a soft-bristled brush and mild cleaner or denture solution to clean all the denture surfaces. Rinse your denture thoroughly with warm water.
- If going to bed, soak the dentures in lukewarm water or denture solution overnight. Letting them dry makes them susceptible to cracks and breaks.
How often should you clean dentures?
You must clean your dentures twice daily, in the morning and at night, to prevent bacteria and plaque buildup, putting you at risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
Cleaning your mouth twice daily is vital to keep your teeth and gums healthy and prevent bad breath and other complications with your dentures. For instance, poor hygiene can cause bacteria buildup, making your gums more vulnerable to infections. You can also rinse your mouth with mouthwash.
What to avoid when cleaning dentures
While keeping your dentures clean is critical, certain activities and cleaning products can damage your dentures. Avoid the following things when cleaning your dentures:
- Don’t use sharp objects like toothpicks or scrapers to floss or clean your dentures.
- Avoid abrasive cleaning materials like hard-bristled toothbrushes, strong cleaners, and harsh toothpaste.
- Don’t whiten your dentures. Unlike natural teeth, dentures can’t respond to teeth whitening or bleaching. The bleaching products are abrasive and can weaken your denture or discolor them.
- Do not use hot water, as it can warp the denture.
- Don’t brush your dentures aggressively.
- Avoid biting on hard items like ice and nuts to prevent damage and chipping.
- Don’t just place your dentures anywhere. Always store them in a denture case when they’re not in use.
When should you wear dentures?
Generally, you wear your denture during the day when working or going to school and remove them at night when sleeping. It will give your gums and bone time to rest and recover from the pressure of wearing dentures. It also helps prevent sores and infections. You will also need to remove the dentures when brushing and flossing.
Foods to avoid when wearing dentures
Certain foods can cause your denture to crack, chip, discolor, weaken, or become dislodged. You should avoid the following:
- Hard foods: Biting too hard on hard foods like ice, seeds, nuts, carrots, and non-food objects such as pens and nails can cause the denture to chip or break.
- Sticky and chewy foods: Sticky and chewy items like caramel, toffee, peanut butter, dried fruits, peanut, and tough meats can strain the denture or cause it to dislodge. Similarly, sticky foods leftover can be hard to clean, which puts you at a greater risk of plaque and infections.
- Staining foods: Items with dark pigments, like coffee, tea, tobacco, soda, and sauces, can stain your natural teeth and dentures. If you must have these items, rinse thoroughly or brush your dentures and teeth to remove the dark pigments.
Caring for your gums
To care for your dentures, you should keep your gums in optimal condition. To care for your gums:
- Remove the dentures at night.
- Wear properly fitting dentures. Teeth reduce abrasion and decrease the risk of gum infections.
- Brush at least twice daily and floss your teeth daily.
- Visit your dentist for regular checkups.
- Eat gum-healthy foods. Avoid hard and sugary items.
What happens when you don’t care for your dentures?
Poor denture hygiene and care can lead to:
- Increased risk of gum irritation, tooth decay, bad breath, and gum disease
- Poorly fitting dentures
- Chips, breaks, and worn-out dentures
- Noise or slipping out when eating or speaking
- Changes in bite and speech
- Broken teeth
- Stains on teeth and dentures
When to call your dentist
Contact our best dentists in Lexington, MA, if you experience:
- Severe discomfort
- Regular slipping
- Ill-fitting dentures
- Worn or broken dentures or teeth
- Noise when eating or speaking
- Sore and bleeding gums
Are you interested in dentures in Lexington, MA?
For more information about dentures near you, contact Lexington Dental Group to book your appointment today.