Your dentures have been looking a little yellowish as of late and you’d like to get them a bit whiter. There’s always the old tried and true methods of cleaning and whitening, but what about whitening strips?
Can you use whitening strips on dentures? In one word, “no;” whitening strips are not suitable for use on anyone who needs to rely on dentures to smile and chew food.
The main way that whitening strips do their job is through the bleaching power of peroxide. Whitening strips are a way to get the peroxide onto and into the tooth structure; as artificial dental work, dentures have no tooth structure for the peroxide to go to work on.
What Can I Do To Whiten My Dentures Safely?
Here’s the safest tried-and-true methods:
- Try a non-abrasive cleaner with a stiff toothbrush nightly. Be careful not to brush too hard.
- Soak overnight in Denture-specific cleaners. Make sure you still manually brush them before soaking.
- You can also soak your dentures in water mixed with white vinegar (1/2 each) or baking soda. For baking soda, use 2-3 tsp mixed with just enough warm water to cover the dentures.
- There are now home cleaning units that can be used to not only clean but disinfect your dentures safely and effectively. These use ultrasonic technology.
- You can also have your dentures professionally cleaned. Most of the time your dentist should be able to provide you this service. If you’re unable to keep your dentures clean, this might be the best way to go.
How Often Should I Get My Dentures Professionally Cleaned?
The recommendation is the same for cleaning normal teeth – twice a year. The benefit with dentures is that you don’t have to sit in that dentist chair for 30 minutes while they do it!
How Can You Prevent Stains On Your Dentures?
If you’re trying to prevent your dentures from appearing dirty or stained, there are some proven methods:
- Use a straw for any colored drink – coffee, tea, juice, etc. If you’re not swishing these colored fluids around in your mouth, they can’t stain your teeth!
- Just avoid anything that contains natural tannins (natural dyes) such as coffee, tea, berries, and pomegranates.
- Clean your dentures if you’re unable to avoid these tannins or, at the very least, swish some water around in your mouth to rinse off your dentures right after eating.
What To Do When Nothing Works To Whiten My Dentures?
Now there is one way to have dentures that have a less-dingy smile. If you really do not like the color of your dentures but you like their fit, you can let your dentist know about this displeasure. Chances are good that he will be able to swap out the front teeth for brighter teeth, often returned to you anywhere from the same day to one day later.
One other potential avenue for the aesthetically-minded denture-user is to have your dentist make a copy of your dentures. After your dentist copies down every dimension of your current set of dentures, he can fabricate a second pair for you that will have your ideal shade of tooth brightness.
To review, no you cannot rely upon whitening strips if you use dentures. The materials used in the construction of dentures do not properly interact with whitening strips, making their purchase a fool’s errand when pursuing a pleasant and perfectly white smile. The good news is that there are other ways someone with dentures can get the pearly whites they aspire to, it only takes a consultation with your dentist to get the ball rolling.