False teeth aka Dentures need cleaning as much as your natural teeth.
You are probably wearing dentures right now if you lost your teeth to cavities, injury or periodontal disease.
However, once you do not have your natural teeth, you need to take the same care for your dentures.
They should be regularly cleaned if they are full dentures and even if they are partial removable dentures.
This article discusses how you can clean and take care of your false teeth.
Keep reading below to know how to brush, floss and remove plaque so that your oral hygiene and health do not suffer.
What Are False Teeth?
Dentures are considered false teeth. Prosthetic or artificial teeth also include crowns.
They are usually made up of plastic, metal, or porcelain.
Crown can cover a part of your teeth or your entire tooth.
Whereas veneers cover the front of the tooth.
Moreover, implants are a replacement for teeth and dentures.
In this article, we will refer to dentures as false teeth.
Dentures cover for your missing teeth assisting you to speak and chew properly.
They are removable and can enhance your appearance after you lose teeth.
While the elderly are more likely to get them, people can get them at any age given you have lost many teeth.
Usually, the reason behind losing teeth are:
- Gum Disease
- Receding Gums
If you do not treat your cavities on time then the decay can worsen to completely infect the tooth.
While doctors may recommend getting tooth fillings, if the situation is worse then they will prefer extracting the tooth.
Therefore, if you lose a tooth or more from a cavity then dentures are one option to replace it.
If treatment is delayed, your dentist’s only option will be tooth extraction.
Any facial injury can also end up in fracturing, breaking, cracking or losing teeth.
However, you will not get the same traditional dentures for a different number of missing teeth.
If you have many, then you will get a full set of complete dentures.
They cover your entire row of upper and lower teeth as they are placed on the gums.
Partial dentures fit on one or even more missing teeth.
They can fit on surrounding remaining teeth, gums or implants.
A dental bridge is a form of fixed partial dentures that attaches to surrounding teeth.
Now that you know why you may end up using dentures, let’s find out about how to clean them.
You wear your dentures while eating and drinking hence, they are as likely to get plaque and bacteria as your teeth.
In fact, natural as well as synthetic surfaces get covered with a pellicle in about 30 minutes.
Particles stick to this layer of protein and lipids.
Thus, like any other surface, bacteria and plaque can stick to your dentures.
Hence, you need to clean them properly to extend their life.
You need to take special care of dentures as they are not as strong as your natural teeth.
If they fall, they can break or chip in an instant.
Hence, it is better to place a towel in the sink and fill it with water while you are cleaning them.
This can save the dentures in case they fall off or slip from your hands while cleaning.
The Cleaning Process
1. Removing Dentures
If you use adhesives to prevent slipping then it will be harder to remove dentures.
Though you can simply remove them by filling your mouth with warm water and swishing it so that they come loose.
This may require some time and more than one try.
Next, you want to clean off all the adhesive from your mouth by brushing using warm water and toothpaste.
Not only your teeth but also your tongue, inside of cheeks and palate needs cleaning.
As far as the dentures go, place them in chilly water so that the adhesive hardens on it, and you can simply take it off.
2. Removing Debris
Just like your teeth, dentures need proper cleaning too.
They get stains and accumulate plaque.
You need to first soak them in a denture cleanser and then brush them.
Make sure that your denture cleanser is nonabrasive.
You can brush them with home remedies as well such as soaking them in an equal parts solution of vinegar and water. (This will not work for partial/ temporary dentures).
Soaking in cleaners helps to clean the stains and loosen the debris as well as plaque.
Follow it with brushing the effectively remove these particles.
You can make your own toothpaste by mixing finely ground salt, baking soda and glycerin.
Or you can brush it with a nonabrasive toothpaste or antibacterial liquid soap.
Disinfecting dentures is as important as cleaning them.
Dentures have a porous surface hence brushing alone cannot remove the infectious organisms that accumulate there.
The best way to disinfect is to use a denture cleaner.
However, you can also use vinegar but do not let dentures with metal parts or partial dentures soak in it as it may corrode them.
Though, you can also simply leave your dentures in the air overnight sometimes.
Oxygen helps to kill bacteria and yeast so leaving them on a dry surface can help disinfect them.
However, remember to do it only sometimes as dentures that can dry out may lose their shape.
What to Avoid
Even if your dentures have stains you should not use whitening toothpaste on them.
These toothpastes have abrasives that will not change the color of the dentures as much.
In fact, abrasives may end up scratching the surface of the dentures.
Similarly, harsh toothpaste and hard-bristled brushes are equally likely to damage them.
Also, avoid strong cleaners rather only use gentle cleaners to get rid of the debris.
It is best to clean dentures in cold or lukewarm water.
You should avoid placing them in boiling or hot water as that could easily warp their shape.
Furthermore, refrain from using bleach.
While it is lucrative to disinfect your dentures in bleach diluting it with water, it is not great for your dentures.
This will weaken them and also change their gum color especially the pink portion.
Moreover, any dentures with metal attachments should not soak in cleaning solutions with chlorine.
It cannot only tarnish but also corrode the metal in the attachments.
If you avoid any of these cleaners then your dentures will last longer.
However, you also need to follow other practices to ensure they are clean and cared for properly.
Best Practices for False Teeth
Rinsing Them After Eating
If you eat any snack or meal you should remove and rinse your dentures.
This removes food particles and debris stuck on them while eating.
This way they will usually remain clean.
Soak Your Dentures
When your dentures are not in use overnight, consider soaking them in water.
Or you can keep in denture-soaking solution which helps to keep their shape.
Ask your dentist if your denture needs to be soaked overnight.
While soaking helps to keep them in shape, storing in a dry container may suit them too as it disinfects them.
Rinse Dentures Before Putting them back in your Mouth
Whether you brush or use a denture cleaner, remember to rinse your dentures again.
The ingredients of the cleaners should not get into your mouth.
They can cause burns, vomiting and pain in case you swallow them.
Hence, rinse thoroughly before wearing them again.
Do not Sleep with them
Always remove your dentures while sleeping.
You can keep them in water or in a container as your dentists and manufacturer of the dentures instructs.
Dentures need handling with care.
Hence be wary of damaging the clasps or the plastic.
Do not bend them while cleaning.
Visit The Dentist For Repair
If you cause any damage, do not try to repair them on your own.
Over-the-counter kits, adhesives and glue can further damage them.
Instead, reach out to your dentist, they may give you a new pair or repair it.
Developing Sores? Reach Out to Your Dentist
A loosely fit denture can cause mouth sores, infection as well as gum irritation.
Moreover, you will not be able to chew or speak properly.
Therefore, visit your dentist to adjust the fit according to your mouth.
Again, do not try to fix them on your own as you can cause irreparable damage by breaking them.
Use an Ultrasonic Cleaner
This cleaner sends sound waves through the denture cleaner that aids in dislodging the food.
You should soak and brush your dentures daily just like you do your teeth.
Schedule Regular Dental Visits
Dental visits can ensure that you have a proper fit and prevent slippage.
Moreover, your dentist can look for cavities and promote gum health.
If you wear false teeth aka dentures then you should clean them accordingly.
Leaving them unclean will cause you even more oral health problems.
Therefore, you should ensure that they are brushed and soaked on a daily basis before wearing them.