A common misconception about getting dentures is that you’ll no longer have to worry about your teeth. In fact, oral hygiene is just as crucial for denture wearers as for those with natural teeth.
Dentures can be a dangerous breeding ground for bacteria and other microorganisms, causing bad breath, discomfort, and infection. Dentures can also become stained over time. To protect the health and appearance of dentures, regular cleaning of false teeth is advised by all dental professionals.
If you have or are considering false teeth, knowing how to clean dentures properly is essential for a long-lasting healthy mouth and smile.
Risks of Improper Denture Care
Besides the aesthetic benefits of the regular cleaning of your false teeth, it can also protect you from several risk factors.
A big motivator for having dentures in the first place is an improved smile. If you aren’t cleaning your false teeth or don’t know how to clean your dentures correctly, you’ll likely see an accumulation of staining over time to the artificial tooth and gum surfaces.
Aggressive stain removal can be abrasive and even change the shape, fit, and appearance of false teeth. You’re better off preventing stains from occurring in the first place than attempting to remove them after the fact.
The most common infection that results from dirty dentures is a condition called “thrush” caused by infection from the fungus Candida albicans. Thrush typically develops at the roof of the mouth underneath the denture plate and can cause significant discomfort and irritation in the gums.
Thrush is most common in patients with a dry mouth or those that don’t remove and adequately clean dentures regularly. Although it’s usually resolved with antibiotic treatment, a thrush infection may necessitate a significant timeout from your false teeth until the symptoms are resolved.
Poorly maintained dentures can also cause painful mouth ulcers and general irritation when food builds up within and underneath the plate. Such sore spots can make eating and even speaking difficult.
Proper Denture Maintenance and How to Clean Dentures
There are essentially three key steps to properly cleaning and caring for false teeth to best preserve them and avoid discomfort or complications.
Brush Your Teeth
Having dentures doesn’t mean you get to skip the all-important step of brushing your teeth. Many mistakenly believe that it’s sufficient to simply soak dentures to remove buildup from daily use. While the denture itself can’t get a cavity or gum disease, all threats to healthy teeth like plaque, bacteria, and staining don’t go away when you have false teeth.
Using a brush designed for false teeth is recommended by most dental professionals, and you should avoid using toothpaste made for natural teeth.
Soak Your Dentures
It is important that you soak your dentures for a reasonable amount of time to prevent them from drying out and to give your gums some time to rest. Most people find this most convenient to do overnight while they’re sleeping.
Most over-the-counter denture cleaning solutions are safe to use, but you can consult your dentist for their preferred recommendations for how to clean your dentures. You should also speak with your dentist before you try any homemade, do-it-yourself recipes that are so popular online. Some suggest using ingredients that are too harsh for false teeth and may cause bleaching or erosion of your dentures.
Annual Professional Cleanings
Trips to the dentist aren’t eliminated when you have dentures. You’ll need to follow your dentist’s specific instructions, but most recommend having your dentures cleaned by a professional once a year.
While the dentures are being cleaned, the dentist will likely evaluate the health of your mouth and the tissues that support your false teeth and check to ensure they fit correctly.
A professional cleaning may also be able to remove staining from food, drinks, or medication that your daily at-home cleanings don’t completely remove.
Talk to a Member of Our Team
If you have or are considering false teeth, you need to know how to clean your dentures. The friendly staff at Available Dental Care can walk you through the proper steps and answer any questions you have.
Our experienced dentist, Dr Shaun Lajevardi, and staff offer a wide range of dental treatments and pride themselves on a strong commitment to open communication and patient satisfaction.
Give us a call today at (02) 4062 8763 to discuss your dental needs and the many affordable services we provide to keep your smile healthy.