The purpose of wearing dentures is to enable patients who have lost some or all of their teeth to speak, smile and eat comfortably. These things are only possible, however, if their dentures are snug and well-maintained. Learning how to clean dentures is important to ensuring good daily hygiene and making them last, but occasionally you may find it necessary to take additional steps to eliminate the tougher-to-remove bacteria. We take a look at how that bacteria tends to get there and the best way to attack it.
How does food accumulate on my dentures?
Dentures, like regular teeth are constantly getting dirty from everyday life. Food particles collect on your dentures every time you eat, for several reasons:
Dentures take up a fair amount of space in the mouth, though, which means you are much more likely to feel food remnants collecting underneath them than someone with natural teeth.
How does this buildup cause problems?
Food particles stick to certain areas of the denture more than others, and if they aren’t removed frequently, they can lead to a variety of oral health problems. Bad breath is a common concern among 87 percent of denture-wearers, and when food is accumulating in the mouth, it can turn rancid in a matter of hours. To determine whether your dentures are affecting your breath, consider placing your dentures in a sealed, plastic sandwich bag for five minutes. When you unseal the bag, you’ll get an idea of whether your halitosis is caused by your dentures.
Inflammation of oral tissue is another legitimate complication. When tough-to-remove particles collect and build up on a section of the dentures that is in contact with your mouth, the bacteria that feed on this leftover food can transfer to the gums and tissues – causing infection. Unchecked, the resulting inflammation may develop into periodontal gum disease or mouth sores related to denture stomatitis, which can appear at the corners of the lips.
Various studies have also shown a connection between poor oral health and chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and rheumatology. This makes it essential that you know how to clean dentures effectively, regardless of the type of denture for which you’re fitted.
How do I deep clean this build up off my dentures?
In addition to your regular daily brushing, it’s necessary to use a deep-cleaning solution periodically to soak off food deposits from the denture. These solutions typically come in the form of effervescent tablets, which are specifically formulated to clean dentures.
Avoid using abrasive materials such as brushes with stiff bristles, whitening toothpastes or products containing bleach because these can damage the dentures. Also keep in mind that hot or boiling water can warp your dentures, and soaking items that have metal fittings in any solution containing chlorine can cause the metal to tarnish.
After soaking, check the inside of the denture for any remaining food particles, and brush or scrub using a soft-bristled toothbrush whose shape is conducive to denture care.
Ultimately, ensure that you rinse the dentures exceptionally well afterward; even the gentlest cleansing solution can contain chemicals that are harmful to your mouth’s natural tissues.
Some additional denture cleaning tips:
Removable partial or full dentures require proper care to keep them clean, free from stains and looking their best. For good denture care:
Just because you wear dentures doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the pleasure of freshly-brushed teeth. Complete your denture-cleaning procedure with a thorough brushing of your gums using a soft-bristled toothbrush and every day, fluoridated toothpaste. If you notice any mouth sores, rinsing with a mouthwash will help to heal them and protect against bacteria in the long term.
Do you have any questions about cleaning your dentures? Call Westermeier Martin Dental care to schedule an appointment with your dentist 716-508-4547.