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The American Dental Association recommends brushing your dentures at least once a day. However, some ingredients found in toothpastes are abrasive and can damage or scratch your dentures. Use a gentle, non-abrasive cleanser and a soft-bristle toothbrush to brush them. Don’t use toothpaste. Toothpaste is mildly abrasive because it contains grainy particles to help scrub away bacterial plaque and food debris from your teeth. Dentures, which are made of much softer materials than tooth enamel, can be damaged by cleansers that are too abrasive. Micro-scratches in the denture material can provide hiding places for bacteria, which can cause unpleasant odors and discoloration and contribute to disease.

Soaking Your Dentures

In addition to brushing, you should soak your dentures with a cleansing solution like Polident’s 3-Minute Denture Cleanser to help lift stains and kill odor-causing bacteria that brushing might miss. Be sure to rinse and dry off your dentures before putting them back in your mouth.

Storing Your Dentures

Place your dentures in a glass of water whenever you’re not wearing them for long periods of time to prevent them from drying out and losing their shape.

Rinsing Your Dentures

Also rinse them after eating to clear away leftover food particles.

Line the sink basin with a towel while cleaning dentures. Parts can break if you drop your denture in a porcelain sink. A strategically placed towel can cushion a fall and keep your appliance intact.

Other Helpful Hints

Try an ultrasonic cleaner or bring it back for us to help you maintain it. Studies indicate that an ultrasonic cleaner may be the most effective way to clean dentures. A small countertop device can be found in many housewares.

Remove dentures overnight. Dentures are not meant to be worn 24/7. Removing them can help your saliva do a better job of cleansing and sanitizing your mouth. Prolonged denture wear is associated with increased loss of jawbone supporting your denture, tooth loosening and risk of oral infection. Early signs of infection may include persistent mouth odors, a white bacterial film on the part of the appliance that contacts the palate (roof) of your mouth, or redness and inflammation of your palate. If you experience any of these, contact your dentist promptly.

What Not to Do

Don’t leave dentures in accessible locations.

Pets are notorious for crunching on removable oral devices, especially odiferous ones that haven’t been cleaned regularly. Curious toddlers will put anything in their mouths. And a dental appliance that falls on the floor is at risk of being stepped on. Your dentures are an investment; when they’re not in your mouth or soaking overnight in water or a cleaning solution, store them safely according to our dentist‘s instructions.

Avoid excessive heat.

Boiling water can kill bacteria, but heat can also destroy your dentures by distorting the plastic. Room-temperature water will do just fine.

Don’t use bleach to clean dentures.

Don’t forget oral hygiene.

Cleaning your dentures and cleaning your mouth are entirely different yet equally important tasks. Even if you don’t have any natural teeth left, you can still benefit from lightly brushing your tongue and gum ridges and using a breath freshener.

Removable dentures need tender loving care just like your natural teeth do. Remember to clean your dentures regularly to keep them in good condition.

Full dentures replace an entire set of upper or lower teeth. Partial dentures attach to remaining teeth, which can weaken those teeth over time. The partial appliances allow for bacterial plaque to collect on the supporting teeth, making them more vulnerable to tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease. There is mounting evidence linking periodontal disease to chronic illness elsewhere in the body such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The cause-and-effect relationship is uncertain, but a related chronic disease is all the more reason to be vigilant about your oral hygiene when you wear partial dentures.

If you have any questions about caring for your dentures or if you want to schedule an appointment with Dr. Roberto Macedo, our experienced dentist in St. Petersburg, Florida, please contact RM Advanced Center for Cosmetic Dentistry today at 727-202-4459.