How to Take Care of Dentures

Dentures, whether partial or full, require regular, proper care to keep them clean and free from stains and bacteria. Proper care can keep both your dentures and your mouth in good shape. These helpful tips explain the correct way to clean, handle, and store your dentures.

Close-up of dentures and toothbrush
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How to Clean Dentures

Remove and rinse dentures after meals. If you can't always clean your dentures after every meal, be sure to rinse and brush them at least once a day with a denture cleanser, mild dish soap or liquid hand soap to remove plaque, food, and other particles.

If you use a denture adhesive, clean any leftover adhesive off of your gums. Don't use a denture cleanser to do this. Brush your natural teeth and clean your tongue, cheeks, and the roof of your mouth. Soak dentures in the solution overnight. Your dentist and your brand of the solution may have their own recommendations, so follow instructions.

Some things you should never use to clean dentures include:

  • Abrasive cleaning items. Stiff-bristled brushes and harsh cleansers and toothpaste are way too abrasive and can seriously damage dentures.
  • Whitening toothpaste. Toothpaste with whitening properties can be really abrasive. Don't use them to clean dentures.
  • Hot water. In addition to sterilizing your dentures, hot water could warp them.

Ask your dentist or prosthodontist if it's OK to use a bleach solution on your dentures. The American College of Prosthodontists says that dentures "should not be soaked in sodium hypochlorite bleach, or in products containing sodium hypochlorite, for periods that exceed 10 minutes. Placement of dentures in sodium hypochlorite solutions for periods longer than 10 minutes may damage dentures."

Handling Dentures

Before putting dentures back in, rinse them thoroughly, especially if you use a cleansing solution. If ingested, the solution's harmful chemicals can cause vomiting, pain, or burns. Dentures are very delicate and can break easily if they are dropped. When handling your dentures, always hold them over a soft towel or fill your sink up with water.

Where to Store Dentures

Dentures can become warped if they dry out or are placed in hot water. When you are not wearing them, your dentures should always be kept in room temperature water or in a denture solution recommended by your dentist.

Never wrap your dentures in a paper towel. They could easily be mistaken for trash and thrown away. Store smart by keeping your dentures far out of reach of kids and pets. Kids love to play with dentures and dogs love to chew them up.

Maintain Good Oral Health

Schedule regular visits to the dentist to have your mouth and dentures examined and cleaned. If your dentures ever feel loose, see your dentist immediately. Loose dentures can cause sores, irritation, and infection.

1 Source
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  1. Felton D, Cooper L, Duqum I, et al. Evidence-based guidelines for the care and maintenance of complete dentures: a publication of the American College of ProsthodontistsJ Prosthodont. 2011;20 Suppl 1:S1-S12. doi:10.1111/j.1532-849X.2010.00683.x

By Tammy Davenport
Tammy Davenport is a dental assistant with experience on the clinical and administrative side.