How to whiten dentures?

Contents

Homemade denture cleaners. –

More from the ACP’s guidelines about denture cleansers.
  • The guidelines stated that, as compared to other alternative denture-immersion methods (soaking), using a bleach-based solution probably makes the most effective choice.
  • They also considered bleach-based products to be the most effective type of commercial cleanser too, suggesting that, overall, using this method typically makes a best-choice.

▲ Section references – Felton, de Sousa Porta

b) How to make this homemade soak more effective.

While bleach-based denture cleaner makes a good stain remover and disinfectant, it’s not especially effective in helping to remove mineral deposits (tartar) that have built up on false teeth.

  • You can give your soak added tartar-removing capability by adding one teaspoon of Calgon® water softener (Calgon the calcium-chelating agent, not Calgon the soap or bath oil) per glassful of the homemade solution above.
  • After soaking, brush your denture a second time. Some mineral deposits and associated stain may still remain but have softened up enough that they can be brushed off.

c) Precautions / concerns with bleach-based denture cleaners.

Get your dentist’s OK.

Over the past decades, a number of studies have investigated how the plastics used in denture fabrication may be affected by different types of denture cleaners, including the homemade ones we discuss on this page.

And while what we report here does apply to standard denture materials (and therefore most people) your appliances, or the materials they have since been repaired or relined with, may be exceptions.

For this reason, the choice of any denture cleanser, homemade or commercial, should be approved by your dentist.

i) Color fading.

Bleach-based cleaners can cause the pink coloration of denture plastic to fade (the “gums” portion of your appliance). Two factors that are important with this phenomenon are the concentration of the solution that’s used, and the duration/frequency of the soaking period.

As an example of what you might expect:

  • A study by Gulfema evaluated the color changes that took place with various brands of denture acrylics (plastics) when exposed to 4 solutions, one of which was “dilute sodium hypochlorite 0.5%” (the homemade cleaner we describe above).
  • After 15 days of exposure to the solution (the cumulative equivalent of almost 6 years of daily 10-minute soaks), tests showed that some color change had taken place. But the amount of change was “below the limit of visual perceptibility” (it couldn’t be detected by the human eye).

A more recent study by de Sousa Porta evaluated the use of 0.5% sodium hypochlorite solution (our mixture above) for 3 minute soaks over the course of 90 days and found no significant color changes.

These same general findings were also reported by Salles. This study simulated the use of a 0.5% solution for 20 minutes a day for 5 years and found no significant alteration of denture acrylic color.

Why soaking overnight doesn’t make the best choice.

Paranhos found that a simulation of 180 days of soaking overnight (8-hour immersions in a 0.5% sodium hypochlorite solution) did create a noticeable color change. Hence our recommendation above of just short daily soaks as opposed to overnight.

▲ Section references – Gulfema, de Sousa Porta, Salles, Paranhos

ii) Surface roughness.

Some research suggests that the use of bleach-based soaks may tend to roughen the plastic surface of false teeth.

The concern here is that it’s been shown that an increase in surface roughness increases the ease with which microorganisms are able to adhere to denture surfaces (Verran).

Not all studies have found this effect, including some recent ones.

  • Ural evaluated the use of bleach at full-strength, 5 hours a day for 7 days. (This concentration is 10 times that of our homemade soak above. The study period was equivalent to 210 days of 10-minute soaking.)
  • de Sousa Porta evaluated the use of 0.5% sodium hypochlorite solution (our mixture above) for 3 minute soaks over the course of 90 days and found no significant changes in surface roughness.
  • Salles simulated the use of 0.5% solution for 20 minutes a day over a 5-year span and found no significant change in denture surface roughness.
Take note.

One study that did identify surface roughness changes is Paranhos. It simulated the use of diluted-bleach cleaner (0.5% sodium hypochlorite, our homemade dilution above) with overnight (8 hour) soaks, over the course of 180 days (almost 50 times the exposure created by the daily 10 minute treatments recommended above).

This regimen resulted in a change of surface roughness of just 0.195 microns. That number is important because Quirynen determined that changes up to 0.2 microns didn’t significantly increase the ability of microbes to adhere to denture surfaces.

So, in a technical sense, a change in roughness was identified. But on a practical level, it wasn’t great enough to be a major concern.

▲ Section references – Verran, Ural, de Sousa Porta, Salles, Paranhos, Quirynen

iii) Denture strength.

There are studies that have suggested that the use of bleach-based soaks may affect the flexural strength of denture plastics.

In fact, the American College of Prosthodontists’ guidelines for denture cleaning that we refer to above mention this point. This seems to be their reason for suggesting that the use of bleach-based soaks should be limited to 10 minutes.

While the publication date of their blanket recommendation (no specific bleach concentration is mentioned) is fairly recent (2011), it seems to be based on a reference that reviewed related dental literature published between 1936 and 1983.

At this point in time …

A paper by Rodrigues, which included the evaluation of 0.5% sodium hypochlorite denture cleaner (our homemade mixture above), stated that

  • “There is no consensus in the literature regarding how chemical cleaning agents might affect the mechanical properties of rigid reline materials and conventional thermoacrylic resin.”
  • (That means the pink plastic typically used to make false teeth and the hard plastics used to reline them as needed.)

One of the studies we refer to above, Paranhos, found no changes in the flexural strength of denture resins (plastics) when exposed to a simulated 180 days of overnight (8-hour) soakings in 0.5% sodium hypochlorite cleaner (roughly 50 times our recommended soaking time above).

The same can be said for Salles. This study simulated the use of a 0.5% solution for 20 minutes a day for 5 years and found no significant changes in denture flexural strength.

Overall, we’re not so sure that this issue isn’t overblown. But staying within the guidelines we’ve outlined above, for the specific reasons we’ve discussed, seems both an appropriate and effective method for cleaning dentures.

▲ Section references – Rodrigues, Salles, Paranhos, Felton

v) Metal corrosion.

! An important consideration in some cases.

Studies have shown that bleach-based soaking solutions do tend to tarnish and spot corrode metal (cobalt-chromium alloy) components of full and partial dentures (Felipucci).

The extent to which this effect will take place is likely a function of bleach concentration, soak duration and the composition of the metal involved. (The cobalt-chromium alloy mentioned above is frequently used in partial denture construction.)

It’s possible that this effect is avoided when soaking sessions are limited to 10 minutes or less. But before employing this tactic you should consult with your dentist.

▲ Section references – Felipucci

vi) Affects on denture reline materials.

The information we discuss above generally applies to false teeth made by a dental laboratory (high-quality materials, optimal fabrication process under ideal conditions).

The world of dental relines is entirely different. With relines, the process used to place them varies widely (chairside vs. laboratory), as does the type of material used (some have superior physical properties while others don’t, some set hard while others remain soft). And due to this variability, some relines hold up to certain types of cleansers better than others.

That means, at the time of your reline, it’s always best to ask your dentist if it’s compatible with the denture cleaner you currently use (homemade or not).

2) Vinegar-based soaks.

Household vinegar can be used to make a natural denture cleanser that’s effective for both disinfecting and, especially, removing tartar.

Disinfection.

  • Vinegar-based soaking solutions have been shown to be effective in killing microorganisms that reside on the surface of false teeth. However, possibly less so than the homemade bleach solution described above.
  • Some studies (but not all) have concluded that vinegar disinfection is the method of choice for Candida albicans (a common oral fungus).

▲ Section references – Yildirim-Bicer, Jafari

Tartar removal.

The acidic nature of vinegar makes it especially effective in removing tartar (built-up mineral deposits and associated stain). These deposits, which often have a tan to brown coloration, frequently build up in denture crevices. (These locations are frequently only accessible to chemical cleansing.)

  • Smaller deposits may dissolve away entirely. Thicker buildup may only soften up but can then be brushed off.
  • It may take repeated cycles of soaking and brushing to remove especially heavy deposits.

Vinegar can be used to make denture cleaner.

(Regular white vinegar, like you use in your kitchen.)

a) How to prepare and use.

  • Prior to soaking, false teeth should be brushed (inside and out) to remove any soft or loose debris (see link above).
  • A soaking solution can be made using white (household) vinegar. (The kind of vinegar found in most kitchens.) The following studies used the concentrations and soaking durations shown below.

    a) Infrequent / periodic cleanings –

    Soaking duration: 10 minutes. Vinegar concentration 100% (full-strength) to 50% (equal dilution with tap water). (Johnston, Yildirim-Bicer)

    Soaking duration: 30 minutes. Vinegar concentration 50% (equal dilution with tap water). (Yadav)

    b) Daily use – Soaking duration: Up to 8 hours. 10% vinegar (a 1 to 9 dilution with tap water). (Pinto)

  • With infrequent or periodic cleaning, brushing your denture again after soaking may remove stubborn mineral deposits and staining that still remain but have softened up.
  • When finished, thoroughly rinse your denture with cool tap water.
  • If your denture is not returned to your mouth, you should store it fully immersed in water.

▲ Section references – Johnston, Yildirim-Bicer, Yadav, Pinto

b) Precautions / concerns with vinegar-based denture cleaners.

While there’s nothing new about using vinegar as a natural tartar remover and disinfectant for false teeth, it certainly seems to be less studied than other homemade alternatives. The following is all we have to report.

i) Color and strength changes.

Different than with bleach-based denture cleaners (see above), we did not encounter any studies that brought up the issue of color or flexural strength changes in denture plastics due to the use of a vinegar soak.

Once again, different than with bleach soaks, we found little discussion about an increase in denture surface roughness due to the use of vinegar solution.

One study (Yildirim-Bicer) evaluated the use of both 100 and 50% vinegar solutions for the disinfection of false teeth using a 10-minute soak. And this paper did make mention of the issue of denture surface roughness. But it made no mention of problematic effects created by using these soaks.

Our reference above that evaluated the use of a 10% vinegar solution, 8 hours a day for a period of 45 days (Pinto) unfortunately did not make mention of this topic.

At a minimum, periodic/infrequent use of a vinegar soak seems to be a reasonable choice (like for periodic tartar removal). There are probably no concerns with the use of low-concentration vinegar solutions over the long-term, although shorter soaks as opposed to overnight might make the better choice until more information becomes available.

▲ Section references – Yildirim-Bicer, Pinto

iii) Metal corrosion.

We spent quite a bit of time researching this subject. It seems that it’s bleach-based soaks (see above) as opposed to vinegar ones that tend to tarnish the metal components of partial dentures (Nassif).

This effect (or lack thereof) may be dependent on the type of metal (alloy) used. So it only makes sense to confirm the use of a vinegar soak with your dentist.

▲ Section references – Nassif

iv) Affects on denture reline materials.

As discussed above for bleach-based soaks, the materials used to reline false teeth aren’t always as durable as the plastic originally used to fabricate them. For this reason, after having a reline you should confirm your choice of denture cleaner with your dentist.

3) Consider using a multi-solution approach.

Wendt evaluated a number of soaks frequently used to disinfect dentures and came to the conclusion that the best results were obtained when a combination approach was used. The idea is that it takes using a series of solutions (each of which excels in targeting different types of microorganisms) to reach maximum cleanliness.

We’ve updated the regimen outlined in that paper, so it’s more in alignment with what today is considered best practices.

  1. A bleach-based solution combined with enzymatic dishwasher soap (Cascade). – Instructions given above.
  2. A vinegar-based soak. – Instructions given above.
  3. A sodium bicarbonate solution – One teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in eight ounces of water, 30-minute soak, rinse thoroughly afterward. (Use this technique instead of brushing with baking soda, here’s why.)

While it’s not expected that someone would necessarily take the time to perform this routine each day, they might choose to use it on selected ones.

Another approach would be to continually rotate through each of these cleaning solutions, a different one each time. Or possibly use a bleach-based soak most of the time, and the others routinely but less frequently.

▲ Section references – Wendt

There are better choices for denture cleaning than mouthwash.

4) Using mouthwash as a denture cleaner.

It’s not uncommon for people to use mouthwash as a soak for their false teeth. The reasoning associated with this choice is typically twofold.

  • Mouthwash usually has a pleasant flavor and odor.
  • Some mouthwashes make antibacterial claims.

There are better choices.

Mouthwash has not been shown to be especially effective against the types of microorganisms that typically inhabit denture surfaces. This is true even for those oral rinses that make an antimicrobial claim. As an example, a study by Buergers found it ineffective in denture disinfection.

The other types of cleaning solutions discussed on our pages (either homemade or store-bought) tend to make a much better choice.

▲ Section references – Buergers

Don’t dentists use mouthwash to clean false teeth?

You may have noticed that after your dentist’s office has finished cleaning your dentures they taste like mouthwash was used.

In actuality, they’ve probably used a professional cleaner, most of which have a pretty bad taste. As a last step, they’ve had their dental staff place your false teeth in a glass of mouthwash and water (50:50), just so there’s no question that they’ll taste pleasant.

So yes, after a professional cleaning your dentures may have a mouthwash taste. But don’t confuse that issue with thinking that that’s what has been used to actually clean them.

Best practices for denture cleaning.

Due to the wide range of materials that are used in denture fabrication, you should …

a) Always discuss your plans with your dentist.

Your dentist occupies an especially unique position. Not only do they know precisely what materials have been used in making your false teeth but they get to see how they hold up to the various cleaning methods their other patients use. Make sure you tap into their knowledge.

b) Always test before you soak.

The plastics used to make false teeth are chosen, in part, because they tend not to absorb tastes and flavors. And this fact makes it unlikely that cleaning solutions that have a bad taste (i.e. bleach, vinegar) will create a problem.

But because it’s such a simple step to take, you should always perform short trial soaks with any new cleanser, just to make sure. This is especially true for appliances that have been relined.

c) General rules.

Best practices for denture cleaning include:

  • Don’t expose your dentures to elevated temperatures. Doing so may cause dimensional distortion, thus affecting their fit. Soaking and rinsing should be done in room temperature solutions.
  • Always keep your dentures wet. That means in your mouth or fully immersed in their soaking solution or just plain water. If they dry out, their fit may change. (Related content: Maximum temperatures for denture plastics.)

Update log –

08/14/2019 – Reference source added.

Authorship: Written by Staff Dentist

Our affiliate links can be used to shop denture products on Amazon.com or Walmart.com

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Topic Menu ▶ False Teeth / Dentures

Page references sources:

Buergers R, et al. Efficacy of denture disinfection methods in controlling Candida albicans colonization in vitro.

de Sousa Porta SR, et al. Evaluation of sodium hypochlorite as a denture cleanser: a clinical study.

Felipucci D, et al. Effect of Different Cleansers on the Surface of Removable Partial Dentures.

Felton D, et al. Evidence-based guidelines for the care and maintenance of complete dentures.

Gulfema E, et al. Colour stability of denture base materials after soaked in different aging solutions.

Jafari AA, et al. Vinegar as a Removing Agent of Candida albicans From Acrylic Resin Plates.

Johnston C, et al. Vinegar: Medicinal Uses and Antiglycemic Effect.

Nassif J. Instructions for patients — a positive factor in removable partial denture service.

Paranhos H, et al. Color Stability, Surface Roughness and Flexural Strength of an Acrylic Resin Submitted to Simulated Overnight Immersion in Denture Cleansers.

Pinto T, et al. Vinegar as an Antimicrobial Agent for Control of Candida in Complete Denture Wearers.

Quirynen M, et al. The influence of surface free energy and surface roughness on early plaque formation. An in vivo study in man.

Rodrigues S, et al. Effect of chemical cleaning agents on the flexural strength of acrylic and hard denture line resins.

Salles MM, et al. Antimicrobial activity of complete denture cleanser solutions based on sodium hypochlorite and Ricinus communis – a randomized clinical study.

Ural C. Effect of Different Denture Cleansers on Surface Roughness of Denture Base Materials.

Verran J, et al. The effect of dentifrice abrasion on denture topography and the subsequent retention of microorganisms on abraded surfaces.

Wendt S, et al. Decontamination of Candida albicans infected denture material.

Yadav R, et al. Effectiveness of different denture cleansing methods on removal of biofilms formed in vivo.

Yildirim-Bicer AZ, et al. In vitro antifungal evaluation of seven different disinfectants on acrylic resins.

All reference sources for topic Complete and Partial Dentures.

Keep your false teeth stain-free and white to look your best

It is not difficult to whiten false teeth provided you follow a simple procedure and use the correct products… both of which we will discuss in detail below. All you need is to be organized and a little patience and before you know it, the procedure will become second nature and you will see some great results.

The extra effort required is a small price to pay to be able to confidently display your pearly whites for all to see. Having a vibrant smile filled with clean, white dentures can also boost your self-confidence.

Plus, since you can actually remove false teeth to clean them, you can reach places that are otherwise hard to get at with natural teeth. This ensures a better, more complete cleaning and makes whitening even easier to do.

In fact, the most effective way to whiten dentures involves only four basic steps.

Best Way To Whiten Dentures And Remove Stains

So how can you remove stains and whiten false teeth safely and effectively at home?

You can whiten your dentures with this simple 4-step process:

  • Clean
  • Soak
  • Cleanse, and
  • Bleach

Step #1: Clean Your False Teeth

As obvious as it may sound, before you begin the whitening process, your dentures need to be properly cleaned first. All you really need to do in this first step is to clean your false teeth as you ordinarily would before wearing them for the day or after a day of wearing them.

The best way to clean your false teeth is to use soap and water or a denture cleaning paste that is specially formulated for use with dentures. To brush them, use either a soft bristled brush or a denture brush that is designed specifically for this purpose.

Do not use a regular toothpaste or toothbrush to clean your false teeth. The compounds found in toothpaste are too abrasive and may damage your false teeth. The same thing goes for normal toothbrushes. As dentures are a softer material than natural teeth, they can scratch easily.

When you clean your dentures, be sure to do so over a sink that is either filled with water or lined with a thick towel. This will reduce the possibility of damage should the false teeth slip out of your hands and drop into the sink.

Recommended reading…

>> What’s The Best Ways To Clean Dentures?
>> Denture Brush Options

Recommended Products To Help Clean Dentures

Butler GUM Denture Brush

The best product for whitening your false teeth is with this brush that is recommended by dental professionals as being safe enough to use daily.

The GUM brush is unique in that it has two differently configured heads – one is flat with strong flat bristles and the other has a strong tufted head with tapered bristles to reach into hard to clean areas.

The design of this product includes an ergonomic handle which is textured for strong gripping.

For more information on the Butler GUM Denture Brush, .

Polident Dentu-Creme

Made with a low abrasive formula, Polident Dentu-Creme will clean false teeth without scratching them. The cleaning formula removes plaque, stains and kills odor-causing bacteria.

The paste also contains ingredients that leave a fresh, minty feeling and a pleasant scent. This product is also recommended by dentists for use in the cleaning of false teeth and for promoting good oral health.

For more information on Polident Dentu-Creme, .

Step #2: Soak Your Dentures

The second step to remove stains and whiten your dentures is to soak your false teeth in a denture cleaner. These products are available at your favorite drugstore or online and should not be used until after you have given your false teeth a proper scrubbing. The reason for this is that the cleaner the surface, the better results you will receive from the denture cleaner.

It is also important to note that an overnight soak in denture cleaning solution should not be done more than once a week. If you use a cleaning solution more frequently, your false teeth risk bleaching out.

Recommended reading…

>> What Is The Best Way To Store Dentures?
>> Denture Case, Brush Holder & Bath Options

Recommended Products For Soaking Dentures

StainAway Professional Strength Denture Cleaner

The most effective way to get real looking false teeth is with this fast-acting denture cleanser. It will whiten and brighten false teeth in five minutes killing odor-causing germs and leaving your dentures with a minty-fresh taste.

This effervescent powder can be used daily and is recommended for use with full dentures.

The manufacturer states this professional strength denture cleaner powder is three times more powerful than tablets, so will have your dentures looking like new in no time.

For more information on the StainAway Plus Denture Cleanser product, .

Dental Duty Denture Cleaner

These tablets are considered the “most effective and safest solution” on the market to remove stains from dentures. The formula contained in each tablet kills germs and bacteria that can form into plaque or tartar. It also fights bad breath and odor.

Dental Duty Denture Cleaner is also effective when used to clean wire appliances, removable bridges, and other orthodontic appliances. All you have to do it drop one tablet into warm tap water and soak your false teeth (or other dental work) for 15-minutes.

For more information on the Dental Duty Denture Cleaner product, .

Strong Denture Box with Simple Retrieval Tab

Designed to provide a safe and clean storage space for your false teeth, this denture box has an attractive appearance. It also features a detachable rinsing basket allowing for easy dry drip following a cleaning soak. The bottom of the box will collect the drippings for later disposal.

There are also various color combinations to choose from and these boxes are made from FDA approved, food grade, non-toxic material. You can also use one to store more than just dentures including jewelry and this product comes with a risk-free satisfaction guarantee.

For more information on this Strong Denture Box product, .

Step #3: Cleanse Using Ultrasonics

The third step in the process of whitening your false teeth involves the use of an ultrasonic denture cleaner. These devices are considered the absolute best method available to whiten your dentures.

An ultrasonic cleaner is an apparatus where you soak your dentures and they get cleaned by ultrasonics. The use of ultrasonics improves the cleaning first done with a stiff nail brush as it can remove microscopic food particles from places even the finest brush cannot access.

An ultrasonic denture cleaner works by emitting high-frequency vibrations that loosen the finest food particles from the hardest to reach locations.

Recommended reading…

>> Best Ultrasonic Denture Cleaner Options

Recommended Ultrasonic Denture Cleaner Products

iSonic F3900 Ultrasonic Denture Cleaner

The answer to the question can you whiten false teeth is yes with this handy device.

Using sound waves that penetrate deep into small spaces to remove even smaller particles, this product does the best job ever of whitening your dentures.

Featuring an easy to clean stainless steel tank and a cycle that performs a five-minute cleaning and you have one of the most superior cleaners available.

To see more information on the iSonic F3900 Ultrasonic Cleaner for Dentures, .

iSonic CSDW01 Ultrasonic Cleaning Powder for Dentures

This denture cleaning powder, when mixed with tap water (1 teaspoon to 1 cup) is designed to remove even the toughest stains and buildup in up to 15 minutes. The iSonic cleaner also disinfects as it cleans killing germs and bacteria.

The manufacturer states that iSonic is “much more effective than tablets” as well as “most other denture cleaners on the market.” A single bottle can be used to mix up to 48 cups of solution and is safe enough to use on a daily basis.

To see more information on the iSonic Ultrasonic Denture Cleaning Powder, .

Step #4: Bleach Your Dentures

The final step to whitening dentures is to bleach your dentures. The correct way to whiten false teeth is to use a diluted solution of household bleach. This is the riskiest step of the four simply because it is easy to damage dental work if the bleach dilution is not correct.

The bleaching steps need to be strictly followed in order to prevent damage. Dilute the bleach with water so that it is no stronger than 5%. Dentures should not soak any longer than fifteen minutes. After soaking, slowly fill the cup with water and allow it to overflow, washing out the bleach mixture, which should take about a minute. Follow this with two minutes of gentle scrubbing with a nail brush for each denture.

After you have done this, place the dentures in a cup of plain cold water and soak for an additional hour. This is intended to properly remove the bleach solution which would have been soaked into the material of the dental work. Skipping this step can result in burning of the gums and mouth the next time you wear the dentures.

Once again, special care has to be taken when using bleach. The other steps mentioned here should produce good results, so only try this if absolutely required.

Other Denture Whitening Home Remedies & Tips

As already mentioned, using bleach to whiten false teeth is effective but you must be careful with the mixture and time your false teeth are soaking in the solution.

Other home remedies include the use of such household items as vinegar and baking soda. While these are great temporary solutions, it is important to understand that neither vinegar or baking soda is as effective in killing microorganisms which are what you are trying to eliminate.

For more information on whitening your dentures at home, make sure that you check out our other remedies and tips, as well as the short video below…

Denture Whitening Solutions

Besides the cleaners and soaking solutions mentioned above, there are other soaking products that promote themselves as denture whiteners as well as cleansers. One example is Sparkle-Dent.

This highly concentrated solution works right away to remove stains without scrubbing. It is also effective in removing tartar and plaque. Just add the solution to water, as directed, and soak dentures for 15 minutes.

This product is safe for use with all dentures, including those with soft liners. It is also safe to use daily if desired. The 8-ounce bottle will last up to six months under normal use.

To see more information on Sparkle-Dent, .

Baking Soda

This common household product not only cleans dentures but it also deodorizes them as well. As for home remedies, baking soda is probably the most commonly used as it works and it is affordable.

When made into a cleaning solution, this provides a gentle scrubbing action on the dentures which removes stains, bacteria, and food particles.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Another relatively easy solution to find is hydrogen peroxide. It is available in pharmacies and grocery stores.

All you have to do is gently rub the solution on your dentures by hand. Natural abrasive particles are found in this solution that will scrub away stains and tartar from false teeth.

White Vinegar

By soaking dentures in a solution of white vinegar and water you can clean and deodorize them overnight. Vinegar is another easy-to-find product in kitchens and grocery stores.

The compounds found in vinegar will kill some of the bacteria and with regular brushing in the morning, it can help to remove stains and food particles.

Salt

Because salt can be used as a bleaching agent, it is an effective tool in whitening false teeth. The best way to apply it is by dabbing a denture brush in some salt and brushing gently onto the surface of the denture.

You can also use salt as an overnight soak by making a mixture of one tablespoon to a single glass of warm water.

Lemon Juice

The bleaching agents in lemon juice make this another handy denture whitener. Plus, it is also easy to find at home or in the grocery store.

All you have to do is juice a lemon into a cup of warm water and soak dentures for no longer than 30-minutes. If you soak them longer, you may actually damage false teeth as lemon juice also has an erosive effect.

Visit Your Dentist

If you are not confident enough to whiten your teeth at home using any of the methods described above, you still have options. Your dentist can perform a professional whitening on your false teeth for you. But bear in mind, this will be an expensive solution, but the results will be great.

The other alternative is also going to cost you considerably more than any of the home remedies listed. However, it will give you shiny looking false teeth. This option is to get a new set of dentures made. Depending on how long you have been wearing yours, you may be due for a new set anyway.

Take Care Of Your False Teeth And Always Look Your Best

If your goal is to have the brightest and whitest smile, there are several products available to assist with this. Having a clean and white smile is especially important to denture wearers but you must be careful when you attempt to clean or whiten false teeth.

By following the steps outlined above and trying several of the additional cleaning options listed you will be able to find the perfect whitening solution for your dentures. They are all effective but care has to be taken… since false teeth are made from acrylic and can be damaged in many ways, you must follow the steps outlined here instead of taking shortcuts.

This is why you must take special care when handling dentures and even more precautions during the whitening process. By taking good care of your false teeth, they will not only keep looking good and keep your smile bright, you can also improve your oral health.

Have you tried whitening your dentures? What has worked? What hasn’t? Please share your experiences with denture whitening in the comments section below…

How to Clean Dentures to Avoid Bacteria Buildup

The purpose of wearing dentures is to enable patients who have lost some or all of their teeth to speak, smile and eat naturally. These things are only possible, however, if their dentures are comfortable and well-maintained. Learning how to clean dentures is important to maintaining good daily hygiene, but occasionally you may find it necessary to take additional steps to eliminate the tougher-to-remove bacteria.

How Food Accumulates in Dentures

Food particles collect on your dentures every time you eat, for several reasons:

  • The food that drifts to the floor of your mouth can land and become trapped under a lower denture.
  • Debris that gets pushed backward and upward as you chew and swallow may wind up in between your palate and the upper denture.
  • Food sticks to rough plastic surface of dentures far more easily than it does to oral tissues, which allows it to build up over time.

Dentures take up a fair amount of space in the mouth, though, which means you are much more likely to feel food remnants collecting underneath them than someone with natural teeth.

How Problems Arise from This Buildup

Food particles stick to certain areas of the denture more than others, and if they aren’t removed frequently, they can lead to a variety of oral problems. According to RDH Magazine, bad breath is a common concern among 87 percent of denture-wearers. And when food accumulating in the mouth, it can turn rancid in a matter of hours. To determine whether your dentures are affecting your breath, consider placing your dentures in a sealed, plastic sandwich bag for five minutes. When you unseal the bag, you’ll get an idea of whether your halitosis is caused by your dentures.

Inflammation of oral tissue is another legitimate complication. When tough-to-remove particles collect and build up on a section of the dentures that is in contact with your mouth, the bacteria that feed on this leftover food can transfer to the gums and tissues – causing infection. Unchecked, the resulting inflammation may develop into periodontal gum disease or mouth sores related to denture stomatitis, which Dental Health suggests can appear at the corners of the lips.

Various studies reported by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) have also shown a connection between poor oral health and chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and rheumatology. This makes it essential that you know how to clean dentures effectively, regardless of the type of denture for which you’re fitted.

How to Clean Off Dentures

In addition to your regular daily brushing, it’s necessary to use a deep-cleaning solution periodically to soak off food deposits from the denture. These solutions typically come in the form of effervescent tablets, which are specifically formulated to clean dentures.

Avoid using abrasive materials such as brushes with stiff bristles, whitening toothpastes or products containing bleach, according to Mayo Clinic, because these can damage the dentures. Also keep in mind that hot or boiling water can warp your dentures, and soaking items that have metal fittings in any solution containing chlorine can cause the metal to tarnish.

After soaking, check the inside of the denture for any remaining food particles, and brush or scrub using a soft-bristled toothbrush whose shape is conducive to denture care.

Ultimately, ensure that you rinse the dentures exceptionally well afterward; even the gentlest cleansing solution can contain chemicals that are harmful to your mouth’s natural tissues.

Just because you wear dentures doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the pleasure of freshly-brushed teeth. Complete your denture-cleaning procedure with a thorough brushing of your gums using a soft-bristled toothbrush and everyday, fluoridated toothpaste. If you notice any mouth sores, rinsing with a mouth sore rinse will help to heal them and protect against bacteria in the long term.

Mouthwash and Dentures Linked to Increased Risk of Oral Cancer

You wouldn’t dream of leaving the house in the morning or going to bed at night without brushing your teeth (at least I hope you wouldn’t!). And ideally, you give your pearly whites a good daily flossing, too. But if you’re also accustomed to swishing some mouthwash—to sweeten your breath, whiten your teeth, fight infection or make your mouth “feel really clean”—I urge you to take two specific precautions.

Another alert: If you’re a denture wearer, you also need to be on guard. Here’s why…

RESEARCHERS SINK THEIR TEETH INTO THE DATA

For a recent study, researchers from nine European countries interviewed nearly 2,000 men and women who had been recently diagnosed with oral cancer—malignancies of the mouth, larynx (voice box), pharynx (throat) or esophagus. For comparison’s sake, they also interviewed a similar number of age-matched but cancer-free people who served as controls.

All of the participants were asked about various lifestyle and dietary habits…their oral hygiene habits…and their medical and dental history. When the researchers analyzed this data (and adjusted for smoking and alcohol consumption, two known risk factors for oral cancers), they came to some predictable conclusions—for instance, that failing to brush teeth twice daily or to visit the dentist at least annually was associated with significantly increased risk for oral cancer. But they also found two surprising risk factors…

  • Wearing dentures. Even partial dentures were associated with increased risk. And people who wore complete upper and lower dentures had nearly double the risk of people who did not wear dentures. Oral cancer risk was especially high among those who started wearing dentures before they were 55 years old.
  • Frequent use of mouthwash. Compared with people who did not use mouthwash, those who rinsed their mouths with mouthwash three or more times each day had about triple the risk for oral cancer. However, there was no increased risk found among people who used mouthwash less frequently than three times a day. Noteworthy: Unfortunately, this study did not distinguish between mouthwash that contained alcohol and mouthwash without alcohol. Some previous, smaller studies suggested that both alcohol-containing and alcohol-free mouthwash may increase oral cancer risk, but other studies found increased risk only with mouthwashes that contain alcohol…and as pointed out previously, alcohol is a known carcinogen.

Double jeopardy: For people who both wore dentures and used mouthwash three or more times daily, the risk for oral cancer was multiplied more than seven times!

For optimal oral health…

  • Clean your teeth well every day…and to make sure you’re doing it right, check out Don’t Make These Common Mistakes When Brushing and Flossing.
  • Visit your dentist two or more times each year. If the very idea makes you cringe, read Afraid of the Dentist? Don’t Be—The New Dental Visit Is Pain Free.
  • If you are a fan of mouthwash, there’s probably no need to stop using it altogether—but it may be wise to stick with brands that are alcohol-free and limit your swishing to no more than once or twice a day.
  • What if you have dentures? You can’t change that—but you can be extra vigilant about watching for possible signs of oral cancer, such as a slightly raised white or red patch in the mouth…an unexplained lump in the neck…discomfort on one side of the throat…subtle changes in voice…unexplained and persistent ear pain…or difficulty or mild pain with swallowing. Remember, as with many diseases, the earlier oral cancer is caught and treated, the better the outcome generally is.

FAQ’s about Dentures

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Will Crest whitestrips or bleaching whiten dentures? If not, is there any similar product that will?

No. The way whitening strips work is through peroxide… It penetrates the tooth structure, to clean the teeth. This can’t happen with dentures, since they’re made out of plastic or porcelain. The strips also will not bleach crowns, caps, or fillings. Bleaching gels will work on the natural tooth. Your best bet for denture stains is to brush thoroughly with special dental cleansers…. Polident overnight claims to remove stains. .

Alternatively, see your dentist who can professionally clean your dentures and then keep them white with a daily denture cleanser. One cannot whiten denture teeth beyond their original color when they were new.

If you are unhappy with the original color and like the fit of your dentures, a dentist can replace the front teeth with a whiter tooth and in many cases get it back to you within 24 hrs, sometimes even the same day. Another option is denture duplication. Here the dentist can copy almost precisely your current dentures and have another set made with whiter teeth.

Polident Denture Care – Cleansers

Are there any denture materials that Polident can not be used with; i.e. softer acrylic materials?

Polident is safe for use with all denture materials. It is safe for use on porcelain or Acrylic teeth as well as all acrylics used for the base of the denture, regardless of its rigidity.

Can Polident be used with orthodontic appliances?

Polident for Partials is recommended for effectively cleaning orthodontic appliances. Polident for Partials contains no oxidants/bleaching agents (the ingredient which can possibly corrode some metals), therefore it is safe for use on metal appliances when used as directed.

What are the ingredients in Polident that provides cleaning?

Polident’s anti-bacterial cleaning system has several ingredients that participate in the cleaning process. The effervescent action (Sodium Bicarbonate and Citric Acid) provides mechanical cleaning action to loosen particles from the denture. The effervescent compounds also reduce odor by neutralizing the by-products of bacteria. The enzyme (everlace; Overnight only) breaks down and food proteins in plaque. The oxidants (sodium perborate & potassium monopersulfate) remove stains and whiten the denture teeth. The detergents (sodium polyphosphate & several others) clean by removing virtually all the particles that were broken down and loosened by the previously mentioned active ingredients.

How does Polident remove stains?

The oxidizing agents are the primary stain removers, while the detergents and the enzyme (Overnight only) also aid in the break down of food proteins. The oxidizing agents act as a whitener/bleaching agent that removes the stains. The detergents emulsify oily stains and keep them dispersed and suspended away from the denture, and the enzyme breaks down stain particles to simple forms. The detergents then remove the stain particles.

Is Polident antibacterial?

Yes, Polident is proven to kill odor-causing bacteria.

How long do patients have to soak their denture and how often?

Patients should soak their denture everyday, and follow the directions on the box for the duration of the soak, as it is dependant upon the variant purchased. 5-minute soak for 5 minutes. This is ideal for patients that want a quick cleaning during the day. Overnight Longer cleaning period to allow antimicrobial agents, detergents and enzymes to work to clean and remove tough stains Partials Specially formulated to clean both /pages/ the acrylic surface and metal clasps. Also good for cleaning orthodontic appliances.

Is it safe to soak dentures overnight in Polident?

All Polident variants are safe for the overnight soaking of dentures. It is important to note that Polident Overnight is specifically formulated to clean all night long and is ideal for overnight soaking and cleaning. Polident 5-Minute is also safe for overnight cleaning, and will not harm the denture.

Are there any long term effects on the denture material with regular overnight use?

The only long-term effect of regular overnight use on denture material is a clean denture. It is perfectly safe to soak your denture in Polident for the duration of the night, and there are no negative effects.

I don�t recommend long term use of Polident because it can discolor the acrylic.

Polident is safe for long-term use. Polident has been through extensive testing and none of our studies have indicated that long-term use of Polident will discolor the acrylic material. Acrylic, like many other materials will naturally fade over time. As the acrylic denture is exposed to ultra violet light, the color will fade. This is in no way associated with the long-term use of Polident.

What is the maximum amount of time a denture can be left in Polident?

There is no maximum amount of time provided the solution does not dry out.

Polident can’t remove plaque on the denture I recommend brushing.

There are clinical studies that indicate Polident effervescent products have been proven to help remove plaque build up from the denture. It is well known that brushing is an important part of complete denture hygiene. Polident directions for use recommend brushing dentures with the Polident effervescent solution after soaking or with a denture paste such as Dentu-Creme or Dentu-Gel.

Mechanical action/brushing is the best for cleaning dentures.

There are areas of a denture that a denture wearer, especially an elderly wearer, may not be able to effectively clean by brushing. Polident effervescent cleaning action can reach where brushing can miss. Brushing alone does not provide the thorough anti-bacterial cleaning action of Polident tablets. If the patient is brushing it is important to educate them that a denture paste, such as Dentu-Creme or Dentu-Gel, are the recommended pastes because family toothpaste are too abrasive.

I recommend soaking in mouthwash and water.

Polident is an anti-bacterial cleaning system and it is the best method of cleaning dentures. Mouthwash does leave the denture wearer with a fresh taste in their mouth, however, Polident helps remove stains and provide effervescent cleaning action. Mouthwash is indicated for use only in the oral cavity. Polident is specifically designed to clean denture material.

Why should I recommend Polident over Efferdent?

Polident is the only denture cleanser that provides patients with a choice of different variants for individual need states (5-Minute, Overnight and Partials). Polident Overnight denture cleanser has an enzyme (everlace) that breaks down food proteins. Polident 5-Minute is the only denture cleanser formula to clean in 5 minutes. Polident is the market leader, which means that patients are more satisfied with Polident than any other denture cleanser.

Why are there a variety Polident variants?

Polident is the Denture Cleanser that provides your patients with a product offering that enables them to choose the method and timing habits that suit their cleansing needs. Polident 5-Minute, Polident Overnight and Dentu-Creme are all formulated specifically for different cleansing habits. Polident for Partials is specially formulated to clean both /pages/ the acrylic surface and metal clasps. The variants provide your patients with a product that will suit their needs and increase the likelihood of committing to denture hygiene, which will in-turn increase client compliance.

What is the difference between the Polident variants?

Each is specifically formulated to provide the best clean depending on the specific methods of use. Polident Overnight cleans for hours. The effervescing action is steady and the enzyme works all night long to break particles that attach to the denture. Polident 5-Minute provides the fastest clean available. The increased effervescent action and greater stain-removing abilities enable this product to clean faster than other denture cleansers. Polident for Partials is specially formulated to clean /pages/ both the acrylic surface and metal clasps.

What are the pH levels of effervescent denture cleansers?

Polident’s pH level is 6.8 (Water’s pH is 7). Polident is safe to use and will not cause chemical burn.

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How to Whiten Dentures: Stain Removal and Prevention

New dentures mean white, glossy teeth. But if you’ve had your dentures for a while, those same teeth may be looking a bit stained and dull. Fortunately, you don’t need to learn to live with your stained dentures. Dentures can be whitened and restored to their original, white appearance.

How to Whiten Dentures at Home

Ask your dentist to recommend a non-abrasive denture cleanser that can remove stains without causing damage. Soaking your dentures in a denture cleaning solution can help remove stains, explains the College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario (CDHO).

While natural teeth can be whitened with at-home teeth whitening solutions, denture users should usually avoid these products, explains the Mayo Clinic. That’s because products that contain bleach can weaken your dentures, and chlorine can tarnish and corrode any metal parts of your dentures. You shouldn’t use whitening toothpastes on dentures, either. These products remove surface stains from natural teeth with abrasive ingredients that can scratch your dentures.

How to Whiten Dentures Professionally

If you’re not satisfied with the look of your dentures after home cleaning, see your dentist. Dentures can be professionally polished to remove surface stains. The CDHO explains that this professional cleaning only takes a few minutes. After the cleaning, your dentures can look like new again. This cleaning is usually needed once or twice a year, but your dentist may recommend a different schedule.

While a professional cleaning will help restore the look of your dentures, you may be concerned about the cost. In these cases, consider visiting a dental school for affordable dentistry. Your area may have low-cost or even free dental clinics, too.

Preventing Denture Stains

Once you’ve had your dentures whitened, take steps to keep them looking their best. Cleaning your dentures every day can help prevent them from getting stained again. To clean your dentures, remove them from your mouth and rinse them to remove loose food particles. Then, gently brush your dentures with a non-abrasive cleaner and a specialized denture brush or a toothbrush like the Colgate Optic White Manual toothbrush. Its polishing spiral bristles help whiten teeth by polishing away surface stains and clean hard to reach areas.

Try to avoid highly pigmented foods and drinks, which can cause stains. Some examples are berries, tomato sauce, coffee and red wine. If you eat or drink something that could stain your dentures, rinse your dentures with water (or brush them, if possible) to remove pigments soon after.

Over time, dentures can become stained, but they don’t need to stay that way. Denture cleaning solutions can help you whiten your dentures at home, while your dentist can offer professional whitening.

Quick denture tips:

☑ Clean your dentures twice a day using liquid soap and a soft toothbrush.

☑ Remove dentures overnight. After cleaning, dentures can either be kept in a cup of fresh cold water, or left to dry.

☑ Also brush gums, tongue and any natural teeth each morning and night.

☑ For loose or painful dentures – see your dentist.

Oral hygiene and cleaning

DO NOT USE
☒ Hot water
☒ Laundry bleaches
☒ Kitchen detergents
☒ Methylated spirits
☒ Abrasives antiseptics (unless instructed)

Remember

It will take time for you to get used to your new dentures, so be patient.

Look after your dentures to get the most out of them.

Useful dental information

Find a community dental clinic near you

Our top 10 oral health tips for older adults

We’ve put together some tips that will help you get the most out of your dentures.

A daily denture care routine will help to minimise odour and stains, keep your dentures looking like new and help them last longer.

Insertion and removal

Your dentist or prosthesist will show you how to put in and take out your denture. Feel free to ask them questions. Make sure you are comfortable with putting them in and taking them out before you leave the clinic.

Never use force to get your dentures in or out.

Function

Your new denture may feel strange, even if you have worn dentures before. This is normal and happens because your mouth takes time to adapt.

When you first eat with your new denture, start with soft foods (e.g. lightly cooked vegetables).

Take small bites and chew slowly. If you have natural teeth, try to bite with them rather than the artificial ones.

If possible, chew on both sides at the same time.

Overnight

Remove your dentures before going to bed each night. This gives your mouth a chance to rest and will help stop you grinding your teeth while you sleep.

Clean dentures well using liquid soap and a soft toothbrush. After cleaning, dentures can either be kept in a cup of fresh cold water, or left to dry.

Maintenance

Food debris and plaque need to be cleaned from all denture surfaces daily.

Clean your dentures using a soft toothbrush and mild soap and water or denture paste. Standard toothpaste is not recommended.

Clean your dentures over a hand-basin half filled with water to prevent breakage if dropped.

Brush your gums, tongue and palate (roof of your mouth) morning and night with a soft toothbrush before you insert your dentures. This stimulates circulation in your tissues and helps remove plaque.

If you find that your denture has a build up (tartar or calculus), soak it in white vinegar (1 part) and water (4 parts). If you still can’t remove the build up, call your dental clinic and make an appointment to have your denture repolished.

If your denture breaks or is damaged, stop wearing it straight away. Do not try to repair it, bend it or modify it. Call your dental clinic for an appointment to fix it.

Mouth soreness

Your mouth may become a little sore under your new denture. If this happens, contact the clinic to arrange to have your denture adjusted.

If the soreness is severe it may help to remove the denture for at least part of the day. However, please wear the denture for a few hours before your appointment so we can work out where the adjustment is required.

Remember, do not adjust or try to repair your dentures.

Dentures should be well fitted and comfortable when you chew and your breath should be fresh. See your oral health professional if you have any pain or problems with your mouth or dentures or if you need further information on denture cleaning and care.

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6 Steps to Clean Dentures

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Whether you wear full dentures or partials, proper care will help keep them clean, stain-free and long-lasting. Here are some tips to help you keep your dentures looking their best.

1. Protect.

Since dentures can break easily, it’s a good idea to put down a towel or fill the bathroom sink with water before cleaning your dentures. Handle them gently so you don’t bend or damage the plastic or attachments.

2. Remove and rinse.

Rinse your dentures under warm (not hot) water to remove food particles.

3. Brush.

Plaque and bacteria can form on dentures. It’s important to clean your dentures daily by brushing and soaking them. Daily brushing removes food particles, bacteria and plaque, and helps keep your dentures stain-free. What should you use to clean your dentures?

  • Use a moist, soft-bristled toothbrush or denture brush and denture cleanser. A denture brush is designed to clean all areas of the denture. If you use denture adhesive, clean the grooves that fit against your gums to remove any remaining adhesive.

  • Use a denture cleaner or gel. Regular toothpaste, especially whitening toothpaste, is too harsh for cleaning dentures. Some denture wearers use a mild hand or dishwashing soap. But avoid harsh products like vinegar, bleach, or baking soda that can damage or scratch dentures. Scratches can harbor bacteria growth. Ask your dentist to suggest a good denture cleanser.

4. Soak.

Dentures need to remain moist to keep their shape and prevent them from drying out. Soak them overnight in warm water or a denture-soaking solution. Denture soaking cleaners are tablets that you drop into warm water creating an effervescent (fizzy) solution. You can soak your dentures in the solution for a few minutes or overnight, depending on the product instructions.

Don’t soak dentures with metal attachments in solutions containing bleach or chlorine. Bleach or chlorine can damage dentures and tarnish and corrode the metal.

Ask your dentist to recommend a good denture care solution. Look for products with the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance. Here’s a complete List of ADA Accepted Denture Cleansers.

5. Rinse again.

Be sure to rinse your dentures before putting them back in your mouth, especially if using a denture-soaking solution. And never chew, swallow or gargle with denture cleansers, which can contain harmful chemicals.

6. Maintain.

It’s important to see your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and to have your dentures examined for proper fit. Your dentist can also check the inside of your mouth to make sure there are no concerns.

See your dentist right away if your dentures become loose. Poor fitting denture can cause irritation and lead to sores and infections.

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