Cleaning your denture is as important as cleaning your teeth. Your teeth also still need to be cleaned, even if you wear a denture. The key points to remember when cleaning a denture are:
- Daily physical cleaning (brushing of the denture or using an ultrasonic bath)
- Daily soaking in a denture cleaning solution
- Do not wear dentures overnight
In the sections below I’ve included what I regard as the best denture cleaning products.
These recommendations are based on my experience as a dentist and feedback I’ve received from patients over the years. I’ve also put together a separate post on how to clean dentures, which includes a video and step-by-step instructions.
Best denture cleaning brush
Wisdom Denture Brush
This denture brush has everything you need from a denture cleaning brush.
The bristles are firm, and the handle is easy to grip. It has two different sized “heads” to be able to clean the large surface areas on dentures, and a smaller one to reach in the nooks and crannies.
It is also one of the most affordable options available.
Best plastic free denture cleaning brush
Bamboo denture brush
Whilst no toothbrush is 100% plastic free, there are alternatives to totally plastic brushes if you wish to reduce your plastic use.
There are very few options available. The best plastic free denture brush I could find is the Bamboo Denture Brush from Dental Aesthetics.
Best denture pot
Wisdom Denture Bath
*Prices correct at time of writing
Whilst a denture pot is a basic item to buy, there are some differences between them. I have picked this option as it has a removable shelf, so the whole pot can be used for soaking your denture, but the denture is still easy to remove.
Wisdom Denture Bath is one of the cheapest options around, and given there is not much difference between boxes, I would recommend you go with a cheap option like this. There’s another cheap one here from Boots too.
Best denture cleaning paste
The best denture cleaning paste should be non-abrasive and affordable.
A paste isn’t strictly necessary if you are soaking your denture.
But if you are looking for a recommendation, this Dentu-Creme is an affordable and safe option.
Best denture cleaning soak for plastic dentures
Dentural Max Solution
All things considered, a bleach based cleanser is the most effective at killing bacteria. I would recommend these as the best denture cleaner overall.
Denture bleaches are safe for use on plastic dentures, so long as instructions are followed, but I would advise caution with metal dentures.
There are non dental specific alternatives, which need to be diluted to get to the correct strength.
But for a denture bleach made at the correct concentration try Dentural Max Solution, which contains both sodium hypochlorite and sodium hydroxide.
Best denture cleaning soak for metal dentures
Polident 3 Minute Triple Mint Antibacterial Denture Cleanser
Metal dentures shouldn’t be soaked in a bleach based denture cleaner. Instead, an effervescent cleaner is a safe alternative, normally in the form of denture cleaning tablets.
I recommend Polident 3 Minute Triple Mint Antibacterial Denture Cleanser as being safe for both partial and complete dentures, as well as being suitable for use with metal dentures.
It also comes in large packs making them better value for money than other options available.
Buyer’s guide: more detail on products you can use to clean your dentures
Almost one in five people wear some sort of denture. Whilst a denture won’t last forever, taking good care of it will help it last for a number of years.
Here’s a bit more detail on the various products you can make use of to keep them in good condition.
Denture cleaning brushes
Physically removing debris from a denture is the most important step to cleaning a denture. You can see an example in our post on how to clean dentures.
You can brush dentures using only the brush or with a specialist denture paste, but do not use regular toothpaste.
This step should be done before using any other denture cleaner as it breaks up the film of bacteria, allowing liquid cleaners to work better.
Use a different brush than the brush used for cleaning the teeth as this can have toothpaste deposits on it. Denture adhesive can also stick to toothbrushes so it is best not to use the same brush in the mouth after cleaning a denture.
A large soft toothbrush will work well enough. It is not necessary to buy a specific denture brush.
However, a specially designed denture brush has a number of advantages:
- Large end for large surface areas
- Smaller end to reach into smaller gaps
- Large handles for easy grip
- Specific bristles to prevent scratching the denture
Denture brushes should be replaced every 3 months, the same as your toothbrush.
Examples of denture cleaning brushes include:
- Curaprox denture brush
- Dental Aesthetics denture brush – plastic and bamboo options available
- Dr B’s Denture & Mouth toothbrush
- GUM Denture Brush
- Oral-B denture brush
- Wisdom denture brush
Denture cleaning creams and pastes
Denture cleaning creams and pastes come in tubes and are used with a toothbrush to help clean the denture.
These are less abrasive than toothpastes, so will not damage the surface of the denture. Toothpastes are much too abrasive and can cause tiny scratches in denture plastic, increasing the amount of staining over time.
A cheap alternative is using hand washing soap or washing up liquid, which are generally safe and very cheap. However they have no antibacterial properties.
Some specialist denture creams can have additional ingredients, including flavours and anti-microbial ingredients. If the denture is not being cleaned well enough with just a brush, then it may be necessary to start using a specific denture cleanser.
The foaming action of these options can help to lift and remove any debris left behind after the initial clean. The antibacterial ingredients help to kill any bacteria remaining on the denture too.
These can be used on top of, or instead of soaking your denture in a cleanser. There is no evidence to support one method over the other. But some sort of chemical cleaning in addition to brushing is beneficial.
Examples of denture cleaning creme and pastes include:
- Curaprox BDC Gel Denture Cleanser
- Polident Dentu-Creme Denture Cleanser
- Dr B’s Cleanadent Paste
- Dentural Max Solution Denture Cleanser
- Fresh’n Brite Denture Cleaning Paste
Chemical denture cleaning solutions
Denture cleaning solutions are liquids, powders, or tablets which are added to water to help clean dentures.
They should be used after brushing the dentures (so that any big bits of debris are already removed).
These have a greater effect than simply soaking in water and can help kill any microorganisms (bacteria and fungi) left on the denture after brushing. By removing this layer, not seen by the eye, they also prevent stains and tartar building up over time.
The exact way they work depends on the ingredients used. The main types are:
- Acid based
- Fizzing or effervescent solutions
- Bleach based
They come in a number of different forms, as already explained. This includes bottles of liquid, powder sachets, or preformed tablets. Denture cleaning tablets are the most widely available type of cleaner.
Denture cleaning tablets come in tubes of multiple tablets, or individually wrapped in a box. These are dropped into a glass of water and “fizz”.
Efferdent and Polident are two of the most popular types of denture cleaning tablets. When comparing Efferdent vs Polident there isn’t a lot of difference in how they work – both are effervescent chemical cleaners with a few different formulations available. There isn’t much to say one is definitely better than the other.
Powder normally comes in individually wrapped sachets. These can produce a lot of waste if used regularly.
Some cleaning solutions must be used overnight so they have time to fully work, whilst others only need a few minutes to take action. Check the labelling to double check the recommended time.
Many denture cleaning solutions are not suitable for metal dentures, or dentures with metal parts (like clasps on partial dentures). Again, check the labels before buying to check these are suitable for your denture.
Denture cleaning solutions include:
- BonyF BonyPlus“Express” Effervescent Denture Cleanser Tablets
- Dentural Max
- Dr B’s Liquid Crystal Soak Cleanser
- Dr B’s CleanaDent Crystals
- Efferdent Overnight Denture Cleanser
- NaturDent Cleansing Tablets
- NitrAdine® Disinfecting Denture Tabs
- Polident Overnight Denture Whitener Cleanser
- Polident 3-Minute Denture Cleanser
- Secure Cleansing Tablets
- Steradent Tablets
- ProTech Denture Cleaner
- Pro Tech Smile Again Denture Cleaner
- XoDent Cleaning tablets
Denture bleaches are cleaners that contain that sodium hypochlorite or contain ingredients that mix to create hypochlorite.
These ingredients are widely used for disinfecting things, from infant bottles to the inside of teeth during root canal treatment. Milton’s solution is an example of sodium hypochlorite liquid. It is possible to use non dental bleaches, but there is no guarantee they are the right concentration and may cause damage if not used correctly.
The benefit of using denture bleach is that they are the most effective way to kill any bacteria on a denture. Denture bleach can also help to remove excess stains from a denture, but will not lighten the colour of the teeth or pink plastic, if used correctly.
These are for occasional use only, up to twice a week, but shouldn’t be used on a daily basis.
Dentures should not be left to soak in these solutions for a long time either. The cleaner is safe to use for cleaning dentures for only a short period of time. Dentures should not be left in denture bleach for more than ten minutes at a time as it can make any plastic brittle, and can change the colour of any plastic bits on the denture.
Denture bleach should not be used on dentures that have cobalt chrome in them (metal based dentures). Some manufacturers say they are safe to use with metal dentures but I would urge caution.
Effervescent denture cleansers
These have ingredients such as sodium bicarbonate, potassium monopersulfate, sodium carbonate which cause a bubbling action from your denture cleaner.
They work by disrupting the plaque biofilm on the denture – they damage the layer of bacteria on the denture surface.
They are not as effective at killing bacteria as the bleach based solutions, but are better than soaking in water.
These are generally safe for use on metal dentures (but check any packaging). Avoid using fizzy denture cleansers for dentures that have a soft reline.
Mineral acid based cleaners are not widely available. They work by dissolving any deposits on a denture. These can severely damage any metal parts of a denture.
Chlorhexidine mouthwashes can also be used to soak dentures, and are effective at killing bacteria, fungi, and viruses in plaque. They are safe to use on soft relines.
The risk of using a chlorhexidine mouthwash is that it can stain your denture, sometimes in as little as a week.
However, they are suitable for short term use for people who have certain infections in their mouths.
Denture cleaning wipes
These are wipes that have an antibacterial agent added to them.
They are more expensive than denture soaks and also have an environmental impact (and should not be flushed down the toilet after use!)
However the benefit comes from how practical they are. They can be used when out and about, and are better than using only dry tissue.
Options available include:
- Cleanadent Cleansing Wipes
- Dr B’s Cleanadent Denture & Gum Wipes
- Majestic Clean-It Denture Wipes
Sonic & ultrasonic cleaning baths
Baths can be classified as sonic or ultrasonic depending on the frequency of the vibrations they give off. Sonic versions are available fairly cheaply and work at a lower vibration rate than ultrasonic cleaning baths.
Both can be used with either water or special denture soaking liquid.
Sonic cleaning baths have been shown to be as good as a brush for physical removal of plaque.
Ultrasonic baths have a greater amount of evidence to support them being better than brushing alone. However they are very expensive.
Most options available are the more affordable sonic baths rather than true ultrasonic baths.
I have not tested these hands on yet. But I do think they could be valuable for people who struggle to clean their dentures with a brush.
For most people the cost of these will outweigh the benefit, so I would say they are a “nice to have” device and are not an absolute necessity.
Examples of denture cleaning baths include:
Denture cleaning sets
Some brands have put together sets which include everything you would need to clean your denture.
Exactly what items are included depends on the brand.
I don’t advise these as they are often more expensive that buying what you need separately. They often have unnecessary items, which is wasteful. That said, if you find an option which has what you are looking for and is a good cost, go for it. I have included them here for completeness.
Take home messages
Keeping a denture clean helps prevent infections and irritation in the mouth.
Physical cleaning using a specialised brush is very important. This can be done with just water.
An alternative (more expensive) option is using a sonic or ultrasonic bath.
Chemical cleaning is very important too, although dentures do not need to be left in these overnight.
Bleach based cleaners are the most effective options and are what I would recommend for plastic dentures.
Metal dentures should use an effervescent (fizzy) cleaner to avoid problems like tarnishing and weakening of the metal.
For general oral health, dentures should also always be left out overnight.