Whether you are just starting on your journey and still just considering dentures or you are a new denture wearer, you probably have a lot of questions. Specifically, you probably want to know about cleaning your dentures. After all, you won’t have to brush your natural teeth, but you’ll still need to brush your mouth, gums, and tongue. But what about your dentures? Do you brush those too? Learn the answers to your top denture questions in this denture-cleaning guide.
Is it safe to use toothpaste on your dentures?
No. Although you are still brushing your gums, insides of your cheeks, and your tongue, you do not need to brush your dentures with your toothbrush. In fact, you shouldn’t brush them with a regular toothbrush! A regular toothbrush and regular toothpaste are too abrasive for your dentures. Instead, you’ll need to use a denture cleaning brush and a denture cleaner.
What is the best type of denture cleaner?
After each meal, it’s a good idea to rinse off your dentures with water. This will remove any leftover food debris. Because food debris can cause odors, this is a good way to keep your breath fresh.
You should brush your dentures at least one time each day. Brushing removes plaque, food debris, and residual denture adhesive. Follow these tips for brushing your dentures:
- Use a soft-bristled brush: Many well-known brands (including Oral-B, Seabond, and GUM) sell brushes specifically for brushing dentures.
- Use a cleanser specifically for cleaning dentures: Although this may look like toothpaste, it is less abrasive and formulated for cleaning dentures. Look for either “denture cleaning paste” or “denture cleaning cream.” Follow the instructions on the packaging of your chosen product.
- Use cool water: Do not use hot water for brushing as that can damage your dentures. Additionally, never sanitize your dentures by boiling them.
But which brand and which type of cleaning paste or gel is right for you and your dentures? That answer depends on what type of materials your dentures are made out of it. If you’re unsure which product is best for you, always check in with your dentist to avoid damaging your dentures.
Note: cleaning pastes are different that overnight soaking tablets. When you soak your dentures overnight, you’ll use an effervescent tablet. Soaking overnight provides a few benefits:
- Removal of 99.9% of odor-causing bacteria
- Gives your gums a chance to “breathe” without the dentures on
- Removal of stains
- Removal of plaque
Always rinse your dentures after soaking as the soaking solution can contain harsh chemicals not suitable for swishing/sitting in your mouth. Never treat your soaking solution as a mouthwash as that can burn your throat or cause vomiting.
Tip: Place a towel on the bathroom counter when you brush your dentures. That way, if you drop your dentures, they’ll land on a soft towel and not a hard sink.
What if your dentures become stained?
If stains develop on your dentures, you might be tempted to use a whitening toothpaste, but this isn’t an ideal solution. Whitening toothpaste usually contain peroxide. While peroxide may whitening your natural teeth, it will not have that same effect on your denture material. That doesn’t mean you have to miss out on a bright white smile, though!
There are many benefits to soaking your dentures overnight, and removing stains is one of the benefits. Some brands boast a three-minute antibacterial soaking time in which stains are quickly removed. However, some effervescent tablets are meant to be used for overnight soaking. Regardless of which brand of effervescent tablets you choose, be sure to follow the directions carefully.
You can also prevent stains by:
- Limit your intake of stain-causing foods like curry, wine, and tomato sauce
- Use a straw when drinking coffee and tea
- Drink your coffee rather than slowly sipping throughout the day (the slow sipping exposes the surface of your dentures to the coffee for longer periods of time and is, therefore, more likely to cause staining)
- Maintain proper dental hygiene, including daily brushing and soaking
- Continue to visit your dentist regularly
Can you clean your dentures with baking soda?
This is another common question, especially among denture-users who have stained dentures. If you’ve just run out of your denture soaking tablets, you might be tempted to use a baking soda and vinegar soak, but is that the best? Probably not. Baking soda is known to be abrasive, and if you scrub your dentures with baking soda pastes, it might wear down the material of your dentures!
If you’re ever unsure of what products to use, you can use the product guide from the American Dental Association! Simply search for denture cleansers and a full list will be displayed.
How do you remove plaque on dentures?
The best way to remove plaque is to follow a solid oral hygiene plan. A good oral care routine includes daily brushing with denture cleaning paste once a day as well as soaking your dentures at night. Many soaking tablets list “plaque removal” as a benefit on the side of the box.
What’s the takeaway?
There are a lot of factors at play when it comes to choosing a good denture cleaner – both the cleaning paste and the soaking solution. To select the best cleaner or soaking solution for you and your dentures, consult with your dentist for a recommendation.
Considering dentures? Contact us today!