Taking proper care of your dentures is not as simple as some people think. In most cases the dentures are placed in a glass with water and a tablet of denture cleaner tossed in and left over night or for an hour or so. There are two major problems with this method.  First, you need to scrub your dentures with a soft tooth-brush or special denture brush which is soft and second, that denture cleaner tablet is doing a great job of etching and discoloring your dentures.

The brushing part is simple and very straight forward. You have to remove all of the food and other substances which accumulate on your dentures at least once a day. At night, before you go to bed is the best time to do this.  Brush your dentures, inside and out , with a soft brush and use either a special dentures tooth paste or dishwashing liquid–calgon works very well, but any will do. Why use a soap or special paste? Because regular tooth paste is abrasive and will actually leave scratches on your dentures and over time you can leave grooves in the surface of your dentures.

The commercial denture cleaning tablets do the same thing –they etch the surface of the dentures and make the acrylic dentures material and teeth become dull and rough. Actually any etching or rough surfaces on your dentures are great areas for bacteria to grow which can cause denture odor.  If you wear partial dentures which have metal surfaces or clasp for holding them in place, the commercial cleaners, over time, will destroy the metal surface. It becomes pitted and discolored.

Never soak your dentures in bleach. It’s true that bleach kills everything, but you pay a price. It will etch and corrode your dentures very quickly. If you want to soak your dentures in some sort of cleaner, you can use hydrogen peroxide or white vinegar.  Pour a 1/2 cup of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide in a glass or bowl. Add 1/2 cup of water and mix them together. Place your dentures in the bowl and let them soak for about 30 minutes. The vinegar technique is similar except use 1/3 cup of vinegar to 2/3 cup water. Always rinse your dentures off throughly after cleaning.

I would not recommend putting your dentures in water and then microwaving them. The chances of heating them up too much and then having the acrylic warp or distort are very real. If the heat warps your dentures they might not fit you again.  This is true even for cleaning them with very hot water–be careful, let them cool before placing them back into your mouth.

Many people have a soft liner which is placed in their dentures for healing purposes. This liner is temporary, but needs to cleaned and maintained. Use a special cleaner like Stain Away Plus but use cool water for mixing. High heat and regular cleaners will damage the temporary liner. Don’t soak the dentures for more than 30 minutes each day. Clean them very gently with cotton balls or a very soft tooth-brush.  Always keep the dentures moist and soak them in water at night. If the liner drys it will distort and the dentures might not fit.

Soak the dentures in water at night in some sort of container. Leaving the dentures out at night is very important for the health of your gums. Also, remember to brush your gums –they need to be cleaned too. Lastly, don’t let the dog or cat get your dentures. They will think they have found the world’s greatest bone and chew them to pieces. Apparently, your saliva imparts some sort of smell or taste to the dentures which the animals find irresistible.