Oral Health Topics
- Placing a denture in water (or a denture cleanser solution), when they are not being worn, helps the denture retain its shape, remain pliable and keeps it from drying out.
- Dentures should never be placed in hot water, which could cause them to warp.
- Neither bleach nor powdered household cleansers, which can be abrasive, should be used to clean dentures as they might damage the denture.
- Denture adhesives are not a remedy for ill-fitting dentures, which may need to be relined or replaced to prevent oral sores from developing.
- A company earns the ADA Seal of Acceptance by producing scientific evidence that demonstrates the safety and efficacy of its product, which the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs carefully evaluates according to objective requirements.
Prepared by: Center for Scientific Information, ADA Science Institute
Available options for using dentures to restore a person’s smile include removable dentures (either complete or partial, depending on the number of missing teeth) or implant-retained dentures. Examples of factors that may be considered when making this decision include bone loss and patient needs and preferences.
In addition to directing the fabrication of the denture, dentists provide information to patients on the proper care and use of the appliance. Dentures must be cared for properly. For example, placing removable dentures in water or a denture cleanser solution, when they are not being worn, helps the denture retain its shape, remain pliable and keeps it from drying out. Dentures should never be placed in hot water as it could cause them to warp.
Use of denture cleansers and denture adhesives are two other considerations for patients or caregivers.
Like natural teeth, dentures must be cleaned daily to remove food particles and bacteria, and to help prevent dentures from becoming permanently stained.
Commercial denture cleansers for removable dentures come as tablets, creams, pastes, gels and solutions. The first step in cleaning dentures is to rinse away loose food particles and remove any denture adhesive.
Denture cleanser tablets are dropped into warm water to create an effervescent 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. The amount of time dentures should be soaked—from a few minutes to overnight—depends on the manufacturer’s instructions.
Denture cleansing creams, pastes or gels are brushed on the denture after it is removed from the mouth and then rinsed off, according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Denture cleansers should not be used while dentures are still in the mouth.
Note: In addition or as an alternative to commercial cleansers, dentures can be cleaned with toothpaste or soap—mild hand soap or dishwashing liquid—warm water and a soft-bristle toothbrush. However, denture wearers should never use bleach or powdered household cleansers, which can be abrasive, for cleaning their appliance as this may damage the denture.
Denture adhesives, also called denture adherents, are creams, powders, wafers or strips that are used to hold dentures firmly in place. The adhesive also helps form a seal that keeps food particles from sticking between the dentures and gums. Adhesive is applied to clean dentures, which are then positioned in the mouth and held in place for a few seconds, according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
A film of saliva typically helps hold dentures in place. Denture adhesives may be used if the salivary glands do not produce a sufficient amount of saliva. Denture adhesives are not, however, a remedy for ill-fitting dentures. A denture that fits poorly (i.e., feels loose or causes discomfort) may need to be relined or replaced as it can contribute to the development of mouth sores.
During denture cleaning, adhesive should be removed with gentle scrubbing to prevent contamination.
ADA Seal of Acceptance
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.
A company earns the ADA Seal for denture cleansers by producing scientific evidence demonstrating the safety and efficacy of its product, which is evaluated according to objective requirements.
To qualify for the Seal, a company must disclose the ingredients in the product and purpose of those ingredients and provide evidence that:
Denture Adhesives (Denture Adherents)
- Substantiates the listed efficacy (effectiveness) claims.
- Study subjects in at least one clinical study achieved a high degree of denture cleanliness (lack of visible stains, deposits or objectionable odor) using the product without any supervision.
- Confirms that no hazards are expected when the product is used according to manufacturer’s instructions.
- Shows that the cleanser will not adversely affect the denture material nor harm the oral tissues.
A company earns the ADA Seal for denture adhesives, or adherents, by producing scientific evidence demonstrating the safety and efficacy of its product, which is evaluated according to objective requirements.
To earn the Seal, manufacturers of denture adhesives must provide evidence that:
- Use of the product increases biting force.
- Use of the product increases denture retention.
- The adherent does not damage the denture.
A list of ADA Seal of Acceptance products can be found here
Last Updated: August 30, 2016
Content on the Oral Health Topics section of ADA.org is for informational purposes only. Content is neither intended to nor does it establish a standard of care or the official policy or position of the ADA; and is not a substitute for professional judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. ADA is not responsible for information on external websites linked to this website.