Dentures may not be natural teeth, but that doesn’t make them any easier to care for. In fact, they require some extra maintenance natural teeth don’t need.
If you’re among the 31 million Americans who wear dentures, you want your dentures to last. Start by following these essential denture cleaning dos and don’ts.
Dos and Don’ts of Denture Cleaning
Whether you’re new to dentures or you’ve been wearing them for decades, are you following these important rules?
1. Do Rinse Throughout the Day
Bedtime isn’t the only time you should be cleaning your dentures. Every time you finish eating, take out your dentures and rinse them.
There is no need to brush the dentures or use any cleaning products during these rinses. All you need is some running water to wash off any food bits.
2. Don’t Leave Any Denture Adhesive in Place
If you use a denture adhesive, know this: it doesn’t get more effective when you apply more on top of old adhesive. In fact, remnants of old adhesive can prevent your new adhesive from sealing.
Every night when you remove your dentures, make sure you get all the adhesive off your dentures and out of your mouth.
3. Do Remove Your Dentures Before Cleaning Them
The cleaning products dentures need aren’t made to be ingested. To avoid getting sick, remove your dentures before you clean them.
To clean your dentures, all you need is a gentle toothbrush and denture cleaner.
4. Don’t Use Whitening Toothpaste
There are some people who clean their dentures with toothpaste and use whitening toothpaste to keep them bright.
This can do more harm than good. The bleaching chemical in whitening toothpaste doesn’t work on dentures and it could damage them over time.
5. Do Keep Up with Your Dental Appointments
Whether or not you have any natural teeth, it’s crucial that you keep up with your dental appointments twice per year.
These appointments allow your dentist to professionally clean your dentures. They also let the dentist check to ensure that everything is intact and well-fitting.
6. Don’t Forget the Overnight Soak
One of the most important parts of cleaning your dentures is to soak them overnight. The moisture helps them stay strong and well-shaped.
Some denture manufacturers recommend soaking them in a specific cleaning solution. Others recommend water alone. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions unless your dentist recommends otherwise.
If you use a cleansing soak, be sure to rinse them especially well in the morning before you put them in. These cleaners can make you ill if you ingest them.
Keeping Your Dentures in Biting Shape
As helpful as dentures are for people who have lost teeth, they come with a hefty price tag. You can save yourself money in the long run by using the denture cleaning tips above to help your dentures last longer.