Dentures are just like natural teeth in that it’s important to take proper care of them to keep your smile looking its best and brightest. Some people think that it’s not important to clean dentures as often as natural teeth, but just like them, dentures can also pick up stains that can leave them looking less than their best. Sometimes it’s tempting to get creative, though, with the ways that dentures are cleaned, so read on for a list of how not to clean your dentures!
Why Care for Dentures is Important
The appearance of your dentures isn’t the only reason why it’s important to properly and routinely clean your dentures. Dentures that are not cleaned regularly can harbor food particles that can cause irritation, sore areas and even ulcers. Bacteria or fungus can also build up to cause an infection or fungal condition commonly known as thrush so it’s important to commit to routine care both for the health of your dentures, and for your oral health.
1. Avoid Brushing Them with Regular Toothpaste
Toothpastes that are recommended for natural teeth are not recommended for dentures because they contain abrasives that can damage the plastic, acrylic or other materials that dentures are made from that are softer than tooth enamel. Simply use a brush specifically designed for denture cleaning and brush them with warm water daily.
2. Avoid Using Bleach to Clean
Bleach is very harsh and can damage your dentures and discolor them, especially the color on the gum area of your dentures. Instead use only products that are recommended by the American Dental Association specifically for denture cleaning.
3. Avoid the Dishwasher or Using Boiling Water
Another important thing to remember for how not to clean your dentures is to avoid using extreme temperatures. The heat in the dishwasher, or boiling water can damage your dentures. As can the harsh dishwashing detergent. Heat could ultimately cause the dentures to warp or melt very quickly.
4. Avoid Using a Home Recipe to Soak
Avoid using a home recipe unless recommended by your dentist, regardless of the source. Home recipes are not tested or proven and can contain harsh chemicals or harsh natural ingredients that may be harmful to your dentures or your mouth and health.
It is important to remove your dentures every night and soak them after brushing to keep them from drying out. This can also sanitize them and prolong their lifespan. Make sure you use a product specifically created for dentures and that is recommended by the American Dental Association to ensure that it is safe.
5. Avoid Files or Sharp Objects
Another important rule of how not to clean your dentures is avoid the use any tools not made for denture cleaning. It may be tempting to scrape off stains with a file or other sharp object, but this will cause more problems in the future because it will leave rough surfaces that may collect more stains. If your dentures need to be cleaned or polished after your normal routine care, make an appointment and ask your dentist for a cleaning, just as you would with natural teeth.
6. Avoid Using Whitening Products
The ingredients in whitening toothpastes are designed to whiten tooth enamel, but will not work on dentures. Instead, they may cause erosion of the softer plastic and acrylic materials. Proper regular home care should keep most stains at bay and your dentures looking their best, but routine annual visits to your dentist for a professional cleaning are also important for the health of your mouth and may be able to remove the difficult stains that cannot be removed at home.
Call our Dr. Stephanie Mullins DDS to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.