The staining of dentures is most frequently associated with an accumulation of plaque on the surfaces of the teeth and of the denture base (both the metal and the pink artificial gum). This sticky and adherent plaque takes 24 hours to begin to accumulate. If it can be removed before 24 hours have elapsed, then there is a good chance that no stain or deposits will form on the denture. By removing the dentures from the mouth at least twice in a 24 hour period for cleaning, this objective can usually be achieved, and perhaps little if any stain or build-up will occur. However, missing even one 24 hour cleaning may allow the process of build-up to start, and once started, it is tough to remove the plaque without damaging the denture surface.
Some will try to use abrasive denture pastes that usually succeed in scoring the surface of the denture. If used with sufficient frequency, using a medium or hard brush, deep grooves may eventually be formed as a result of the scrubbing action. Some will try to use bleach, which can change the colour and mechanical properties of the denture base. Teeth may be whiter, but they also look more opaque.
There is nothing wrong with using a commercial denture cleanser, but do not rely upon any single product to do all of the work. Careful manual cleaning with a detergent and careful use of a brush, used with a stabbing action rather than a scrubbing action, may be effective in removing all of the loose deposits. Those who tend to develop a build-up of calcium on the denture surface (seen as a white film or layer on a dry denture base) will find it easier to remove if it is first softened by soaking in an acid, such as full strength white vinegar. This material can be kept in a small denture sized seal-able plastic container and used repetitively, replacing only when contaminated. Some denture cleansers are themselves acid in composition and have an oxidizing action (be careful not to spill these on a carpet) and are therefore effective in removing calcium deposits.
Once the denture has been cleaned, the surface should not be slippery but instead should feel “squeaky clean”. If it does feel slippery, take a paper tissue and wipe off the remaining deposits. Paper is remarkably abrasive and will cut through plaque quite effectively - one reason not to use it for cleaning glasses or camera lenses!
If the denture us still not clean, professional help may be needed. Dentists have special solutions, ultrasonic equipment, and polishing equipment, all of which are helpful in returning the denture to its former state.
If you would like more tips on cleaning your dentures at home, or if you would like us to help bring your older dentures back to a clean and positive look, then please contact us and we will be more then happy to provide additional support.