If you already wear dentures, you know how important it is to clean and sanitize them to prevent health problems. An unclean set will build up lots of sticky bacteria over time and transfer that bacteria into the wearer’s mouth. These uncleaned biofilms can lead to infections like staph or MRSA. They might also lead to health problems like periodontal disease.
If you already have a regimen for keeping your dentures clean, you’re on the right track. There are several different ways you can clean them. Here are the top four cleaning methods that we recommend. You can try these at home and protect the longevity of your beautiful smile:
1 – Denture Cleaner
Of course, the most common cleaning method will be commercial cleansers. With this method, dentures should be cleaned with a soft toothbrush dipped into the cleanser to remove bacteria, food, and any other deposits.
A non-abrasive denture cleaner is recommended, as it won’t wear them down or cause any unintentional bleaching. If you need a gentle denture cleanser recommendation, ask your dentist at your next cleaning or appointment.
2 – Using the Microwave
If you run out of your denture cleanser, there’s no need to worry! You can use common household items to sanitise them.
All you need for this option is the microwave in your kitchen! This is because scientists have found that microwaving dentures can kill off any MRSA bacteria that are present. Simply microwave your set of dentures for three minutes each week.
It’s important to note that while this microwaving method will help to kill off bacteria, it’s not a comprehensive cleaning method. You should still brush the teeth with a cleaning solution as well.
3 – Vinegar
Creating your own vinegar solution is another option. The acid present in vinegar makes it a great way to dissolve built-up tartar and plaque on the teeth.
If you want to try this method, combine equal parts of white distilled vinegar and lukewarm water. Place your dentures in a cup or bowl of the solution and allow them to sit for at least 30 minutes. For best results, you can even leave them to soak overnight. After removing the dentures, rinse them under clean water to wash off any residue.
4 – Baking Soda
Baking soda is another common household ingredient that does a good job of loosening up stubborn debris and bacteria from teeth. Use baking soda at home to create an all-natural toothpaste:
- Add 2 teaspoons of baking soda to a small cup
- Add teaspoons of water to the baking soda until you reach the desired consistency
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to scrub away any present debris
This is a popular natural method that you can use daily to keep your dentures nice and clean. As a bonus, it won’t leave the unsavoury taste of vinegar in your mouth.
Steps to a Proper Denture Cleaning Regimen
New to dentures? There’s a bit of a regimen that’s recommended to ensure your set stays nice and clean. For best results, follow this suggested care routine:
- Brush your dentures daily. Each day, you should be gently brushing your dentures with one of the suggestions above. Be sure to clean each tooth and even the internal grooves where the dentures meet your real teeth.
- Soak dentures nightly. Each night before bed, place them in a mixture of water and denture-soaking solution. This will help to keep them moist. It also will help to preserve their shape. Some dentures don’t need to stay moist to hold shape, but if you aren’t sure whether yours do or no, talk to your dentist.
- Deep clean dentures weekly. Each week, you should deep clean your dentures by giving them a more thorough scrub or popping them in the microwave to kill off MRSA bacteria.
- See a dentist regularly. Ask your dentist how often they recommend denture exams and professional cleanings. They’ll ensure proper fit and also maintain your oral health.
Guidelines for Denture Use
Beyond the cleaning regimen, what else does it take to guarantee healthy and long-lasting dentures? Follow these guidelines for denture care and keep this hardworking oral accessory in good shape:
- Take breaks. The tissues inside your mouth need a break from your dentures, so they can recover from the hours that you wear them. During these breaks, go ahead and give your real teeth brushing to keep them healthy as well.
- Handle with care. Dentures are not cheap, so you’ll want to avoid paying for a replacement at all costs. Handle these delicate accessories with care. When cleaning, do so over a towel in case they drop. Hold them gently during removal and insertion. Finally, keep them out of reach from any children or pets.
- Don’t forget about the rest of your mouth. It’s more important than ever to care for your gums when you have dentures. The build-up of bacteria on your dentures can spread to your mouth, causing infection or disease.
- Watch the fit. If your dentures feel funny or misplaced, that’s a good sign you should see your dentist. The gums and bones within a person’s mouth change over time, so your dentures need to adjust to fit. If your dentures don’t fit well, it could lead to pain, burning, mouth sores, and even abdominal gas from swallowing air.
- Nourish your body. Dentures can make it more difficult to eat hard things like crunchy fruits and vegetables. If you’re not eating the foods you used to enjoy, you might be missing out on important nutrients your body needs. Be sure to eat nutritious, healthy food in ways your dentures will allow.
Should You Talk to Your Dentist About Your Dentures?
If you’re unhappy with your current smile, talk to your dentist about the possibility of dentures. They can be a great way to improve your smile without an invasive procedure.