Do you have new dentures? It’s important to take denture care seriously to avoid damage and issues like gum disease. Most people who are new to using them aren’t sure how to clean dentures properly. While it’s very similar to taking care of your natural teeth, there are some key differences. If you’re wondering how to clean your dentures the right way, read on and learn tips from the experts!
How to Clean Dentures
While cleaning your dentures is like cleaning natural teeth, the differences can be a cause for potential damage. While you may think your dentures are fine as long as they don’t break, small scratches can create places for bacteria to thrive. This will make you more likely to develop decay or gingivitis. Here are the proper steps for cleaning your dentures:
#1. Start by rinsing your dentures.
Using warm water, rinse your dentures completely. This will help remove loose food particles or residual acids from foods you may have recently eaten. Like natural teeth, brushing dentures that are compromised by acids can make them more susceptible to abrasion and scratching.
#2. Apply a mild cleanser or denture paste.
Regular toothpaste is too abrasive for dentures. You can find mild soaps that are gentle enough for dentures, but the best cleansers are denture pastes. These are gels or pastes created specifically to clean dentures. They will help you remove more bacteria without causing damage.
#3. Use a soft toothbrush or denture brush to scrub your dentures.
Like toothpastes, regular brushes are too hard for dentures and can scratch them. Soft toothbrushes, like denture brushes, use softer bristles, so you can thoroughly clean your dentures without worrying. It’s important to brush your dentures as completely as possible. Any gaps where bacteria remain will promote the formation of tartar and increase your risk for gum disease and inflammation.
#4. Rinse your dentures again.
After brushing your dentures, the last step is to rinse away any remaining cleanser or food particles dislodged from brushing. This is a great time to feel and inspect your dentures for areas that may still need more cleaning. If you notice slippery areas or visible stains, try to brush them again to remove any remaining plaque.
Avoid These Common Denture Care Mistakes
Don’t Brush Too Hard
One typical problem we often see is patients brushing too rigorously. Dentures are softer than natural teeth – and even natural teeth can be damaged by excessive brushing. Use enough force to remove food particles and plaque, but not so hard that you begin scratching the surface.
Don’t Drop Your Dentures
Use a folded-up towel and/or a sink full of water to help create a safe area to clean your dentures. They can be easily damaged if you drop them on a hard surface. Damaged dentures will need to be inspected by your dentist to see what repairs need to be done. Being cautious with a few extra steps is always easier than dealing with the damage caused by dropping them!
Avoid Cleaners with Alcohol
Mouthwash has become much more common in the recent years. While you may be tempted to rinse or soak your dentures with mouthwash, be very careful. Any cleaner that contains alcohol will dry out your dentures and make them much more susceptible to cracks.
Don’t Use Bleach or Whitening Toothpaste
Dentures can stain just like regular teeth. It’s not uncommon for patients to try and restore them to their original look by using whitening toothpaste or bleach. However, these substances are exceptionally abrasive. They will weaken your dentures, leaving them susceptible to further damage or breaking.
Don’t Skip Your Brushing Routine
Brushing your dentures is a daily process. If you skip a cleaning, you’re allowing the bacteria on your dentures to thrive. Rinsing or soaking your dentures is not an alternative to brushing – they are part of your denture care routine. Without brushing, it’s impossible to remove plaque and bacteria from deeper surfaces on your dentures.
Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Knowing how to clean dentures isn’t the only step necessary to properly maintain them. You’ll want the help of your dentist to ensure there are not issues that are difficult for an untrained eye to see. For newer denture wearers, it’s also common that your fit might not be perfect the first time around. Your dentist will be able to work with you to sort out any issues you’re having – but only if you’re scheduling regular checkups!
Don’t forget that your teeth aren’t the only important part of a dental visit. Just because you have dentures doesn’t mean you aren’t at risk for more dental health issues. Gum disease gets progressively worse if it’s left unmanaged, so keep up with your appointments!
Do You Have Questions About Your Dentures? Schedule an Appointment!
Pointe Dental Group can provide you with a complete examination, answer your questions about how to clean dentures, and discuss your treatment options. Schedule an appointment with us today! New patients can receive FREE comprehensive exam and consultation, plus a full panoramic x-ray with a paid cleaning procedure (a $200 value)!
Grosse Pointe Farms: (313) 881-2480
Shelby Township: (586) 803-8300
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