Denture Whitening

Tips on Denture Whitening

Just as natural teeth can discolor with use and age, so can artificial teeth; however, the methods used to brighten teeth are much different than methods for denture whitening.  It is important to use the proper procedure for brightening dentures to ensure they do not become damaged.

Facts about dentures

Dentures are removable devices for missing teeth.  They can be complete (replacing all natural teeth) or partial (replacing one or more natural teeth).  Some individuals have a full set of dentures, comprising both upper and lower plates, while others may have only one.  Using dentures is advantageous to people in several ways.  They assist in the chewing of foods, improve appearance and provide structure support to the face.  The teeth are manufactured using an acrylic resin, providing a strong bite that enables the wearer to continue eating most of the foods they had previously enjoyed with natural teeth.

In most cases, dentures can be replicated to bear the same appearance as the wearer’s original teeth.  Even the color of the teeth can be exactly duplicated so that most people do not even realize that an individual is wearing false teeth.  However, foods that we eat and beverages we drink can have a detrimental effect on dentures, just as they can on natural teeth over time.  If not properly cleaned and maintained, the dentures can become stained and discolored.

Cleaning dentures

It is recommended that dentures be rinsed under warm water after every meal to dislodge any food particles that may become stuck or adhere to the teeth.  In addition, they should be brushed at the very least once each day, preferably at night, to remove any plaque buildup and new stains.  The toothbrush must be soft, and the cleaner non-abrasive, to avoid scratching the dentures.  There are several commercial immersion products available, as well, that can be used to remove stains.

Denture whitening

When properly cleaned, most dentures will retain their original appearance.  Over time, however, even with regular cleanings some dentures may become discolored and need to be brightened to enhance their appearance.  People who drink large amounts of coffee and tea or who smoke cigarettes or cigars in particular will note yellowing of the teeth.  Commercial whitening products meant for natural teeth should never be used on dentures.  There are specific products available to perform this service for false teeth, including ultrasonic devices, UV light mobile spas and denture paste cleaners that can be used in conjunction with these devices.

Another alternative for brightening dentures is to visit your dentist.  Badly stained teeth that do not respond satisfactorily to brushing or soaking in prepared commercial solvents can be polished by the dentist to return them to their original state.  Keep in mind that this service will come at a price for both the dentist visit and the fee for the polishing.


Stain prevention

Of course, the easiest way to whiten dentures is to do it continually on a daily basis.  Avoiding certain food and drink can also help in this regard.  Blueberries, cranberries, grape juice, red wine, coffee, tea and tobacco products are the most common staining factors.  Being sure to rinse teeth after each meal, brushing the dentures with a soft brush and using a denture solvent like denture tablets every night will help to keep the teeth bright and fresh.

Although dentures provide the same functions as natural teeth, they do have different requirements for keeping them clean.  Denture whitening can be done on a daily basis with proper care; when stains do present a problem, it is possible to remove them so that your smile can remain pleasant and bright.