Clean Your Dentures The Right Way

Posted on: 19 June 2015

If you have dentures, you know that you should be keeping them clean, but you may sometimes wonder if all that soaking is necessary, since they are not your natural teeth. After all, it's not as if they will decay and fall out, so a quick brushing may be all you feel is needed to clean your dentures. Your dentures need more cleaning care than you may realize. Read on for important cleaning guidelines for your dentures.

Dangerous Bacteria

Dentures may appear and feel smooth, but they are actually quite porous. Your dentures are made of an acrylic material that has microscopic holes. These little openings are perfect locations for bacteria to hide and multiply. Normal brushing, even a very thorough brushing, won't penetrate deeply enough to clean this bacteria. 

Studies have shown that more than everyday bacteria reside in denture wearer's mouths. Everything from staphylococcus to streptococcus bacteria, e coli and pneumonia bacteria were found. These dangerous bugs cause diseases that can be life-threatening if left to grow and multiply.

Additionally, the presence of bacteria on the teeth cause another more common but somewhat less serious malady: bad breath. The bad news is that you may have become so accustomed to your bad breath that you simply are not aware of how offensive it is to others you come in contact with.

Preventing Bacteria

The only real solution for preventing denture bacteria is overnight soaking. Overnight products available from your drugstore will kill 99.9% of bacteria on your dentures. A quick five minute soak during the day will also help, but don't substitute the quick soak for the overnight soak. In addition, denture wipes are a convenient and effective means of cleaning dentures, and helpful for those with mobility issues that prevents proper brushing.

Many people who wear dentures are older and more likely to take a lot of medication, which can cause xerostonia, or dry mouth. Dry mouth can increase the chances for bacteria growth on dentures even more, since saliva is an important component in oral hygiene. Saliva helps keep our mouths clean by continuously washing bacteria away. Oral moisturizers may help replace the moisture to keep bacteria growth down.

Regular visits to the dentist for professional evaluation of your denture cleaning routine is vital. Dentures do not last a lifetime, and regular maintenance and adjustments are necessary to ensure proper fit and function. Don't wait until you have a problem with your dentures, see your dental professional (such as Michele A Bibeau DDS) for more advice on keeping your dentures clean, fresh and healthy.