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Learn More About Denture Cleansers

Look for the ADA Seal—your assurance that the product has been objectively evaluated for safety and efficacy by an independent body of scientific experts, the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs.

What are denture cleansers?

Denture cleansers are creams, pastes, gels and solutions that are made to clean both full dentures and removable partial dentures (often called “partials”). Some denture cleansers are tablets that are dropped into warm water to create an effervescent (fizzy) solution. Dentures are removed from the mouth and placed in the solution.

Soaking dentures in the cleaning solution helps kill germs that can cause odor. How long the dentures should be soaked—from a few minutes to overnight—depends on the manufacturer’s instructions. Placing a denture in water or a denture cleanser solution helps the denture retain its shape, remain pliable and keeps it from drying out. Never place dentures in hot water, which could cause them to warp.

Denture-cleansing creams, pastes or gels are brushed on the denture after it is removed from the mouth and then rinsed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Denture cleansers should not be applied to dentures while they are still in the mouth.

Do I need a denture cleanser?

Using a denture cleanser helps remove stains and odor-causing particles that toothbrush bristles may not reach. Like natural teeth, dentures must be brushed daily to remove food particles and bacteria. Brushing helps prevent dentures from becoming permanently stained. You can clean a denture with toothpaste, or with soap—mild hand soap or dishwashing liquid, warm water and a soft toothbrush—and with a commercial denture cleanser. Some denture wearers use both methods. The first step in cleaning dentures is to rinse away loose food particles. Moisten the brush (you may wish to look for brushes designed specifically for dentures) and apply the denture cleanser. Brush every surface, scrubbing gently to avoid damage.

Never use powdered household cleansers, which can be abrasive and might damage a denture. Also, avoid using bleach, as this may whiten the pink portion of the denture. Your dentist, too, can recommend a cleaning method and suggest denture care products.

How does a denture cleanser get the ADA Seal?

A company earns the ADA Seal by producing scientific evidence that demonstrates the safety and efficacy of its product. The ADA Council on Scientific Affairs carefully evaluates the evidence according to Cleansers for Removable Prostheses (PDF).

To earn the ADA Seal, the company must:

  • Disclose what is in the product and the purpose of those ingredients.
  • List the efficacy (effectiveness) claims made for the product and produce adequate documentation from studies to substantiate them.
  • Provide evidence from at least one clinical study to show that study subjects achieved a high degree of denture cleanliness (lack of visible stains, deposits or objectionable odor) using the product without any supervision.
  • Provide evidence from studies to confirm that no hazards are expected when the product is used according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Demonstrate that the cleanser will not adversely affect the denture material nor harm the oral tissues.

Why look for denture cleaners brands that display the ADA Seal?

The ADA Seal is your assurance that the denture cleanser has been evaluated by an independent body of scientific experts, the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs, for safety and efficacy according to objective requirements. Look for the ADA Seal statement in a box on the product label. It tells you why the ADA has given the Seal to this product. You can also be assured that all claims on packaging and container labeling have been reviewed and approved by the ADA. Products with the prestigious ADA Seal must say what they do and do what they say.

What products have earned the ADA Seal of Acceptance?

Get a Complete List of ADA Accepted Denture Cleansers

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