Recently outfitted with a new pair of dentures? Keeping them clean, free of bacteria, and looking great will be essential to ensuring that your dentures do their job for years to come.
Before we dive into how to clean dentures, we’re going to first talk about what to avoid to keep them working well. There are specific foods you’ll want to avoid if you want your dentures to last and be comfortable.
Foods to Avoid With Dentures
Here are the foods to avoid if you have dentures. Note that in moderation, you will be able to eat and drink some of these items. But, it’s important to be careful when you are eating and drinking these items.
- Tea and Coffee – in moderation, both tea and coffee won’t have much of an effect on your dentures. But, just like natural teeth, excessive consumption of these liquids can cause your dentures to become stained and can also dry out your mouth.
- Popcorn – eating lots of popcorn is hard on natural teeth and dentures. The sharp edges and hard outer shell can get stuck in your dentures and eventually will make way for cavities.
- Sticky Candy – watch out for any sticky foods but especially sticky candy because of the ways that it can dislodge your dentures.
- Nuts – these foods can cause more problems than any other food that you might eat while having dentures. When eating nuts, there are always remnants left over that can cause your dentures to become unstable and potentially dislodged.
- Crackers and Seeded Bread – avoid any seeded breads or foods that will cause similar problems as nuts would.
- Raw Fruits – fruits and vegetables are great foods to be eating if you’re looking to keep up your health, but you still need to be careful not to eat any fruits or vegetables that will be too hard or require too much chewing for your dentures. Examples of these items would be apples, carrots, and coconut.
- Nut Butter – watch out for butters that are known for their stickiness. You might think it’s hard to get peanut butter off of your natural teeth, but wait until you have to try and remove the sticky substance from your dentures.
The general rule is that hard or sticky foods should be avoided and that you should make an effort to eat soft foods that won’t wear on your dentures too much.
3 Ways to Clean Dentures
There are three main ways that you can ensure that your dentures stay clean throughout the day and that they’re clean when you go to put them in each morning. Remember that keeping your dentures clean is of utmost importance if you’re going to ensure that they last for some time.
Remove and Rinse Dentures after Eating
After eating, it’s a great practice to get into the habit of rinsing and washing any food debris and other loose particles from the dentures. This will help to ensure that your dentures always fit nicely in your mouth and that they don’t have any food build-up on them over time.
Be sure to handle your dentures carefully throughout the rinsing and washing process. Dropping them onto hard surfaces could cause them to crack or become damaged. Also, only use warm water. Never use hot water to clean your dentures because it could cause them to warp or change shape.
Brush Your Dentures at Least Once A Day
Brush your dentures with a soft-bristled toothbrush daily to ensure that they don’t have plaque, bacteria, food, or other deposits built-up on them. It’s essential that you brush them every day. Over time plaque can build up on dentures just like natural teeth, causing the dentures to look dull. Additionally, it poses a health risk to you if you don’t brush them and keep them clean.
You can use denture cleaner as a solvent to both rinse and brush them. This will help to remove plaque and clean stains. If you have any questions on how to best brush your dentures, be sure to reach out to your dentist. They may have some tips and tricks that you can use.
Soak Your Dentures Overnight
Almost all dentures will need to be kept moist in order to keep their shape and stay usable. If your dentures dry out, they often will need to be reshaped by the dentist that gave them to you. Soaking them in a glass of water or a mild dentures-soaking solution is a good way to keep them moist and clean.
Be careful not to soak the dentures in the wrong solution. If you do soak them in the wrong solution, it could cause problems with your dentures. You’ll also want to be sure to rinse them thoroughly before putting them back in your mouth after soaking. This is especially important if you’re soaking them in a solution.
Risks of Not Cleaning Dentures
We’ve talked a little bit about the risks of not cleaning dentures, but we should go into more detail around the importance of getting your dentures clean and keeping them that way.
Whether you have partial or full dentures, there’s a biofilm that can build up on the dentures caused by bacteria. If you don’t properly clean your dentures, this bacteria can continue to grow. These bacteria can work their way to your stomach and cause infections that are hard to treat. You may also experience respiratory diseases caused by biofilm.
If you fall behind on the cleaning of your dentures and, in turn, have some biofilm buildup, there are a few different ways that you can get rid of the bacteria. First, you could microwave the dentures for a few minutes to kill the bacteria (be sure to ask your dentist before doing this) and two, you can soak the dentures in a 2% chlorhexidine gluconate for 10 min. Either of these methods will help to keep your dentures clean for a week. The best way to prevent bacteria is by using mouthwash and brushing (don’t forget about your tongue) twice a day.