Brush or Soak?
If you’re one of the many denture wearers in the Sarasota, Florida area, you may wonder what the best way is to clean your dentures. Dr. Adam Still at Smile Sarasota realizes you’ve probably seen your parents or grandparents soak their dentures in a glass of water. The truth is that this is still one of the best ways to clean them!
Brushing is fine but there it more to it. To the naked eye, the acrylic surface of a denture appears solid and unbroken, but under a microscope, tiny holes are revealed. So what does this mean? It means that a quick brushing every day may not be enough to thoroughly clean the denture. Even a very thorough brushing may not be sufficient to reach bacteria harbored in microscopic crevices. A denture brush and foaming toothpaste simply may not penetrate the many hiding places that microbes find in a denture surface.
Denture wearers understand that keeping their dentures clean is important to ensure they will last a long time, won’t stain and will remain odor-free. Removing the dentures at night allows your gums to “rest” and that is a good practice to get into.
Here are some good tips on cleaning your dentures:
- Remove your dentures at night, rinse them off and then put them into a clean cup of water to soak. Consider adding a denture cleaning tablet to the water to help clean them overnight. Dentures do not need to be brushed.
- Rinse your dentures off before you put them back into your mouth the following morning. You can swish your mouth with mouthwash if you’re craving a minty fresh feeling. Remember to use a non-alcoholic mouthwash as alcohol will dry out your mouth.
- If your dentures begin to show signs of staining, you will want to us to schedule a professional cleaning. Remember, too, that even denture wearers should have an annual dental check-up to assure your overall oral health and this includes an oral cancer exam.
- 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, according to Mayo Clinic, 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.
Not sure if you want to wear dentures? There are alternatives! Plan to make an appointment with Dr. Still to explore dental implants to address missing teeth and have all of your denture and dental implant questions answered.
Sources and credits: Colgate, Mayo Clinic, RDH Magazine