Dentures replace teeth and provide dental function for people who have lost their teeth. Dentures need to be maintained and cleaned on a daily basis, just like original teeth. There are many methods of cleaning that you can use to maintain dentures. Knowing the best cleaning solutions for dentures can extend the life of the denture and keep your smile both bright and functional.
Because dentures are cleaned when they are out of the mouth, you can use different cleaning solutions that you normally wouldn't consider using to clean your original teeth. You wouldn't consider using hand soap to clean your teeth in your mouth, as the taste would be very unappealing, but a mild, nonabrasive soap works just fine for cleaning dentures. Always thoroughly rinse the denture after cleaning to remove any trace of cleaning solution before putting the denture into your mouth.
Like hand soap, you can also use mild dish soap to clean your dentures after you've taken them out of your mouth for the day. You can clean your dentures in the same manner as you would if you were cleaning a dish or silverware. Soak them in warm, soapy water and scrub them clean with a soft-bristled, non-abrasive brush. Never place the dentures in hot water, however, as this may cause them to warp.
Vinegar is a simple household item that is very effective at cleaning soiled or moderately dirty dentures. Simply dilute some basic distilled vinegar in warm water and scrub your dentures clean using a soft-bristled brush. Using vinegar may not be recommended for partial dentures, however, because the acid may have a corrosive effect on the metal portions of the partial. Check with your dentist before using a vinegar solution on partials.
Baking soda is another common household item that is an effective cleaning agent for use on soiled or dingy dentures. Place approximately 1 to 2 tbsp. of baking soda into warm water and let the dentures soak before cleaning the dentures by scrubbing them lightly with a soft-bristled brush that won't damage the dentures.
In the absence of household or commercial solutions, dentures can be cleaned simply with hot water and a nonabrasive, soft-bristled brush. It won't get the dentures as clean as it would if you were to use a chemical or household cleaning solution, but it can give you some measure of cleanliness of your dentures if no other options are available. Don't soak the denture in hot water, but use it to help scrub away impurities. If cleaning the denture over a sink, always fill the sink with water to prevent the denture from breaking in case it slips from your hand and falls into the sink.
Commercial denture cleaners are yet another way to keep your dentures free from stains and to remove food particles. There are many brands and types of solutions available for purchase at drug stores and many other retail outlets. Look for a solution that carries an American Dental Association (ADA) logo. The presence of the logo means that the product has been tested and approved and safe for use.