Tooth Talk: Keeping stains away from dentures

Q: What is the best way to clean my denture and prevent it from getting stained?

A: Thanks for the question. Cleaning your denture(s) daily is very important to your oral health and the condition and longevity of the denture(s).

It is generally recommended that dentures be removed for a period of time each day or at night while you sleep. This allows the tissue to “breathe”, prevents accelerated destruction of the bony ridge caused by prolonged wear and eliminates excess stain and tartar build-up. Similarly, the exact same rule applies to partial dentures as well.

Once you have removed your denture(s) or partial you should carefully inspect it to make sure there are no cracks, bent clasps or loose teeth. If there are, please visit your dentist. Contrary to popular belief Crazy Glue cannot fix everything! You may choose to soak your denture in any one of the denture cleaners available over the counter at any market or pharmacy. Some of these products are meant solely for partials in that they will not corrode the metal clasps on the partial. So, make sure you are choosing the appropriate product for your needs.

Dentures or partials should never be brushed with regular toothpaste. The acrylic “gum” portion as well as the denture teeth themselves are a type of plastic that will scratch if you use toothpaste on them. The scratches allow bacteria and stain to cling to them more readily due to the roughened surface. Once they have been soaked for the appropriate time they should be removed and thoroughly rinsed. You may then use a regular soft toothbrush or a denture brush (available at any pharmacy) and some regular liquid hand soap or anti-bacterial soap to further remove any adherent plaque or food particles remaining.

Treating your dentures this way will prolong their live and eliminate any stains or odors. Even though you are a denture wearer you should still have a yearly exam by your dentist. A yearly checkup will identify any changes to your mouth, gums, ridge, tongue and lips as well as check your denture for fit, bone loss and excessive wear.

I hope this information has been helpful. It is a common question that myself, my assistants and my hygienists get every day.

You can contact Dr. Eck with any other questions by phone at (239)389-9400 or by e-mail at or write him at 950 N. Collier Blvd., Ste. 305.

© 2009 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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