Cleaning Your Dentures
Cleaning your dentures is a simple, but important procedure. Dentures are made from a porous resin that can absorb bits of food and bacteria. Simply being in a human mouth for twelve to twenty-four hours a day is reason enough to justify a good cleaning twice a day!
Dentures are fragile, so all cleaning should be done with care to avoid damage. Stick with a toothpaste that is approved for dentures, and avoid regular formulas which are too abrasive. Bleaches, alcohol, whiteners and other cleansers are not recommended. They are simply too harsh and can damage the resin.
Carefully brush your dentures with a soft denture brush and a recommended toothpaste. This will loosen any debris and remove bacteria. It isn't necessary to brush them after every meal, but rinsing is recommended as it helps flush out any food particles that may be stuck around the teeth. Simply rinsing and brushing will help prevent infection. Be sure to soak your denture cleaning brush in a 50/50 solution of water and clorox once a week to keep it disinfected.
Your gums need a break from the dentures, so they should not be worn at night. The tissue needs to rest. Removing the dentures for the night allows normal stimulation of the gums by your tongue, which promotes the long term health of your gums.
Because they need to be kept moist, soak your dentures in warm water or a solution of denture cleaner at night. You may need to use a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water to prevent fungal growth. Aloe vera gel is another option. Simply smooth the gel onto the denture once or twice a day. This little bit of preventative care can help you avoid a fungal infection.
Be sure to use only warm water, not boiling, for cleaning and soaking dentures. Do not use the microwave or dishwasher! High temperatures can change the shape. This would be very bad, as dentures are custom fitted to your mouth. Any warping caused by high temperatures would affect the fit.
Developing good habits with denture hygiene right from the beginning will enable you to keep your dentures free from bacteria and odor causing plaque. It only takes a few minutes, and for something as important as your teeth, it is certainly worth the effort.