Denture Care Instructions

Dr. Erica Aand
Written by
Dr. Erica Aand
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Evidence Based
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Different Types of Dentures

Anyone with missing teeth knows how important their dentures are to their quality of life. A denture can be a partial or a full appliance depending on if you are missing a few or all of your teeth.

Dentures help restore function to your teeth for proper chewing and speaking. They can also restore one’s self-esteem and confidence to smile in public. 

removable partial denture lower jaw

There are various types of dentures based on your dental needs. It is best to speak with your dentist on the best denture type for you, depending on your oral health, general health, and budget. The most common types of dentures include:

  • Removable Full Dentures — Referred to as complete dentures. Full dentures are recommended for patients missing all of their teeth and can be fabricated as an upper arch denture, lower arch denture, or a set of both. 
  • Removable Partial Dentures— Partials are an excellent solution for patients missing one or more teeth and need a tooth replacement. A partial denture can be designed in acrylic or metal and attaches to existing teeth as anchors. 
  • Fixed Partial Dentures — A fixed partial denture is similar to a removable partial denture but is permanent and non-removable using dental implants.
  • Implant Retained Dentures —  For people with an entire arch of missing teeth, implants are the best solution to replace a set of teeth. It is a permanent treatment and helps maintain a denture remain in place and prevents bone deterioration. 

How to Remove Dentures

It is important to remove your dentures safely so that they have a longer life span and have a high-quality appearance. Follow these steps:

  1. Fill a bowl or basin with warm water and place it in your sink.
  2. Always have a towel or cloth on the floor or around the sink, so if your dentures fall, they won’t break.
  3. Gargle with warm water to help remove the seal between your denture and denture adhesive.
  4. Gently remove your lower denture by holding the middle part between two fingers and rock it back and forth. When it starts to elevate, remove it upward.
  5. The upper denture has a more robust seal to the roof of your mouth and may need to be removed in a few more rocking motions.
  6. When both dentures are removed, rinse them underwater.
  7. Use an approved denture brush or soft toothbrush with denture paste. 
  8. Clean the denture adhesive off your dentures each night before soaking them.
  9. Clean the roof of your mouth and your gums.
  10. Soak your dentures in a denture cleaning solution.
  11. Rinse your dentures with water before inserting them in the mouth.

How to Care for Removable Dentures

Caring for dentures is imperative to provide you with proper long-term function and maintain your oral health. The best way to care for your dentures is to:

  • Rinse them daily after eating to remove plaque and food particles 
  • Maintain routine dental visits to ensure they are in optimal shape
  • Brush them gently at night with a denture brush to wash off denture adhesive
  • Handle them with proper care to avoid breaking them
  • Let them bathe in a denture cleanser overnight. 

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How to Care for Fixed Dentures

As the number of implant retained denture patients increases, it is essential to understand how to care for your new, permanent prosthesis. Just like your natural teeth, you should maintain your oral care at home with proper brushing. You can also use specialized toothbrushes that have a soft-bristle designed for brushing around dental implants, under fixed dentures, and around gum margins. 

It is recommended to remove your fixed denture while sleeping even though it is considered a permanent solution. Not sleeping with your denture helps prevent bacterial build-up, potential infections, and other complications like gum disease that can arise. 

Always remember to attend routine dental visits to have your fixed denture evaluated. A comprehensive evaluation of your gums and tissues will determine your implants and prosthesis are in tip-top shape. Dental assessment of your dentures will decide if your pair is working correctly or you need a set of new dentures. 

Monitor your diet carefully. Although you can eat more comfortably with a fixed denture, avoid hard foods that can cause damage to your implant crowns. 

How Not to Clean Dentures

It seems logical to use toothpaste or other cleaning agents to care for your dentures. However, there are several harsh chemicals that can damage your dentures. It would help if you were using a specialized denture cleaner, baking soda, or vinegar to remove stains. 

Good maintenance of your denture can have it last up to 10 years before needing a replacement. The following listed below can cause damage to your dentures:

  • Toothpaste and whitening products — Toothpaste is too abrasive and can lead to wearing away of the acrylic material. 
  • Bleach — Bleach is very harsh for your dentures and can lead to discoloration and weakening of the prosthetic. Do not soak dentures in any solution that is not advised by your dentist. 
  • Sharp objects — If you have build-up on your denture, it is best to make an appointment with your dentist for a cleaning. Using a file or sharp object to scrape debris off can lead to rough surfaces, ditches, or scratches on your denture.  
  • Dishwasher — Avoid putting your dentures in the dishwasher with hot water or using dishwashing detergent. This can lead to deformation or melting of the acrylic. 

Call 1800Dentist to find a dentist near you: 866-387-3513

Resources

Denture Care and Maintenance, www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/dentures.

“Denture Care.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 16 Nov. 2017, www.mayoclinic.org/denture-care/expert-answers/faq-20058375.

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