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How to Choose a Denture Brush

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Whether you have complete dentures or partial dentures, keeping them clean is paramount to maintaining their longevity and keeping your oral hygiene at its best.

What Is a Denture Brush?

A denture brush is used for cleaning and polishing teeth replacements. It’s specially designed to reach the nooks and crannies of your teeth replacements—you know, those tough-to-reach spots that are prone to food particle build-up and bacteria. 

Your denture brush is your key to optimal oral health. This article will provide all the details on the benefits of using a denture brush, what happens if you neglect to clean your dentures and the dos and don’ts of denture cleaning. 

Benefits of Using a Denture Brush

You’re doing yourself a favour when you clean your dentures—benefits abound! The list of advantages to using a denture brush includes:

  • Enhance your oral care
  • Remove food particles
  • Prevent dental plaque 
  • Promote longevity of your dentures
  • Protect your gum health and remaining teeth
  • Revitalize your smile

Illustration of how to choose a denture brush looking at double brush heads, soft bristles, and a comfortable handle.

What Should I Look for When Choosing a Denture Brush?

When seeking a denture brush, first, you should look for the tell-tale double brush heads. Unlike a regular toothbrush (which you should not use to clean your dentures), a denture brush has one head for surface cleaning and a smaller, tapered head for the pesky hard-to-reach areas.

Now, let’s talk about bristles. You want to find a denture brush that has soft bristles, as they’re specially designed to find those nooks in your dentures that rougher bristles can’t access. Furthermore, a hard-bristled brush could scratch your dentures and leave cracks that invite food and bacteria to live. 

And the million-dollar question: should you get an electric denture brush? Well, you’ll get the same cleanliness as a regular denture brush, but electric brushes have the upper hand for those with limited dexterity. The brushing motion is done for you. One thing to keep in mind is brush head replacements, which could get costly over time.

Great news to finish off: all denture brushes are generally easier to grip than regular toothbrushes. The handles are comfortable ergonomically and allow for easier denture cleaning without aches in your hands and wrists.

The Risks of Not Properly Cleaning Dentures

Like almost anything in this material world, when something is not properly cleaned, it’s subject to deterioration, decay, and, well, dirt. Also, not cleaning your dentures properly could leave them smelling unpleasant, and that foul odour will be difficult to remove.

These are a couple of common issues that could occur if you don’t keep up with your denture cleaning routine:

Fungal Infection

Denture wearers are prone to a condition called denture stomatitis, a yeast infection in the mouth that can cause redness, mouth soreness, and poorly fitting dentures.

Good oral hygiene prevents fungal infection whether you have natural teeth, full dentures, or partial dentures. When you don’t properly clean your dentures, you risk leaving bacteria on the appliance that could damage your oral health when you reinsert them.  

Cosmetic Changes

If you use hot water on your dentures, the temperature could affect the integrity of the appliance by warping or otherwise altering the shape. If that happens, they likely won’t fit as comfortably and could cause sore spots due to rubbing.

Letting your dentures dry out completely is also a no-no. Moisture keeps the dentures flexible, and allowing them to dry out results in rigidity and brittleness. This means they’ll fit tighter in your mouth and if you accidentally drop them, they could break or shatter.

Close up of cleaning of denture using toothbrush

How to Properly Clean Dentures

First off, prepare your materials and ensure you have an appropriate cleaning solution that won’t cause scratches and abrasions. Much to everyone’s surprise, you should not use toothpaste to clean your dentures. Instead, choose a less abrasive solution like store-bought denture cleaning pastes or dish detergent.

Your daily care routine for cleaning your dentures could look like this:

  • Remove your dentures and rinse them thoroughly with tepid water to wash away any loose debris. 
  • Moisten your denture brush and apply your cleanser (not toothpaste).
  • Hold your dentures above a sink or a plastic dishpan filled with a few inches of water. 
  • Gently scrub every surface of your dentures, both inside and out. Don’t neglect those hard-to-clean areas that are breeding grounds for food particles. 
    • Note: if you use denture glue, make sure you brush away all glue remnants to provide a clean slate for a new layer.
  • When you’re done brushing, thoroughly rinse your dentures with cool water.
  • Don’t let your dentures air dry. Either put them back in your mouth or immerse them in water until you’re ready to put them in. 

When you’re finished with your brushing routine, don’t forget to clean your denture brush properly too! You wouldn’t want a dirty cloth to clean the table, right?

What Not to Do When Cleaning Dentures

Your health—oral and otherwise—is a top priority. Make a note of the following to ensure you keep your health in check.

  • Avoid getting denture cleanser in your mouth.
  • Don’t miss your regular dental checkups
  • Don’t use sharp or abrasive objects like toothpicks or hard-bristled brushes.
  • Don’t use toothpaste, abrasive cleaning solutions, or products containing bleach.
  • Avoid using hot water on your dentures as this could warp their shape.
  • Don’t neglect the rest of your mouth, including your gums, remaining teeth, tongue, and roof of your mouth.

Let’s See That Beautiful Smile

Choosing the right denture brush, following proper denture cleaning practices, and avoiding common mistakes in denture cleaning will lead you to improved oral hygiene and long-lasting dentures.

And, your smile will be brighter than ever.

Written by Wade Klimpke

Wade Klimpke is a past President and long-standing member of the College of Alberta Denturists. Wade leads a number of industry working groups which help advance and monitor old, current, and new industry developments. This has allowed him to gain a number of industry relationships with implant dentistry suppliers in Canada and the United States.
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