Oral Health Articles

5 things your care and nursing staff should know about dentures

There are some common misconceptions about how dentures should be cared for. If not handled correctly this can lead to damaged and scratched dentures… becoming the source of irritation and increasing the risk of oral infections.

Some things that should not occur include:

Don’t clean dentures with toothpastes used for natural teeth (they can be abrasive and scratch the dentures)

Don’t leave dentures in overnight

Don’t disinfect partial dentures with Milton’s Solution (or other Sodium Hypochlorite solution) which causes the metal components to corrode

Don’t use denture tablets for partials unless the product specifically states that it is suitable for dentures with metal parts

Use chlorhexidine at the same time as fluoride (especially toothpastes containing sodium laurel sulphate)

In addition to good brushing technique and correct handling of dentures, to minimise damage to dentures and gum health:

 A denture assessment should be conducted regularly to ensure that they still fit correctly (gum shape changes over time)

 Ensure dentures are permanently labelled with the resident’s name

 Take dentures out overnight to rest the gums

 Clean by brushing with mild soap and water (or specific denture toothpaste)

Store cleaned dentures overnight in a sealed container of clean water

Disinfect weekly (more frequently if being treated for an oral-fungal infection)

Use chlorhexidine that is alcohol-free and has a non-teeth staining formula

One of the “Common Myths about the Oral Health of Older People” is that denture wearers do not need routine oral health examinations by a dentist. As “the mouth may slowly alter shape and dentures wear, dentures need to be adjusted and corrected. Dentures may require replacement after two to five years depending on the individual’s mouth

Click here for more information about W&L’s fully mobile dentistry service that can provide oral health examinations and care plans, x-rays, scale-and-clean, fillings, extractions, etc for your residents all in the comfort of your facility