If your dentures have a bad odor, you've probably not been cleaning them correctly. Your dentures and mouth need to be cleaned daily, just like you would if you had natural teeth. If you don't, bacteria grow, odor develops, and before long you'll have the dreaded denture breath. Here's what you can do to keep your dentures clean and your breath fresh.
Scrubbing Is Required
Dentures are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria since they have so many microscopic nooks and crannies. The best way to get bacteria out of the tiny crevices is to scrub your dentures vigorously. Use a brush and cleaning paste made for dentures, because regular toothpaste is too abrasive. You can even use plain water, since scrubbing is the important part. Be sure to scrub inside and outside and along the teeth and gums.
Clean Your Mouth Too
Even if all your natural teeth are missing, you still need to brush your gums and tongue to get rid of bacteria that causes bad breath. You can use a toothbrush with soft bristles, a tongue cleaner, or even a washcloth to do the job. If you still have some natural teeth, brush and floss them at least daily, so you can ward off plaque and decay.
Soak Dentures Nightly
Taking your dentures out every night when you sleep serves two purposes. For one, it allows your gums time to rest and heal from irritation. It also gives you a chance to soak your dentures in a cleanser that kills bacteria, so you can start each day with clean dentures that smell fresh. You should always cover your dentures with water when you take them out or they may warp if they dry out. Water alone won't do anything to kill bacteria, so you should add a denture soaking product and use it according to directions on the package. These products usually have a fizzing action that scrubs your dentures, and they have ingredients that kill bacteria, remove plaque, and keep the teeth white.
Rinse After Eating
If you don't have the opportunity to brush your dentures after eating, you should at least take them out and rinse them thoroughly. Brushing while they're in your mouth is not as effective, because bits of food get between the plates and your gums. This allows bacteria to grow. It's also a good idea to rinse away the denture adhesive if you use it, and apply a new batch. Since adhesive is sticky, it will probably have food bits in it too.
Remember, it's possible you won't notice your own denture odor. If you have concerns about others smelling odors you don't notice, take your dentures out and seal them in a plastic bag for several minutes. Then open the bag and take a whiff. As long as you clean and sanitize your dentures daily, and brush your tongue and gums, you shouldn't have chronic problems with denture odor. If you do, see a dental office like Village Green Denturist, as it could indicate you have another problem, such as a fungal infection that needs treatment.