Even though dental implants and dentures do not suffer from decay like natural teeth, it is still important to clean and maintain them properly. Proper care of your dentures will prevent them from warping or cracking and becoming uncomfortable to wear and will also keep the rest of your mouth healthy. Here are four simple steps you can take to keep your dentures in the best possible condition.

Avoid Abrasive Cleaners

There are several types of toothbrushes and toothpastes that are good for your teeth that wouldn't be so good for your dentures. Because dentures are made from acrylic instead of enamel, they are much more susceptible to surface scratches from stiff toothbrushes. You should also avoid all whitening toothpastes, as these contain a higher amount of abrasives to scrub plaque off of natural teeth.

You may hear from some people there are a few "home remedies" that can be used to clean dentures. Vinegar and bleach are often claimed to be effective denture cleaners, but both can cause damage to dentures. Vinegar can darken the false teeth in your dentures, while bleach can whiten the pink part of the dentures that is meant to look like gums. Chlorine solutions should also be avoided, as they can tarnish the metal of your dentures.

Prevent Warping From Heat or Dryness

One of the biggest complaints from new denture wearers is they are uncomfortable. Dentists try to mold dentures as close as possible to the shape of your mouth when they are made to make them as comfortable as possible. Unfortunately, there are a few things that can happen to dentures to cause them to warp out of shape and become much less comfortable than they were before.

Dentures that dry out run the greatest risk of warping. As they dry, they will shrink, especially around the outer edges, causing uncomfortable pinching on the gums. You should always soak your dentures overnight to prevent this from happening. Additionally, you should only wash, rinse, and soak your dentures in cool or cold water. Hot water can cause dentures to warp after repeated exposure.

Handle Dentures With Care

Dentures are more fragile than regular teeth, so you must be extremely careful to avoid dropping them. A chipped tooth can be just as bad as a missing tooth, and at worst you'll be faced with replacing your dentures that have been cracked in half. When you are washing or rinsing your dentures in the sink, it's a good idea to put a towel on the sink under your hands to absorb the impact if you happen to drop them.

Certain foods also carry a risk of damaging your dentures. While you probably know hard seeds and nuts and corn on the cob aren't good for your dentures, there are some other foods that you may not think to avoid. It's easy for dentures to slide along the surface of unpeeled fruits instead of biting into them, putting extra pressure on the plastic and potentially causing a front tooth to break. You should also be cautious when eating popcorn, as it can be hard to find that single unpopped kernel you just ate without biting down hard on it.

Rinse Dentures After Eating

Food has a tendency to hang around on dentures just like it does to natural teeth. For this reason, rinsing your teeth after every meal is recommended to prevent the growth of bacteria that like to feed on loose food particles. While this bacteria won't cause your dentures to decay, excess bacteria on your dentures can promote bad breath and eventually lead to inflammation of the tissues beneath your dentures.

Dentures always take some getting used to, but they are not that much more difficult to clean than natural teeth. Keep these tips in mind so that your dentures continue to look their best and last as long as possible.