False Teeth Still Need to Be Cleaned – Here’s How

Dentures (“false teeth”) need to be cleaned. They won’t decay, but they will acquire an unpleasant odour. An unpleasant odour is a good clue that there are unhealthy micro-organisms predominating.

 In the Office

Using an ultrasonic stain/debris removal solution to remove debris from full and partial dentures, gives us a way to “scrub” their surface at a microscopic level. That’s because the porous, often scratched and marred, surfaces of false teeth harbor innumerable nooks and crannies. And most of these are smaller than the width of a single brush bristle but more than large enough for microorganisms to inhabit.

Ultrasonic cleaners are basically vibrating water baths. The motion of the liquid in its tank is created by a high-frequency transducer.

The actual cleansing action created by these units is due to the following phenomena.

  • The action of the bath’s solution as it is propelled against the surface of the denture.
  • A “scrubbing” action created by the collapse of tiny bubbles formed by the intense (ultrasonic) agitation of the solution. As the bubbles rupture (a process termed “cavitation,”) they create minute but powerful shockwaves that are able to loosen and remove debris from denture surfaces.


This technique doesn’t replace denture brushing  – it supplements it.

At Home

Dentures may break if you drop them.  They get very slippery so assume they will fall! Therefor always clean your dentures over a bowl of water or a folded towel to cushion the the fall.  If they hit a hard surface they may break.  Metal parts will bend.

To clean your denture, the general rule is: brush, soak and brush again. Brush your dentures before soaking them, to help remove any bits of food.

Most dentists advise using toothpaste and toothbrush. Make sure you clean all the surfaces of the dentures, including the surface which fits against your gums. This is especially important if you use any kind of denture fixative.

What Kind of Toothbrush?

If the denture has any soft, elastic, resilient, flexible parts then use a soft brush! Otherwise a stiff brush serves well.

Commercial Denture Cleaners

Please read the labels! If you don’t like the ingredients, don’t use them.

“Home Made” Denture Cleaners

Beyond a non-toxic toothpaste whose ingredients you approve of a non-toxic soap (be careful – slippery!) works well. Soaking in white vinegar for an hour or so and then scrubbing will remove accumulated tartar (“calculus”)  Vinegar and soap taste awful so be kind to yourself and rinse the dentures very well, and perhaps finish with some toothpaste.

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