Just because you are wearing dentures does not mean you should treat them any less than if they were your real teeth. Even false teeth will get dirty and develop stains over time. If you enjoy drinking tea, coffee or red wine and are a habitual smoker, then your dentures will stain very quickly.
Dentures are made from porous materials, and they can absorb the colors from these substances as well as the taste and smell. Once your dentures get stained, it is hard to remove the discoloration. Luckily, there are ways to remove tobacco stains from dentures, or any other kind of stains, and you may be able to restore them to their original color.
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How to Remove Tobacco Stains from Dentures
Before you start to clean your dentures, you must prepare your cleaning area. Compared to natural teeth, dentures are much more brittle and can break or chip if you drop them. Thus, you must take measures to protect it from accidents.
Take a folded towel and place it at the bottom of the sink. Fill the sink with a few inches of water. The water and towel should reduce the impact of the dentures and protect it from damage in the event that you accidentally drop them.
As soon as you take them out, rinse your dentures with water and scrub them with a toothbrush to remove loose plaque and food debris. You can even floss your dentures just like you would normal teeth. This can help clean the spaces between the fake teeth where plaque and tobacco stains may reside.
Next, prepare to soak them in an antibacterial solution for 10-15 minutes. There are many options here, and the most common is to use an effervescent tablet. Make sure you find a denture cleaner without persulfates or else your dentures will absorb chemicals that can be harmful to the “good” bacteria in your mouth.
Cleaning with Natural Products
Many people have found success by cleaning their dentures using natural products. We have written extensive guides on this topic, including using baking soda to clean your night guard. You can also use Castile soap or white vinegar to sterilize and clean your denture.
Vinegar is recommended because, just like bleach, it can disinfect dentures without potentially exposing it to harmful chemicals or damaging it. You can let your denture soak in a vinegar solution for as long as you need to, whereas chemical products have a time limit.
If your denture has hardened plaque (tartar or calculus) on them in addition to tobacco stains, you can soak it in lemon/lime juice to soften it and scrub off the gunk using a toothbrush.
After soaking, take them out and brush them again with a toothbrush to remove as much of the tobacco stain and softened tartar from your dentures. Make sure to dry your dentures using a towel or leaving them out to air dry.
Also clean and dry your denture case as well with the same methods. Bacteria thrive in damp environments, so it is important to keep both your dentures and storage case dry.
Cleaning with Bleach
There is a debate going on over the use of bleach in cleaning one’s dentures. The problem with bleach is that it is highly potent; it cleans as effectively as commercial effervescent tablets but it can also damage your dentures irreparably. Dental experts recommend diluting bleach with water at a 50:50 ratio, some even recommend diluting at a 1:10 ratio.
To stay on the safe side, try diluting bleach with water at a 1:10 ratio and adding one teaspoon of a calcium-chelating detergent, such as Calgon into this mixture. Put your dentures in this solution for 3 minutes, and no more than 10 minutes. Any longer and you may corrode the metal components or cause them to turn black.
Over time, all products will degrade or get damaged. However, if you follow the steps outlined above, you may be able to significantly prolong the life of your dentures and remove tobacco stains from them.
To re-cap, here is how to remove tobacco stains from dentures. You must first prepare your cleaning area to protect against accidents. Next, remove your dentures, rinse them with water and scrub them using a soft-bristle brush.
Next, soak it in your choice of antibacterial solution. We prefer natural products like Castile soap and white vinegar. Effervescent tablets contain harmful chemicals that can get soaked into dentures over time. Lastly, dry it and store it in a dry case in a dry environment.
There is a misconception that dentures should be submerged in water or otherwise kept moist if it’s not in your mouth. However, many people do not realize that oxygen can kill yeast as well as other bacteria. Therefore, letting your dentures air dry overnight can help to disinfect them.