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Caring for your dentures

Keeping dentures clean is essential to keeping them looking their best as well as preventing mouth odour, removing the daily accumulation of bacteria and food debris, and keeping the mouth lining healthy.

How often should dentures be cleaned?
Rinse the denture following eating. Ensure the underside of the denture is brushed as well as the side with the teeth.

It is important to brush your gums, tongue and palate with a soft-bristled brush before putting the dentures back to ensure the gums are free of food debris and plaque and to stimulate circulation in the mouth.

What if it is not possible to clean dentures after every meal?
As an absolute minimum, brush you dentures each day. If left longer, plaque will build up to unhygienic levels that may harm the gums and the lining of the mouth.

What is the most suitable method of cleaning dentures?
A variety of different types of cleaning pastes, solutions and powders available that are specifically designed for denture cleansing. Choosing the most suitable method for dentures can help to remove debris and staining and may also extend the life of the denture. The choice of cleansing method depends on the type of denture so check the denture cleaner label and instructions.

Remove debris by brushing with a soft toothbrush, liquid soap or washing-up liquid and cold water. Avoid too strong a solution of denture cleanser and do not leave the denture to soak for longer than the instructions advise as this may cause damage to the denture.

Never use household bleach or boiling water. Bleach is too harsh and strong-smelling for cleaning dentures whilst boiling water could cause them to crack.

Ultrasonic cleaners can be used to care for dentures. These are small bath-tub like devices that contain a cleaning solutions. The denture is immersed in the tub and a sound wave creates an intense wave motion that dislodges undesirable deposits.

How can I avoid damaging dentures while they are being cleaned?
Always brush dentures over a basin filled with either water or a folded towel. Then, if you accidently drop the denture, it will be cushioned by the water or towel and will not break. Avoid stiff brushes and toothpastes designed for natural teeth. Both there are very abrasive and over a period of time will wear away the denture.

Should dentures be taken out at night?
It is usually recommended that dentures are cleaned every evening and then left out until the following morning in order to rest the gums. However, some people feel uncomfortable without any dentures and prefer to continue wearing them during the night. If the denture is kept in at night, it should be free from food debris and bacteria-containing plaque. Good denture hygiene every day helps to keep your denture in good condition and your mouth healthy.

Your dentures are designed to function in a moist environment so keep them moist at all times thus preventing them from drying out and warping out of shape. Soaking your dentures prior to reinsertion will help keep them fresh.

Partial dentures
These should be treated as for dentures and removed from the mouth for cleaning and for you to clean your natural teeth. Pay particular attention to cleaning, especially ones that fit under a denture metal clasp as this is where plaque can become trapped under the clasp and will increase the risk of tooth decay.

Promoting oral health
It is important to visit your dentist / clinical dental technician regularly, even if you don’t have any teeth. Not only do we check teeth and the proper fit of your denture, but also the soft parts of your mouth including tongue and cheeks. These exams are just as important so we can spot infections, mouth conditions and even mouth cancer at the earliest stage.

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