Dentures Dentures are used to replace all or just some teeth. When dentures are used to replace all your teeth, we call them “complete dentures”. Complete dentures rest on the gums over your jawbones. Dentures can be attached to dental implants that are anchored in your jaw. A “partial denture” replaces only some teeth and is usually attached to existing teeth by a crown or a dental implant.

You can extend the life of your dentures and improve your experience wearing them by caring for them properly. To keep your dentures clean and useful longer and fit better, follow these guidelines:

Clean dentures every day. Brush your dentures daily, the same way you would brush your teeth, but do not use toothpaste or a typical toothbrush when you brush them. Instead, use a soft-bristle denture brush specifically designed for cleaning dentures. Take care that you don’t bend the denture attachments while brushing all surfaces of the dentures, and rinse the dentures well. Rinse your dentures after each meal also. Specialized denture cleaners can be used to soak your dentures, but you will still need to brush your dentures every day to remove plaque.

Handle dentures carefully. Handle your dentures with care when removing them so that you don’t damage them. Place a folded towel in the sink or fill the sink with water before you remove or handle your dentures to prevent your dentures from breaking if you drop them into an empty sink. Soak your dentures in cool water or denture cleaning solution when you aren’t wearing them. Don’t use very hot water when cleaning or soaking your dentures as it may warp or damage them. If your dentures have metal attachments, avoid any denture cleaning solution that might tarnish the metal.

Remove your dentures (full or partial) every night. This allows your gums to rest and prevents damage to the dentures and your mouth.

How to Remove Your Dentures

  1. Swish some warm water or mouthwash in your mouth.
  2. Put a towel in the sink or fill the sink with warm water to keep your dentures from breaking if you drop them.
  3. Place your thumb against your front teeth and push upward and slightly outward toward your nose to remove the top denture.
  4. Pull slowly on the lower denture and use a rocking motion to remove it.

Your dentures can last for 5-7 years if you care for them properly. See your dentist every 6 months to insure proper fit and maintain the condition of your dentures. Your dentist will also check for irritation or gum disease so that it can be treated immediately before it affects your ability to wear the dentures.

How to Clean Your Dentures

Plaque can accumulate on your dentures just like it does on your natural teeth. Removing and cleaning your dentures every day will keep them shiny and white and prevent them from becoming dirty or dull. You can also eliminate unpleasant odor by cleaning daily with a denture brush and soaking them in a specialized denture cleanser.

  1. Fill your sink with water to avoid damaging your dentures if you drop them.
  2. Start by rinsing your dentures with warm water to remove loose food particles.
  3. Use a cleanser specifically designed for dentures. Toothpaste, bleach, vinegar or soap may damage your dentures. Scratched or damaged dentures can harbor plaque bacteria and cause odors to develop. Whiteners and harsh cleaners like bleach can damage dentures, and will cause the pink part of your dentures to turn white.
  4. Use a moistened denture brush (NOT a toothbrush) to clean all surfaces of your dentures. Brush gently – if you brush too hard, you can damage plastic and metal parts. Use clean, warm water (NEVER hot or boiling water) to clean your dentures.
  5. Use fluoride toothpaste to brush your gums and natural teeth before you reinsert your dentures to maintain good oral health and stimulate circulation in the mouth.
  6. Rinse with mouthwash after you brush to help reduce bacteria in your mouth and maintain fresh breath.

Do you still have questions? Visit the American College of Prosthodontists Denture FAQs page for more information, or contact us at Greene Comprehensive Dentistry in Ruckersville – we’re glad to help!

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