Dental hygiene doesn’t get easier just because you have partial dentures. In fact, regular cleaning is vital for limiting build-up and extending the life of these dental upgrades.
1. Be careful about dropping them.
Daily cleaning gets to be routine, so it is important to take certain precautions on a daily basis. Partial dentures are built to last, but they are not built to withstand impacts. When dropped onto the floor or into a sink, partials can easily be chipped or otherwise damaged. Even the relatively short fall onto a countertop can cause damage that affects fit and comfort. Because fumbles tend to happen when least expected, it’s a good idea to lay down a towel on the countertop or fill the sink with water every day.
2. Use warm water and soft brushes.
It’s easy to go overboard when scrubbing and cleaning partial dentures, especially if the previous cleaning was inadequate. Still, overly hot water can cause warping that alters the shape and fit. Warm water is good for removing food after each meal. Daily brushing is also a good idea, but some new users get overly zealous. A toothbrush with soft bristles is great, and there are also soft brushes made specifically for denture care. As your dentist has probably told you over the years, hard brushes and excessive scrubbing can wear away enamel from your natural teeth. Similarly, hard bristles or aggressive scrubbing can gradually wear away the protective layers in your artificial replacements.
3. Avoid toothpaste.
When a beginner is first learning about daily cleaning and care, a common impulse is to reach for the toothpaste. After all, they look and work like teeth, right? Not exactly. Conventional toothpaste is too abrasive and can accelerate wear, not unlike aggressive brushing. Acrylic isn’t as resilient when exposed to the chemicals in normal toothpaste. On the other hand, specially formulated denture paste is available and more appropriate. For most people, warm water and soap are adequate for quick cleans during the day. Real build-up removal can wait until the nightly soak.
4. Follow recommendations for soaking.
All kinds of tablets and cleaners are available for the overnight soak. As with rinsing, be careful not to use water that is too hot or boiling. The choice of an appropriate tablet depends on the manufacturer. Some brands and types have completely different recommendations, and it’s not a one-size-fits-all question. Effervescent tablets can loosen plaque build-up and even remove light stains far more safely than scrubbing, but you don’t want to risk using something that might damage your partial dentures. After a soak, be sure to rinse with warm water to remove any of the chemicals and foul taste.
Be sure to ask questions about the right choices for soaking and inquire about any other manufacturer recommendations. After a number of years, it may still be necessary to get a new set, but daily care is essential for maximizing the life and maintaining the appearance of your partial dentures.