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What’s the best denture cleaner for your dentures or partial dentures? Even though they’re removable, you still need to clean your dentures just as well as you would your natural teeth. Good oral hygiene will help prevent issues like sore spots under your denture, loose appliances, or even oral infections like thrush. But the best denture cleaner might not be the DIY concoction you see on social media. In fact, using the wrong solution to clean your dentures could cause irreversible damage to your prosthesis. Here’s what you need to know about cleaning your denture and the best (dental hygienist-approved) way to do it.
Plaque sticks to your dentures just as much as it does to teeth. So, if you think you can toss your toothbrush altogether, you can’t. Well, unless you’re trading it out for a denture brush, that is.
If it’s your first time wearing dentures or partial dentures, here are my top 7 recommendations for denture cleaners and how to clean your prosthesis at home every day:
OAP cleaner is my pick for the best denture cleaner overall. It’s safe for every type of dental appliance, and you can even use it on things like mouthguards, tongue scrapers, or baby pacifiers. A lot of people use it for their orthodontic retainers and clear aligners, too.
OAP comes in different forms. You can get a spray foam, deep clean gel, or even little on-the-go travel packs. The foam is FDA approved and kills 99.9% of bacteria, viruses, and fungus in less than 60 seconds. The fact that it works well on fungus can help if you’ve struggled with things like thrush, denture stomatitis, or angular cheilitis.
With the OAP foam cleaner, just apply it to your denture, brush the entire appliance, then rinse it clean in the sink and you’re good to go. Since it’s pH neutral, you won’t have to worry about any of the metal or acrylic getting warped or corroded.
Bonus: OAP has a fresh mint scent, so your mouth will feel extra fresh after using it!
If you really want to take your denture cleaning to a whole new level, the cariPRO ultrasonic cleaner is a must-have. Ultrasonic machines are the same thing your dentist’s office uses whenever they clean your dentures during your checkup. It basically sends thousands of tiny waves through the water or cleaning solution to shake off any bacteria, stain, or buildup from your denture.
The cariPRO ultrasonic cleaner also has a built-in UV light sterilizer. You don’t have to use any special cleaners, tablets, or denture formulas. All you need is water. If you’re cautious about certain ingredients or chemicals, using an ultrasonic cleaner is a great way to go. And the fact that it has a UV light sterilizer gives you a leg up on killing 99.9% of bacteria while also eliminating smelly odors.
You can also use your ultrasonic denture cleaner on other dental appliances, such as nightguards, whitening trays, retainers, and clear orthodontic aligners.
Looking for the cheapest option to clean your dentures safely and effectively? Target’s up & up antibacterial denture cleanser tablets are a great choice. They help remove stains, control odors, and remove 99.9% of odor-causing bacteria from your prosthesis and leave a fresh minty flavor.
All you have to do is add water and soak your denture for at least five minutes. For best results, use the green solution to brush your denture with afterward to remove any additional residue. Then rinse it clean under the faucet and it’s ready to go.
The up & up tablets are basically the same thing you get from Polident denture cleaning tabs, only cheaper. A box of 120 only costs about $3 (I did the math for you; it’s less than $0.02 per use.) If you want a super cheap option for the kid in your family who wears retainers or you need to clean your clear aligners every day, this is a great pick.
Efferdent has been around for years. Decades even (sheesh, it’s almost been a full century since Efferdent was created.) This original product works on everything from dentures and partial dentures to other removable appliances, like orthodontic retainers. Some Efferdent products even whiten dentures with tough stains.
Most notably, Efferdent is the very first denture cleaner tablet to be accepted by the American Dental Association (ADA).
People who use efferdent overnight denture cleanser know they are getting a great product that works well. It produces a powerful oxi-action reaction when it’s placed into water, which helps lift away stains and kills 99.9% of odor-causing bacteria.
Some Efferdent denture cleaning tablets works in as little as five minutes; just soak your denture, then brush it clean and rinse dentures off.
The downside to Efferdent? It’s more expensive than store brands (about $8 for a box of 44 tablets.) But honestly, you get what you pay for: a reputable brand that’s ADA-accepted and proven to work for what you need. It takes the guesswork out of choosing the best denture cleanser.
cariPRO denture cleansing tablets are diluted with water so that you can soak your denture and then rinse it clean. The cariPRO denture cleansing tablets work in as little as five minutes but are safe enough to soak your denture in it overnight. You can get a 270-day supply for under 30 bucks (about 11 cents a day to use.)
Like the cariPRO foam and gel, their cleaning tablets remove stains and 99.9% of bacteria. They also help with odor and stains. Even though they’re called “retainer cleaner” tablets, you can use them on dentures and other appliances too.
cariPRO cleaning tablets work best when used with warm water. Just make sure the water isn’t hot. Think more along the lines of bottle temperature when you feed a baby.
You can also use these denture cleaner tablets with the cariPRO ultrasonic cleaner. But they work just fine on their own, too.
Surprise, it’s another OAP product! But this time, instead of foam, it’s a gel. The “deep clean” gel is formulated to help clean off the most tenacious stains, no matter how old or heavy they are.
OAP gel penetrates into the acrylic of your denture to safely remove and clean buildup. No heavy scrubbing is necessary. Just apply the foam, clean your denture with a toothbrush for up to 60 seconds, then rinse it off. Yes, that’s it.
The deep clean OAP gel is gentle on your dentures, so you don’t have to worry about abrasives like you would in toothpaste or baking soda.
The iSonic is another ultrasonic denture cleansing machine that you can use on a wide range of appliances, from sleep apnea devices and retainers to removable dentures in all shapes and sizes. It uses over 20W power, which is a first of its kind when it comes to ultrasonic cleaners for home use.
iSonic has an optional rechargeable battery which is ideal if you travel a lot or don’t have an extra outlet on your bathroom counter. You can also use the iSonic cleaning powder inside of the machine (diluted with water) to help remove old, dark, deep-set stains from your dental appliance. Even tobacco stains can be removed effectively.
iSonic denture cleaner ultrasonics come in a few different designs. Most people only need the individually sized machine for at-home use. And it costs just under $50!
There are several different ways you can clean a denture, so choosing the right one will come down to your personal preferences and experience. Do you prefer one that’s not as messy? Something stronger on stains? It might take a trial-and-error process. Here are some things you’ll want to consider when choosing the best denture cleanser:
Do you want a solution that you soak your denture in overnight or a machine to physically help shake off the buildup you can’t see? Are you going for a budget-savvy or one that is decent across the board? Consider trying tablets and gels before investing in something expensive like a sonic cleaner, just to see which one you like first. Ask your dentist or hygienist about free samples from their office or check manufacturer websites to see if you can get some shipped to you. That way, you can sample a little bit of everything before you pick one.
Not all dentures should be cleaned the same way. For example, if you have a flexible acrylic denture instead of one with a metal base, you’ll probably need to be a lot more careful about abrasives or scratches on the acrylic surface. In comparison, a metal base can handle a little more elbow grease whenever you’re cleaning it.
Partial dentures with a metal clasp need to be cleaned with a separate brush than what you’re brushing any existing teeth with. Since the metal can roughen up the bristles, you don’t want to irritate your gums or abrade your tooth enamel with it. Instead, keep two different brushes, one for your teeth and the other for your partial denture. Denture brushes also tend to be a lot larger than traditional toothbrushes.
Denture stain from coffee or red wine needs to be removed carefully, as harsh chemicals or abrasives can scratch the denture teeth and make them more likely to collect new stains. Read the labels to see which cleaner is best for denture stains, and consider upgrading to an ultrasonic machine. Keep in mind that you may want to clean your denture more frequently, too.
You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to keep your dentures clean. Affordable tablets or antimicrobial hand soap work just fine when you’re on a fixed income. Sure, a sonic cleaner might be nice, but it’s not a must-have to keep your dentures clean or mouth healthy.
Always check what ingredients are being used in your denture cleaner. But please, do not make up your own DIY denture cleaner with household ingredients like baking soda or bleach unless directed by your dentist; if you do, it could totally ruin your denture.
Cleaning dentures requires two things: routine maintenance and staying moist.
Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule. Your dentist may suggest briefly soaking removable dentures in non-alcoholic mouthwash if you’ve been sick or are getting over being sick. Or even adding a small amount of bleach to disinfect your appliance every now and then.
Just like you wouldn’t rinse your mouth with denture cleaner solution, you don’t want to soak your denture with mouthwash. Most mouth rinse is also meant to help promote healthy gums; it doesn’t work on a denture the same as it does in your mouth. Stick to cleaning dentures daily with proper denture cleaners instead.
Keep in mind that dentures should always be soaking if they aren’t in your mouth. Don’t leave them on a bedside table overnight, or they could dry out!
Your dentures and mouth guards need special cleaners to keep them bright, bacteria-free, and your mouth healthy. The best denture cleaners are usually some type of tablet, gel, sonic cleaner, or denture powder that you dilute. Don’t ever mix up a concoction with abrasives or chemicals that you’d clean your bathroom tile with; if you do, it could permanently damage your denture or partial. When in doubt, check product labels for an ADA approval or as recommended by your dental team. And always be sure to soak your denture overnight in addition to rinsing it off after meals. If you’re able to, brush it clean with a soft toothbrush and antimicrobial hand soap after you eat.