Partial or complete dentures (removable teeth) can replace lost teeth, improving the appearance of your smile.
These false teeth are designed to look natural, and they’re made from different materials like acrylic and metal.
Even though denture teeth are false, it’s still important to clean them regularly. Cleaning dentures involves more than brushing, though. Other steps are required to keep them in good condition and maintain your oral health.
Properly cared for dentures can last an average of 7 to 10 years.
Top tips to clean and maintain your dentures
Plaque and food stick to dentures in the same way they stick to natural teeth. If you don’t clean your dentures, plaque can build up, putting you at risk of gum disease and bad breath.
Regular cleanings are vital to your overall oral health. To keep dentures clean, you’ll need the following:
- a soft-bristled toothbrush
- denture cleaning solution or mild soap
- a soft towel
- Plan to brush your dentures at least once daily. Brushing them twice a day, every morning and every night is even better and a quick brush after food will help too. But don’t use toothpaste when brushing your dentures.
- Many toothpaste brands contain ingredients that are too abrasive for removable teeth. These toothpastes can gradually damage the surface of dentures, leaving scratches or small cracks.
- Instead, brush your dentures with a soft-bristled toothbrush designed specifically for dentures. These toothbrushes can prevent scratches on the surface of your dentures.
- Even though brushing is important, brushing alone doesn’t clean dentures. To maintain dentures long-term, you must thoroughly clean them each night after removal, soaking them in warm, (not hot) water or denture soaking solution.
- Although you shouldn’t use toothpaste when brushing dentures, youshould use toothpaste to brush your gums and tongue twice a day. This keeps your gums healthy and helps prevent bad breath.
- If you have partial dentures, don’t forget to brush and floss your remaining teeth daily.
- Rinsing your mouth with mouthwash also contributes to oral health. You can remove dentures before using mouthwash, or use mouthwash designed for denture wearers.
When to call your dentist
Regular dental appointments are an essential part of your oral health. If you have dentures, continue to schedule regular check-ups with your dentist every 6 months.
Also, contact your dentist if you have any concerns about your dentures.
Make an appointment if your dentures:
- feel uncomfortable
- slip or no longer fit properly
- make noise when you talk or eat
- appear visibly worn or broken
You should also contact your dentist if you develop:
- mouth sores
- bleeding gums
- bad breath