How to Clean Your Dentures and Prevent Bacteria From Building Up

How to Clean Your Dentures and Prevent Bacteria From Building Up

Dentures are not good as natural teeth. However, it helps in meeting aesthetics and functions for many people. The best solution for fallen teeth is to get implants but implants are more expensive or not possible due to heath issues .The next best thing is a denture, either full or partial. It is affordable and you can easily replace them when the need arises. Meanwhile, you will need to take good care of your dentures to keep them clean and prevent bacteria build up that can penetrate your gums and cause further periodontal problems.

Importance of regular cleaning and proper care of dentures

Dentures are usually made of polymer resin. Inadequate care leads to formation of a dense layer that becomes home to bacteria on dentures.

Dentures bacterial infection is a real threat since over 1010 microorganisms can thrive in the film that forms over dentures. Candida, especially, thrives on dentures biofilm and eventually causes denture stomatitis. Candida streptococcus and Staphylococcus work together with a complex film on acrylic, the material used for dentures and the combination is more virulent.

Sore throat and dentures are common occurrences especially in geriatric users of dentures. Since the denture and the respiratory tract are connected you can expect thriving bacterial and fungal colonies to cause denture fungal infection and lung infections too, sometimes leading to pneumonia. This is not the worst of it; bacteria can spread through blood to the heart and cause bacterial endocarditis, gastrointestinal infection and even obstructive pulmonary disease. This can happen due to gum abscess from dentures, another common occurrence in elderly denture users. If dentures let you enjoy food and help you in your speech and looks, they can also be deadly prosthetics unless these prosthetics are kept absolutely clean.

There are several ways you can clean your dentures using various cleansing products but the best could be proprietary formulations recommended by your oral surgeon in Roswell Georgia.

Primary steps to clean your dentures

It is absolutely imperative to make sure you remove your dentures before going to sleep and follow a routine of brushing and then soaking them in water. Soaking in water helps prevent the denture from drying out and contracting. Soak in a solution specifically created for dentures and that will be much better but be sure to rinse the denture in clean water before you wear them. Brushing your dentures can be done using common toothbrush or a toothbrush specifically recommended by your dentist for cleaning dentures.

The denture cleaning process

  • Remove dentures and rinse them under flowing tap water to remove loose food particles. Soak in the dentist recommended soaking solution.
  • Lay the dentures on soft towel.
  • Pick up each denture and use a denture brush to clean the outsides, the insides and particularly the part that fits over your gums. This is crucial to remove bacteria on dentures that cause all of the problems. Oral thrush and dentures are related so it pays to be meticulous.
  • You can use a variety of cleaning agents while brushing to ensure that the biofilm on dentures is brushed off. More on these cleaning agents later on.
  • Once you complete the process of cleaning your dentures you will also need to use a soft brush and salt water to clean your mouth tissues, especially the ridge on which the denture sits as well as your cheeks, roof of mouth and tongue. If you wear partial dentures, clean your teeth thoroughly. Should you notice sores caused by pressure of the dentures it is advisable to have these checked by your dentist.

Cleaning agents for cleaning dentures

  • You have commercially formulated cleaners for dentures so you may find it easiest to use the dentist recommended cleansing agent. People also try out a variety of materials:
  • Vinegar is one such material used to clean dentures. It is supposed to remove the biofilm and kill bacteria. However, vinegar can create micro pits in which bacteria can lodge and it can be difficult for the brush to cleanse such pits.
  • Baking soda is another favorite home based remedy for cleaning dentures. Be advised that baking soda may not be able to completely clean the dentures and the abrasive material may scratch acrylic and create furrows in which bacteria can lodge.
  • Some people make use of sodium hypochlorite to clean dentures. It is excellent since it cleanses as well as kills bacteria and fungi. It can dissolve mucin and organic compounds as well. The downside is that it corrodes metal parts present in the denture and degrades acrylic resulting in surface roughness. Bacteria penetrate these fissures and may be difficult to get at.
  • Hydrogen peroxide is another effective denture cleaning agent. You normally get 6% hydrogen peroxide from pharmacists but you can get a stronger solution from chemical suppliers. Hydrogen peroxide reacts with organic substances and has a foaming, penetrating action besides killing bacteria and fungus. It is effective when you soak dentures and then brush.
  • Another way to clean dentures is to combine dentifrice with chlorhexidine. Chlorhexidine is used in mouthwash since it is antibacterial and kills C. albicans biofilm.
  • It is possible to combine chlorhexidine with sodium hypochlorite and hydrogen peroxide to arrive at a strong and quite effective antibacterial and antifungal cleanser for dentures but one must be prepared for adverse effects on the acrylic material. Studies (by – Karin Hermana Neppelenbroek) show that sodium hypochlorite in combination with these agents or alone, reduce C. Albicans and S Mutans along with other gram-negative microorganisms.

Cleaning dentures is not something superficial to remove the film and keep the dentures looking as good as new. Dentures must be cleaned using the right techniques and cleaning agents to absolutely neutralize any bacterial colonies responsible for a variety of health conditions. To recapitulate, one must never show any lethargy in making this a routine, daily practice. Remove dentures prior to going to bed, soak for some time in a suitable cleansing and antibacterial solution and brush using appropriate cleansers that remove the biofilm and also kill fungi and bacteria. One must be thorough, especially in the area of the denture that sits on the gums.

Older people may not be as mindful or have the energy and it is for caregivers in the family to make sure that the dentures receive proper attention. The better alternative is, permanent implant. The interim, if you have to have dentures then clean them regularly. Neglect can lead to dentures bacterial infection with far-reaching adverse effects on systemic health. Your dentist will recommend the best methods and materials to clean dentures and also keep a check on dentures to see if they need replacement.

FAQs Related to Dentures

Below mentioned are some of the frequently asked questions related to the usage of dentures. Have a look:

1. How do you clean badly stained dentures?

Just like normal teeth, dentures are also at a risk of getting stained or discolored. A good daily denture cleaning routine can ensure a healthy mouth and pearly white dentures. It is important to clean the dentures properly every night. One should clean the dentures under the running water to get rid of loose food particles. Also, cleaning should be done using a toothbrush and denture paste or non-abrasive toothpaste recommended by the dentist.

2. Can you clean dentures with Dawn dish soap?

Yes, one can use Dawn dish soap to clean dentures. Make sure to use a soft-bristle toothbrush or denture toothbrush. Using the toothbrush and dish soap, gently clean all the surfaces of the dentures. Avoid brushing too hard as it can damage the surface of other parts of the dentures. The dish soap helps to remove stains and odor-causing particles that are difficult to remove with toothbrush bristles.

3. How do you deep clean dentures?

To keep the dentures healthy and in good appearance for a long term, it is vital to stick to a proper cleaning process. Some of the best ways to keep dentures clean include brushing them with warm water and a denture brush, soaking overnight in a cleansing solution, and by getting dentures professionally cleaned every year.

4. What are the most natural looking dentures?

Custom-made dentures are usually the most natural looking dentures. The denture can be customized as per the exact requirement of the patient, which results in a more natural-looking smile. Moreover, the users can actually see the new denture before it is completed.