What's the best way to care for removable dentures?

Answers from Alan Carr, D.M.D.

Removable partial or full dentures require proper denture care to keep them clean, free from stains and looking their best. For good denture care:

  • Remove and rinse dentures after eating. Run water over your dentures to remove food debris and other loose particles. You may want to place a towel on the counter or in the sink so that the dentures won't break if you drop them.
  • Clean your mouth after removing your dentures. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush on natural teeth and gauze or a soft toothbrush to clean your tongue and palate.
  • Scrub your dentures at least daily. Gently scrub your dentures using a denture cleaner, mild soap or dishwashing liquid and a denture brush or soft toothbrush to remove food, plaque and other deposits. Avoid stiff-bristled brushes, strong cleansers and harsh toothpaste, as these are too abrasive and can damage your dentures. Toothpastes advertised as whitening pastes are especially abrasive and should be avoided with removable dentures.
  • Handle your dentures carefully. Be sure you don't bend or damage the plastic or the clasps when cleaning.
  • Soak dentures overnight. Most types of dentures need to remain moist to keep their shape. Place the dentures in water or a mild denture-soaking solution overnight. Don't soak dentures with metal attachments in solutions that contain chlorine because it can tarnish the metal. Check with your dentist about properly storing your dentures overnight.
  • Rinse dentures before putting them back in your mouth, especially if using a denture-soaking solution. These solutions can contain harmful chemicals that cause vomiting, pain or burns if swallowed.
  • Schedule regular dental checkups. Your dentist will advise you about how often to visit to have your dentures examined and professionally cleaned. Your dentist can help ensure a proper fit to prevent slippage and discomfort. See your dentist promptly if your dentures become loose. Loose dentures can cause irritation, sores and infection.
Dec. 01, 2011 See more Expert Answers