How To Remove Tartar From Dentures

Last Updated on August 22, 2023 by Jade Roberts

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Fact Checked by Jaismine Singh (General Dentist)

Jaismine Singh is a general dental practitioner, currently working in a charitable hospital. She has a strong interest in dental and medical writing and has a track record of many types of publications. She has expertise in writing and fact-checking book chapters and review articles. During her academic years, she was involved in research and presented papers and posters.

how to remove tartar from dentures

With a proper denture cleaning routine, you should be able to keep your dentures looking like new for as long as you have them. However, if you do discover tartar forming on your false teeth, there are ways to remove tartar from dentures. Here are some tips on how to get tartar off dentures.

Why It Is Important To Clean False Teeth

Daily care for your dentures in the form of a cleaning routine is important in that it will keep them looking white and clean but will also remove germs. It is not unusual to find tartar on dentures as it is caused by a combination of soft plaque, food debris, and saliva in your mouth just as it can be formed on natural teeth. It forms yellow or brown hard deposits due to the failure of cleaning the soft layer that accumulates on dentures regularly.

Tartar, also known as calculus, typically develops on the upper molars and on the inside surfaces of the lower front teeth because these locations are in close proximity to the salivary gland ducts in your mouth. Removing tartar from dentures will help to keep your mouth and gums healthy.

How Do You Remove Tartar From Dentures At Home?

Here are the details on how to remove tartar from dentures. You must follow a few simple steps in order to complete the process.

Step 1. Preparation

Before you can start to work on ridding your dentures of tartar, you should have your workspace organized. It is best to clean your false teeth over a sink and before you do this fill the sink halfway with lukewarm water.

The reason for adding water to the sink is to provide a cushion in case you accidentally drop your dentures. Falling into a sink of water will prevent breakage or any type of damage occurring to your false teeth.

Next to the sink, it’s a good idea to place a clean towel. This is in case you need to put the dentures down during cleaning… then you will have a clean and soft place to put them. A towel will prevent damage in case the dentures slip out of your hand and hit the counter.

Step 2. Pre-Soaking Dentures

It is important to pre-soak your dentures before cleaning. The solution should be a mixture of one-half vinegar and one-half warm water (1:1 ratio). Gently place your dentures in this solution ensuring that the false teeth are completely submerged.

Allow your dentures to sit in this solution for about 15 minutes per day. Soaking for a longer time can deform them or cause mucosal irritation. The purpose of this is to give the vinegar solution some time to soften the built-up tartar. With tartar a little softer after a pre-soak it will be easier to remove. Note: Seeking your dentist’s advice is recommended before using any kind of home remedy for cleaning dentures.

Step 3. Brushing Your Dentures

Proper denture brushing habits will reduce the amount of tartar that builds up on your dentures. You should brush them at least twice a day after meals and before bed, whichever time works best for you. Soaking them overnight in a non-abrasive denture cleaning solution is helpful.

When brushing to remove tartar, follow the steps that you normally follow in your denture cleaning routine. Use a denture brush and cleaning paste to carefully scrub the dentures. However, focus on getting the brush and paste right into crevices and cracks as small food particles can hide in them. Be careful not to scrub too hard as you could scratch your dentures. Since you have pre-soaked your dentures, tartar should be softened and come off more easily.

Step 4. Overnight Soak

When you remove dentures before bed, store them in a cup filled with a non-abrasive denture cleanser. In addition to keeping them clean, overnight soaking prevents false teeth from drying out.

Step 5. Regular Professional Cleaning

Although you now know how to remove tartar from dentures at home, you should still have them professionally cleaned at least once a year. This is the best way to remove any remaining tartar buildup that has occurred, and that you have not been able to remove from your regular brushing and soaking routine. If you have an annual fitting appointment scheduled with your dentist, have them done at that time.

Denture Tartar FAQs

What is tartar and why does it form on dentures?

Tartar, also known more formally as dental calculus, is a hard, yellow-brown deposit that forms on teeth and dentures. It forms when plaque is not removed properly from regular brushing and flossing. Plaque hardens as it builds up making it more difficult to remove. You may need to see a dental professional at this point for proper cleaning.
When tartar forms on dentures, it can cause irritation and inflammation of the gums and soft tissue in the mouth. It can also impact the fit and function of dentures by creating an uneven surface. Regular cleaning of your dentures will reduce the buildup of tartar.

Can I remove tartar from my dentures at home, or do I need to see a dentist?

It is not always easy to remove tartar from dentures at home. This is particularly true if there is a significant buildup that has formed. Some home remedies will have some level of success. For example, a mixture of diluted vinegar and baking soda can be useful however, it is often better to just visit your dental professional.
A dentist or dental hygienist has specialized tools and knowledge to remove tartar deposits from your dentures effectively. Should you notice a significant buildup of tartar on your dentures, or notice discomfort or irritation, contact your dental professional to schedule an appointment.

What tools or products can I use to remove tartar from my dentures?

Although you should seek professional dental care if you discover a buildup of tartar on your dentures, there are a few tools and products that can help you keep control of tartar buildup at home. They include:
–       Denture Cleansers: The ingredients contained in many denture cleansers in the marketplace can help reduce tartar buildup on your dentures. Start by looking for a non-abrasive denture cleanser that is specially formulated for use with dentures.
–       Soft-Bristled Toothbrush: Surface tartar can usually be removed with the assistance of a soft-bristled toothbrush. Ensure that the brush you choose is safe for use with dentures as regular toothbrushes can damage dentures due to their abrasiveness.
–       Vinegar and Water Solution: This mixture is an effective home remedy for removing tartar from dentures. Soaking your false teeth in a half-half solution of vinegar and warm water will soften the tartar. Once it has softened, tartar becomes easier to remove with a denture brush and cleaning paste formulated for use with false teeth.
–       Ultrasonic Cleaner: Through the use of high-frequency sound waves, an ultrasonic cleaner helps to loosen and remove tartar buildup on dentures. The cleaners are designed for home use, but follow the included instructions for best results.

Although vinegar as well as baking soda can help remove tartar buildup on your dentures, you should also consult with your dentist for advice before you start using home remedies.

How often should I remove tartar from my dentures?

Generally speaking, if you clean your dentures at least once daily, you will reduce the buildup of tartar and plaque. Letting tartar form and accumulate on the surfaces of your false teeth can result in gum irritation, bad breath, and other oral health issues. Even if you are diligent in regular cleaning of your dentures, it is still a good idea to have them professionally cleaned at least once a year by your dentist or dental hygienist. They have the tools and equipment that will remove any stubborn buildup and keep your dentures in good condition.

Can tartar buildup on dentures cause any health problems?

Several oral health issues can develop from tartar buildup on your dentures. They include:

–       Gum Disease: Gum irritation and inflammation can develop as a result of tartar buildup on dentures. These can lead to more serious issues such as bleeding gums, bad breath, and tooth loss.
–       Oral Infections: Tartar can introduce bacteria into your mouth. This can contribute to oral infections like stomatitis or thrush. If you develop these, you may require medical treatment to resolve the painful sores or lesions that can result from infections in the mouth.
–       Denture Damage: Tartar buildup can damage dentures making the surface of the false teeth harder to clean properly. This can lead to the expense of professional repairs or replacements.
–       Overall Health Concerns: A variety of health issues have been linked to poor oral hygiene. The list includes diabetes, heart disease, and respiratory infections. When you keep your dentures clean and reduce tartar buildup, you reduce the risk of developing any serious health issues.

Are there any tips for preventing tartar buildup on dentures?

Here are a few helpful tips that should assist you in preventing tartar buildup on your dentures:
–       Brush Daily: Brush your dentures at least once a day. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush made for cleaning dentures and a non-abrasive denture cleaner or mild soap.
–       Soak Nightly: Soaking your dentures overnight in clean water or a denture cleanser helps loosen and remove plaque or tartar that you didn’t remove from brushing. Do not soak in boiling water. In addition to soaking, you can use an ultrasonic cleaner. Be sure to follow the instructions when doing so to prevent damage from occurring to the dentures.
–       Rinse After Meals: Rinse your mouth with water following each meal to remove food particles that may be lodged between your dentures and gums.
–       Avoid Certain Foods: Try not to eat a lot of hard or sticky foods as they can damage your dentures and increase the risk of developing tartar buildup.
–       Clean Your Denture Case: Clean your denture case regularly to prevent tartar from building up inside. Use soap and water to give your denture case a good cleaning inside and out.
–       Visit Your Dentist: Regular dental checkups and cleanings will help reduce tartar buildup. All you have to do is schedule regular visits to your dentist.

What should I do if I am unable to remove tartar from my dentures?

If you are not having much luck removing tartar by using either home remedies or commercial cleaning products, you have one final option. That is to see your dentist or dental hygienist for professional cleaning. A professional cleaning will include the use of an ultrasonic cleaner and other tools, and once all the tartar is removed, your dentures will be polished to a smooth and shiny finish.

Should I remove my dentures before cleaning tartar from them?

It is a good idea to remove dentures before you attempt to clean tartar off them. The reason for this is that when tartar hardens, it can be difficult to remove, and cleaning them while they are still in your mouth can result in damage to the dentures or discomfort in your gums. Cleaning your dentures to remove any tartar is easy if you follow the following steps:
–       Rinse: Rinse your dentures thoroughly under running water. This will remove most loose debris.
–       Brush: With a soft-bristled toothbrush, and either a denture cleanser or mild soap, gently scrub your dentures.
–       Rinse: Once you have carefully brushed your dentures, rinse them one more time under running water. After soaking in a denture cleanser, one must always immerse them in clean water before placing them inside the mouth to prevent distortion.
Remember, if you are unable to effectively remove all tartar buildup, you can visit your dental professional for cleaning. They have the tools and expertise to remove stubborn tartar buildup.

How can I ensure that my dentures are thoroughly cleaned after removing tartar?

After you remove tartar from your dentures, it is quite easy to ensure that they are completely clean. All you have to do is follow these simple steps:
–       Rinse your dentures with warm water after you have removed tartar to wash away any particles or debris
–       Brush your dentures gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a non-abrasive denture cleaner. It is important to brush all surfaces of the dentures including the gums and palate
–       Soak your dentures in a cleaning solution following the directions of the specific solution you are using
–       Rinse your dentures once more with warm water to remove any residue left behind by the cleaning solution
–       Gently pat your dentures dry with either a soft towel or cloth. Do not use hot water or a hair dryer as they can cause damage to the dentures
–       Store your dentures in room temperature water in a clean container with a lid. Storing your dentures when they are not in use keeps them safe and secure. Plus, a storage container can prevent dentures from exposure to direct sunlight or extreme temperatures which can also damage them.

In Conclusion

Although dentures are replacements for your natural teeth, you still need to take care of them. This means a regular daily cleaning routine and extra work on those days when you have to remove tartar build-up.

When you take care of your false teeth they will last longer, and clean dentures will keep your mouth and gums healthy as well. By following the steps outlined above to remove tartar from dentures, you should be able to stop new tartar from forming on your dentures and will have a great smile for many years to come.

About Jade Roberts

After having a lot of dental issues when she was younger, and years of restorative dental work, Jade knows how difficult it is to find the right dental information. This forced her to do countless hours of research and connect with dental experts all over the world to find the right information. Learning has made her passionate about sharing her knowledge and experience so that others don't have to go through the same issues. "If I make any recommendations in the articles on the False Teeth Options website, it is because my team and I have researched and/or tested the products ourselves, and would be comfortable recommending them to our own family and friends. I'd love to hear of your experiences. So if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to get in touch."

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