Your dentures are like your natural teeth. And so you should treat them the same way you do the latter. For with time, your dentures would start losing their sheen and become very unattractive. This can be attributed to factors like improper hygiene which could in turn lead to dirt accumulation, stains and plaque/bacterial/fungal buildup on the dentures in addition to causing more serious conditions like tooth decay, tooth loss or inflamed gums etc.
Dentures are made of porous material and so are not impervious to the above mentioned conditions. Failure to clean them properly and regularly would result in an embarrassing situation whenever you open your mouth to reveal them.
Steps to Clean and Remove Stains from your Dentures
And so, it becomes absolutely necessary to care for your dentures properly to avoid the conditions mentioned above. However, before your learn how to clean and remove stains from you dentures, there are a few basic pointers you need to understand about the same.
Frequency of Cleaning
Although many individuals tend to clean their dentures twice every day (once in the morning and night), it pays to clean your dentures more frequently, preferably after every meal or snack. This would enable you to remain food or other unwanted particles that might have got stuck to the dentures. You can also eliminate the possibility of these particles causing stains if they remain stuck to the dentures for long periods.
Cleaning Solutions and Products
A lot has been said about the products one needs to use in order to clean his/her dentures. The basic rule is this though. Avoid harsh chemicals or concentrated solutions while cleaning your dentures.
Avoid soaking the dentures in hot water as the heat can warp them. Use soft, medium headed toothbrushes that can easily reach the corners while not being too hard on the surface. Use a fluoride toothpaste or ordinary soap to clean the dentures. You can also opt for other cleaning products mentioned below.
Choose the soaking solutions carefully. You would need to choose the ones that can effectively remove dirt and stains from the dentures while not necessarily damaging them in the process. Do not use bleach or other concentrated cleansing solutions unless the stains are really hard to remove.
Always make sure that you have a soft landing like a towel placed below your hands when you are cleaning your dentures. Dentures can easily break if you drop them. So be prepared for emergencies.
Cleaning and Removing Stains from your Dentures
Now that you have an idea of how to go about cleaning your dentures and removing stains from them, let’s move onto the next process of actually cleaning them. The basic routine that you would need to follow here is Brush, Scrub, Soak, Rinse and Brush. Each of the steps is mentioned in detail below.
Brush/Scrub your Dentures (and Teeth/Gums)
You would start by brushing your dentures thoroughly to remove any food or debris sticking to them. While fluoridated toothpaste would help, you can also opt for baking soda which is gentle enough to not harm the dentures but effective enough to clean them thoroughly. You can also opt for a branded denture cleaner to scrub your dentures (you need to get it from your orthodontist).
In the case of cleaning your dentures with baking soda, all you need to do is dip your toothbrush in water and then dip it in a container filled with baking soda. Brush softly over the dentures and around the corners to remove unwanted debris, regularly replenishing the baking soda present on the toothbrush.
While you are at it, you can also brush your teeth, gums and tongue. In most cases, an individual would clean his/her dentures but forget to clean his/her teeth/gums. This way, when the dentures are inserted back into the mouth, they would get filthy again with the food, dirt and debris attached to the teeth/gums/tongue.
Soak the Dentures
After brushing the dentures, soak them in a denture cleansing solution for 30 minutes (you can also soak them overnight for better results). In addition to the standard denture cleansing solutions available in the market, you can make you own cleansing solution at home with just water and hydrogen peroxide.
Mix 1/ 2 cup of hydrogen peroxide (3%) with ½ cup of water nicely. Allow the mixture to settle and then soak your dentures in it for half an hour or possibly overnight. The hydrogen peroxide would act on the stains in the dentures and remove them completely.
Another very common way to remove stains from dentures involves soaking them in a denture whitening product or a typical whitener for a couple of hours. You need to be very careful in this case though and follow the instructions on the package to the ‘T’ in order to avoid any risks of damaging the dentures.
When to Use Bleach
Although using bleach to clean your dentures is an action that is strongly advised against, you can opt for a cleansing solution that contains bleach and water in the ratio 1:1/8 for stubborn stains. Do not soak your dentures in the bleach cleansing solution for long hours as in the previous cases. Half an hour of soaking would be enough to remove even the toughest of stains.
Rinse Your Dentures
Always rinse your dentures after removing them from the cleansing solution. Opt for cold water rinses and preferably use a water sprayer to gently clean the dentures off any residual solution.
Brush One Last Time
Brush your dentures with fluoridated toothpaste after rinsing them. In addition to making the dentures appear fresh and clean, this would provide your mouth with the fresh taste it is used to after brushing.
Brush gently to avoid causing scratches or groove on the surface of the dentures. Clean the dentures properly, making sure you also clean the areas that come in contact with the gum. Once done, rinse the dentures in cold water again before popping them into your mouth.
Denture cleaning is not that hard a task provided you know how to do it, and do it religiously. So follow these steps to keep your dentures clean and stain free while impressing every one out there with that million dollar smile of yours.