It is essential for both your comfort and confidence to take care of your teeth, even if they are not your natural teeth. This means that brushing dentures is an important part of your daily oral hygiene routine. Whether you have been a denture wearer for years or have recently started wearing false teeth, brushing dentures is a must-do on the daily hygiene checklist.
Denture brushing is not the same as brushing natural teeth. There are a few considerations to factor into the process to ensure that your dentures are not accidentally damaged. Although the cleaning routine differs from what you may have grown accustomed to with your natural teeth, brushing dentures is not difficult once you get the routine down.
In this article, we will break down the cleaning process for dentures into simple step-by-step instructions. Remember, denture hygiene is not just focused on aesthetics. The goal is to ensure that your false teeth fit correctly, feel fresh and clean, and that brushing them regularly keeps your oral health in good order.
The Basics of Denture Brushing
First off, brushing dentures is different from brushing natural teeth. The main reason for this is that false teeth are made from different materials which require special attention to prevent them from becoming damaged. This means that you should not use your regular toothpaste and toothbrush with your dentures.
Instead, you will require a denture-specific brush and toothpaste, as well as a denture-cleaning solution. Denture-specific cleaning equipment is designed to clean dentures but is not as abrasive as your regular toothbrush and toothpaste are. The material dentures are made from can be damaged by scratching that may result from the use of anything other than denture-specific cleaning tools and solutions.
Supplies You’ll Need
Here are the main items you will need to properly clean your dentures:
- Denture Brush: The shape of the head of this type of brush is designed to permit you to access all nooks and crannies that exist within your dentures. The bristles are also soft to prevent damage from scratching.
- Denture Toothpaste: You should use denture toothpaste instead of regular toothpaste when brushing dentures as it is non-abrasive, has a neutral pH, and effectively removes stains without a strong flavor.
- Denture Cleaning Solution: This solution is specially formulated for denture cleaning and will remove stains and bacteria from the surface of false teeth. The solution is mild enough to complete these tasks without harming the denture material.
- Clean Basin or Bowl: This will be the clean, safe place where you will clean your dentures.
Preparing Your Workspace
The best workspace for denture cleaning is a well-lit, clean, and comfortable spot. You should have access to a basin or bowl and have all of your supplies handy in one location. This prevents you from having to hunt something down that you left elsewhere.
To make the denture brushing process run smoothly, and accident-free, it is a good idea to lay down a soft towel or fill the bowl or basin with water. This will cushion a fall should your dentures slip out of your hands. Having a cushion for them to land on will reduce the possibility of them getting damaged if dropped.
Step-By-Step Denture Brushing Guide
Now that you have your workspace and equipment, let’s break down the steps required for cleaning your dentures.
With lukewarm water, rinse your dentures. This will remove some of the loose debris and particles clinging to the surface of your dentures.
Applying Denture Toothpaste
Denture toothpaste is special toothpaste that contains no abrasives and usually has enzymes in the formula that will break down and remove stains and bacteria. Here are a few things to keep in mind about denture toothpaste:
- Gentle Cleaning: Because denture toothpaste does not contain abrasives found in regular toothpaste, it is gentler. This means it won’t scratch or damage denture material.
- Stain Removal: Denture toothpaste typically contains enzymes in the formula. These enzymes can help remove stains making your false teeth look bright and clean.
- Freshness: If you have chosen a brand of denture toothpaste that has a mild flavor, it can help keep your false teeth smelling clean and feeling fresh.
It is best to apply a small amount of toothpaste for dentures to your denture toothbrush and brush gently. You do not require a lot of toothpaste to clean your dentures.
With your denture toothbrush, use a gentle circular motion to brush all surfaces of your false teeth. This means not just the teeth but also the gumline, and if you are brushing an upper denture, be sure to gently brush that palate region.
Focusing On Details
Take your time. This allows you to ensure that every nook and cranny in your dentures are brushed. Pay particular attention to locations where stains or residue may be found.
Avoiding Abrasive Materials
Do not switch to regular toothpaste if you run out of toothpaste for dentures, or reach for your regular toothbrush when your denture toothbrush is not handy. Soft and gentle will keep your dentures clean and bright. Using regular toothpaste on a regular toothbrush may damage your dentures.
How Often Should Dentures Be Cleaned?
Dentures should be cleaned at least twice a day. Once in the morning and once before retiring for the night should be fine. By following this type of cleaning routine, you will ensure that your dentures will remain clean and there will be no buildup of plaque, tartar, or stains.
If you tend to snack during the day, it’s a good idea to rinse your dentures between cleanings. However, when it comes to denture cleaning, just avoid overdoing it. Cleaning dentures too often, or using force when cleaning can wear down the material your false teeth are made from.
Denture Storage After Brushing
Now that your dentures are sparkling clean, rinse them off one more time under lukewarm running water to remove anything still clinging to them from the cleaning process. If this is your morning cleaning, carefully place your dentures into your mouth and carry on with your day.
However, if this is your evening cleaning, it is time to store your dentures so they will be clean and ready for you when you wake up the next morning. It is not a good idea to wear your dentures when sleeping. But they do need to be stored in certain conditions.
A denture storage container that is filled with a denture-soaking solution is the best place to store them overnight. That is because the solution will keep your dentures moist which prevents them from drying out. If dentures dry out, they can crack or warp which presents bigger problems for you.
Common Mistakes To Avoid
As you settle into your new denture cleaning routine, you may encounter the following common mistakes. Try to avoid them, but be aware that they could happen.
- Using Regular Toothpaste: As stated above, regular toothpaste contains abrasive material that can damage your dentures. Always use denture-specific toothpaste on a denture toothbrush.
- Brushing Too Hard: The best way to clean dentures is with a gentle, circular motion. Brushing too hard can scratch your dentures.
- Neglecting Oral Tissues: When you brush your dentures, you should also brush your gums, palate, and tongue. This ensures that these oral tissues remain healthy.
Can You Brush Dentures While In Your Mouth?
The short answer to this often-asked question is… yes. However, it’s not the best idea. That’s because there are several complications associated with brushing your dentures while they are in your mouth. Here’s why:
Because there are so many nooks and crannies on all the surfaces of your dentures, the most effective way to clean them is to remove your dentures from your mouth. You can’t possibly reach all the areas when you are wearing them.
In addition, you increase the odds of poking and damaging the soft oral tissues in your mouth and gums. Although denture toothbrushes are shaped differently than regular toothbrushes so they can reach certain areas, they may not be as gentle to your gums or mouth.
You now have the complete step-by-step process on how to properly, and safely, clean your dentures. Remember to find a well-lit and comfortable workspace where you can store your denture cleaning supplies. Use a towel or water-filled bowl in case you drop your dentures as they will cushion the landing a prevent damage. Use a gentle, circular motion with a denture toothbrush and denture-specific toothpaste. Clean your dentures twice daily and soak them overnight. By following a proper denture cleaning routine, brushing dentures should become an easy task to complete daily.