We all know it’s important to clean our real teeth, but what about if we have dentures? Well – plaque biofilm develops on ALL surfaces in your mouth, INCLUDING on the surfaces of appliances, such as dentures, making it equally important to look after your dentures as you would your teeth. After all, we use them the same way – to eat, speak and smile!
It is recommended that you clean your dentures thoroughly and regularly. It is also important to clean teeth and soft tissues e.g. gums, roof of your mouth which are in contact with your dentures (or any oral appliance).
Unless otherwise advised by your dentist, dentures should always be left out of the mouth at night. If you are unable to take your dentures out overnight, aim to take them out for 4-8 hours each day. This allows the soft tissues and mouth time to rest and helps to reduce the risk of infection. The gums and soft tissue dentures rest on should look healthy –pale pink and firm. Redness is a sign of inflammation. Dentures should be stored in water to stop them from drying out.
Use a soft toothbrush to clean the gums and other soft tissues i.e. the roof of your mouth. Denture adhesives can be difficult to remove from both the mouth and denture. Rinse your mouth and use a soft brush if necessary. Use a soft brush or cloth to remove excess adhesive from the denture. Speak to your dentist if your denture doesn’t fit properly.
If you wear full or part dentures you should visit your dentist regularly. They will check your denture fits properly, look for signs of infection and carry out a mouth cancer screening.
Below are some tips from Growing Smiles on caring for your mouth with an oral appliance – dentures included.
Clean any teeth, implants and gums thoroughly: Clean between teeth first then brush all surfaces of teeth, especially around the gum line, with fluoride toothpaste. Bleeding is a sign of inflammation due to the plaque biofilm irritating the gum tissue. Keep cleaning to reverse early inflammation. Spit out after brushing but don’t rinse – let the fluoride and other ingredients in the toothpaste continue to work after brushing.
Your appliance: You can use a soft toothbrush, denture brush or similar brush to clean the appliance. Make sure that the bristles can reach every surface. You can also use an appliance cleaning tablet to soak the appliance in first. This will loosen any debris. Rinse (follow manufacturer’s instructions). Then brush using a daily appliance cleaning gel. A once a week bath is good practice.
Clean your appliance over a basin of water, or place a clean facecloth or towel in the bottom of the sink in case it is dropped.
Click here to see the Growing Smiles appliance cleaning range.
Store as advised by your dental team. If you have been advised not to let your appliance dry out, store in fresh, clean water whenever you aren’t wearing it.
If the appliance is to be stored dry e.g. sports mouth guard, store in a suitable container, i.e. one that will protect the mouth guard and allow air to circulate – clean before storing. Always rinse the appliance before placing in your mouth again.
When not in use, keep your storage container empty, clean and dry. Learn more about appliance care here.
Remember – dentures and other oral appliances can be costly, so it’s in your best interests to take good care of them. For more in-depth, personalised advice on caring for yours or someone else’s mouth with dentures or an appliance, take Time Out For Teeth. You can also sign up to our mailing list and subscribe to the Growing Smiles YouTube channel for videos on appliance and oral health care.