One of the leading causes of gum disease is the buildup of plaque around the gumline. If unchecked, plaque accumulates and invites bacteria into gaps between the teeth and gums. This leads to inflammation, irritation, and infection in the gums, which can cause many health problems throughout the body.
If you wear dentures, plaque buildup can negatively affect your health as well. Plaque on dentures causes gum irritation and discomfort and increases the likelihood of a fungal infection in your mouth. It is essential to know how to remove plaque from dentures effectively to keep your mouth and dentures in good shape.
What is Plaque?
Plaque is a slimy, sticky layer of bacteria that forms on the surfaces in your mouth every day. This layer is called a biofilm and contains tiny microbes and their waste products, which group in microcolonies and multiply.
Plaque is a natural reaction between bacteria in your mouth and bacteria in the food and drinks you consume during the day. When plaque is regularly removed, it keeps your mouth’s ecosystem in balance; however, when plaque builds up, the bacteria causes problems. This is why ensuring you have clean dentures free from plaque buildup is important.
How Does Plaque Affect Dentures?
Those who do not have an effective denture cleaning routine run the risk of allowing plaque to accumulate. Plaque can cause the following problems in denture wearers:
- Gum irritation due to food particles and bacteria
- Infections on your gums, tongue, or other mouth surfaces
- Fungal infections like thrush
- Tooth decay in those who wear partial dentures
- Gum inflammation caused by infection or mouth sores
- Discolouration or staining of your dentures
- Damaged, warped, or brittle dentures due to bacteria and bacterial buildup in the mouth
The plaque itself can cause infections because it is made of bacteria; however, the conditions in your mouth get worse when plaque becomes tartar. Tartar is a light yellow or off-white substance formed when plaque interacts with minerals in your saliva and hardens. Tartar is difficult to address at home and must be removed by a dentist. Ensure clean dentures by preventing tartar buildup before it starts.
How To Remove Plaque from Dentures?
Before you think about how to remove plaque from dentures, remove the denture from your mouth and start by cleaning any remaining natural teeth thoroughly. Even if you don’t have any remaining teeth, brush the roof of your mouth, your gums, and your tongue to remove any bacteria and leave your mouth feeling fresh.
With the dentures out of your mouth, start by rinsing them in mild water that is neither extremely hot or cold to avoid warping the plastic or acrylic material. Then you’ll want to gently brush the dentures as you would natural teeth, using a soft toothbrush and a mild soap. Avoid using anything harsh or abrasive to clean dentures that could scratch them, impacting their appearance and reducing their lifespan.
Avoid dropping the dentures during the cleaning process; fill your sink partially with water and clean them over the sink to absorb the impact if you lose your grip.
When brushing, ensure you’re reaching all surfaces and crevices of the denture, including the fitting surface and clasps. To prevent plaque buildup, you need to be thorough and cover every area during denture cleaning, including where natural teeth meet the denture.
In some cases, a child’s toothbrush might be handy for navigating some of the tighter spaces between the teeth. Be cautious with the force you apply when brushing; move in slow, gentle circles with your soft brush to avoid wearing down the denture.
You should brush your dentures every day in the evening before you go to bed. In between meals, it’s a good idea to remove your dentures and simply rinse them with lukewarm water to wash away any food debris. In addition to daily brushing, you must invest in specific tablets for denture cleaning. Use these tables to clean dentures twice per week.
These dissolvable tablets are added to a glass of water with your dentures, where they coat them in a solution to eliminate stains and bacteria. After 5-7 minutes, you’ll remove the clean dentures and rinse them to get rid of the solution before putting them back in your mouth. If you do this in the evenings, you can place your clean dentures in a glass of water overnight following the soak in the cleaning solution.
Besides your diligent care rituals, take your dentures to your dentist for a deep denture cleaning during your regularly scheduled appointments.
When to Visit the Dentist?
When you have dentures, whether they’re full or partial, it’s a good idea to visit your dentist at least twice a year for regular cleaning. If you have remaining natural teeth, your dentist will perform routine cleaning and scaling at this time to keep your teeth free from plaque and tartar, but they can also care for your dentures.
Just as with your natural teeth, tartar can buildup on dentures over time. This occurs when plaque on the teeth is not adequately removed, and it reacts with your saliva, hardening into tartar that you cannot remove by yourself. To eliminate the discolouration this causes on your dentures, ask your dentist to remove tartar using a professional denture cleaning machine at your regular appointments.
Get Your Dentures Checked Out
Schedule a visit with us today to have your dentures looked over. We can address any issues you may be having with your artificial teeth and do a thorough denture cleaning to remove troublesome plaque or tartar buildup.
The team at Dentistry on Solent is happy to help you with all of your dental needs and help you develop a routine to maintain clean dentures. Book your appointment by calling us on (02) 9158 6137.