Dentures are just as prone to staining as your natural teeth. However, common dental whitening products and treatments can’t be used on dentures. There are a few tricks you can try to help first reduce the risk of developing stains, and then remove discolouration before it becomes too deep. Here’s how to remove denture stains, with helpful preventative tips to keep your dentures white and bright.
Brush Your Dentures Daily
Dentures are just like teeth in that they need care every day. Although they are made of a very different material than your natural teeth, they live in the same place where plaque and bacteria are lurking. While you can’t get cavities, your dentures can become discoloured over time due to plaque buildup. Follow these steps to brush your dentures every night:
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush
- Do not use toothpaste as this can damage and scratch your dentures
- Use a nonabrasive denture cleaner recommended by your dentist
- Place a thick towel in the sink when you brush your dentures, so they won’t break if you accidentally drop them
- Apply the nonabrasive denture cleaner and then gently brush the dentures
- Be sure to remove all the debris you can spot and do not apply too much pressure as this can damage or warp them
Doing this before bed removes debris, bacteria and plaque that can lead to staining.
Soak Your Dentures At Night
When you finish brushing, place your dentures in a glass of cool, clean water. Soaking them overnight helps keep them from drying out. However, it is not just about soaking the dentures, but also keeping them out of your mouth while you sleep. Throughout the night your mouth produces saliva, which can get worse when you wear dentures. As a result, you actually create more bacteria. Other issues include:
- Increased gum irritation
- Sores and chafing of the gums and cheeks or tongue
- Infections caused by the excess saliva and bacteria
- Gum disease
- Jawbone loss
- Denture wear and tear
- Changes to the appearance of your face due to jawbone loss
Wearing dentures while sleeping can create a vicious circle of sores, infections, bone loss and denture damage.
Rinse Your Dentures And Your Mouth After You Eat
Rinsing your dentures after every meal and snack removes debris and reduces bacteria. You can also rinse your mouth to ensure debris doesn’t get caught between your gums and dentures. Debris leads to irritation and increases the risk for gum disease. Just be sure you always use cold water on your dentures to avoid warping.
Take Care Of Your Remaining Natural Teeth
Partial denture wearers have to take extra care to remove plaque and reduce bacteria from their remaining natural teeth. The last thing you want is to lose a few more. Be sure you continue to brush and floss twice daily, paying special attention to the area between your partial and natural teeth. These areas are notorious for trapping food. Flossing also helps promote healthier gums and prevents bone loss by stimulating blood flow.
Continue To Book Regular Dental Check-Ups:
Despite wearing full dentures you still need to see your dentist for your regular checkups. They ensure your dentures fit properly, and look for signs of bone loss and gum disease. Your dentist also performs an oral cancer screening. Early detection is key to successful treatment. Your dental checkups ensure your dentures are comfortable, to avoid issues eating and speaking.
Removing Coffee Stains
If you are a coffee addict, your dentures will develop noticeable stains. The best way to reduce stains is to rinse your dentures after a cup of coffee to remove the deep pigments so they can’t set in. A good run under cold water should do the trick. Coffee film still contains the pigments that cause discolouration, so be sure to rinse thoroughly.
You can also soak your dentures in a stain remover to remove coffee stains. Never soak them overnight even if the product says you can, as the harsh cleaner can damage your dentures. If you aren’t sure about stain removers ask your dentist what product they recommend.
Removing Tobacco Stains
You already know you should quit smoking. Smoking is bad for your health but also causes deep unsightly denture stains. If you can’t quit smoking, try to cut down to reduce stains. The stains caused by cigarettes require a bit more attention. There are denture bleaches available that are safe for use. But remember you can’t use household bleach. You can also try a natural stain remover such as vinegar and baking soda. The combo creates a bubbling action that can help scrub away denture stains.
Denture Cleaning No-Nos
Although you might be intent on getting those denture stains removed, be careful what technique you use. We’ve already pointed out that regular toothpaste can’t be used on dentures. This is because it is too abrasive. We’ve also mentioned that teeth whitening products don’t work on dentures. The chemicals are not effective on denture materials, and can also do more harm than good.
Always brush your dentures with a soft toothbrush as medium- and hard-bristled brushes will cause serious damage. You’ll end up dulling the surface which leaves the dentures more vulnerable to stains. Last but not least, hot and boiling water will damage your dentures, causing warping or possible cracking.
Reduce Risk For Denture Stains
Nothing helps reduce denture stains better than preventing them in the first place. We always list quitting smoking at the top of the list because denture stains are the least of your worries. Smoking increases the risk of several types of cancer, including oral cancers.
You should also avoid drinking dark beverages like cola, red wine, tea, and coffee. In the case of tea and coffee, you can dilute the pigments by adding milk or cream. If you must enjoy your cola, use a straw, and avoid letting red wine linger on your palette to reduce exposure to your dentures.
If your denture stains are stubborn ask your dentist for advice. They know the best products to help keep your dentures white.