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Tufts OpenCourseware
Author: David M. Hern, D.M.D.

Patient Instructions and Guidelines

Denture Hygiene

Always rinse your dentures thoroughly under running water before any of the following:

  1. Soak dentures daily with an immersion cleaner following the manufacturer’s direction.
  2. Clean your dentures a second time each day using a denture cleaning paste and a denture brush. Do not use toothpaste.
  3. Scrub your dentures weekly with a thick mix of cleaner containing bleach. Do not use this heavy paste mixture on a partial denture. Rinse thoroughly when completed.
  4. If heavy calculus (tartar) deposits form on your denture – soak overnight in white vinegar, brush area carefully in the morning and rinse thoroughly. This procedure may be used on partial dentures.

When handling your dentures do so over a sink filled with water. This will cushion them should they slip and fall.

While your dentures are being cleaned, rinse your mouth thoroughly with a teaspoon of salt in 8oz. of water. Brush your upper and lower jaw ridges and tongue with a soft bristle tooth brush. Finger massaging of the ridges is also helpful.

Sore Spots

Expect your new dentures to cause some sore spots in the beginning. These will be readily relieved by your dentist during the first few adjustment appointments. As time goes by changes in your jaws or your occlusion (bite) may also cause sore spots which can just as readily be relieved.


Practice, practice, practice!! Be patient and your speech will improve. Practice reading aloud and alone, as if to someone, until your speech is clear and natural.


Practice, practice, practice!! Use small portions, use both sides to chew if you can. Find out what your limitations are (everyone is different) and avoid what you cannot handle. Be patient and your ability to chew food will improve.


Some people experience a feeling of decreased taste sensation but this will diminish in time.


Sudden bursts of air such as coughing, sneezing and laughing; very wide opening such as yawning; or extreme tongue movements will dislodge even the best dentures. Avoid these movements or place your hand over your mouth.


Use denture pastes and powders only as directed by your dentist.

General Advice

  • Be sure to leave your dentures out overnight or for at least 2 hours each day. Dentures should be stored in a covered container with the cleaning solution when not in the mouth.
  • Generally the upper denture will be better than the lower. One must learn how to use and retain the lower denture.
  • In the beginning, do alone, as much talking, reading aloud and eating as possible. This will allow you to avoid embarrassing moments as you learn to use your new dentures.
  • Avoid very hot foods; your temperature sensitivity will be changed by the dentures covering your jaws.
  • In time, due to continued resorption of the jaw, your dentures may require relining.
  • Expect an increase in salivation for a little while in the beginning.
  • Have your dentures, mouth, and adjacent structures checked by your dentist at least once a year.
  • The needs and nature of each patient vary, therefore check with your dentist about anything not covered here.