How to Clean and Store Dentures

how to clean dentures - person holding bottom dentures

How to Clean and Store Dentures

If you wear dentures, maintaining good oral hygiene includes cleaning them regularly. Wearing clean dentures prevents bacteria buildup so your mouth can stay healthy. It’s also essential that you properly store your dentures overnight to further protect your oral health and keep your dentures looking fresh. 

At Dr. Saba and Associates, full and partial dentures are one of several solutions we provide for adults with missing teeth. To help you keep your mouth healthy, we put together this guide on how to clean and store your dentures and what can happen if you don’t. 

What Are the Consequences of Dirty Dentures?

Just like natural teeth, dentures need to be cleaned every day. Failing to routinely clean your dentures leads to bacteria and plaque buildup in your mouth. Poor oral hygiene can also discolor your dentures and increase your risk of infections. 

For example, dirty dentures may cause an imbalance of the fungus known as candida, resulting in denture stomatitis (thrush). This condition causes redness, irritation, and swelling, and may also cause light-colored patches to form inside your mouth. 

How to Keep Your Dentures Clean

Did you know that improperly cleaning your dentures can actually damage them? Taking good care of your dentures will not only prevent plaque and infections, it will also make your dentures last longer. 

Unless your dentist instructed you otherwise, follow these tips for cleaning your dentures:

1: Prepare the Bathroom

The first step in keeping your dentures in good condition is getting the bathroom ready. Dentures can easily break if you drop them, which often happens during cleaning. Fill up your sink or a bowl with room temperature water that your dentures can land in safely if you drop them. You can add extra protection by placing a folded towel on the countertop and a soft mat on the floor. 

2: Brush Your Dentures Twice a Day

You need to brush your dentures twice a day to effectively remove plaque and bacteria. If you have any remaining natural teeth, you must also brush and floss them twice a day. 

To clean your dentures, take them out and rinse them to remove any food debris. Then, use a denture brush and denture cleaner to gently scrub them. Regular toothbrushes and toothpaste can damage dentures, so you should only use products that are specifically designed for denture care. 

You will also need to remove any adhesive residue left in your mouth from your dentures. Use a soft, clean washcloth to gently wipe your gums, and if there is still residue left, use your denture brush. 

Don’t forget to brush your dentures over the full sink, bowl of water, or towels that you set up ahead of time to protect them from falls. Before you place your dentures back in your mouth, rinse them thoroughly to remove any debris or cleaning residue. 

3: Soak Your Dentures Every Day

In addition to regular brushing, you also need to routinely soak your dentures to keep them clean and help them retain their shape. You can use a denture cleaning solution to give them a thorough cleaning simply by following the manufacturer’s instructions. 

However, if the cleaning solution contains sodium hypochlorite or sodium hypochlorite bleach, you should never soak your dentures for more than 10 minutes. Prolonged exposure to these ingredients can damage your dentures. 

You should always rinse your dentures after taking them out of a cleaning solution. Putting them back in your mouth without rinsing them first can cause irritation and even chemical burns from the ingredients in some cleaning solutions.  

How to Properly Store Your Dentures

Wearing dentures for long periods of time can increase your risk of infections like denture stomatitis. You’ll need to remove your dentures and store them overnight while you’re sleeping. 

Stored dentures need to be kept moist to prevent them from drying out, which can change their shape and how they fit. The best way to store your dentures overnight is to soak them in room temperature water. Never place your dentures in hot or boiling water, because heat can cause warping. 

Dentures in Sun Lakes, Arizona

If you’re considering getting dentures or if you need to replace your current dentures, Drs. Saba and Romanin can help. We offer partial and full removable dentures, and are happy to answer any questions you may have about how to keep your dentures clean. Call our office at 480-895-2111 today to schedule an appointment. 

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (9/26/2022). Photo by Diana Polekhina on Unsplash