Cleaning dentures with soft liners requires special care to maintain their integrity and effectiveness. The soft lining material is more delicate compared to the hard denture base, and improper cleaning methods can damage or degrade the liner. In addition, the materials used for the soft liner are also prone to microbial overgrowth that may put your entire oral health at risk,
In most cases, using a soft cloth and cold water is sufficient to effectively remove debris and maintain the cleanliness of the soft liner without compromising its integrity. Regular and proper cleaning helps prevent the buildup of plaque and bacteria, ensuring optimal oral hygiene and prolonging the lifespan of the soft denture liner.
Here are some additional tips for cleaning and caring for your soft denture liners to keep them fresh and maximize their useful life:
Modifications to soft denture liners to prevent bacteria overgrowth
Despite the benefits of materials used to fabricate soft liners, they tend to be prone to buildup of bacteria and fungi. So in addition to thorough cleaning, there are certain modifications that your dentist may recommend to reduce associated risks and prolong their use, including:
a. Adding Silver Nanoparticles
Silver nanoparticles, which have antimicrobial properties, can be added to the soft lining material to help prevent the growth of fungi and bacteria, making the denture liner more resistant to colonization by these microorganisms.
b. Adding Antifungal Agents
Another approach is to incorporate antifungal agents into the soft liner material. Agents such as chlorhexidine, clotrimazole, fluconazole, and nystatin, have been found to inhibit the growth of Candida albicans, a common fungus that can cause oral infections. The antifungal agents are released slowly from the liner, providing continuous protection against fungal growth.
c. Applying a Sealer Coating
A sealer coating can be applied to the surface of the soft denture liner to act as a protective barrier, preventing the entry of bacteria and other harmful substances. It also reduces water absorption, prevents the accumulation of debris and stains, and lowers the risk of inflammation in the mouth. However, it’s important to clean the sealed surface properly to maintain its effectiveness.
d. Enhancing Color Stability
Soft denture liners can become discolored over time due to factors like stain accumulation and exposure to certain substances like beverages and smoking. To improve color stability, some soft liners are made with fluorinated materials, which are more resistant to stains and discoloration.
e. Minimizing Water Absorption
Water absorption by the soft liner material can cause changes in its shape and weaken its bond with the denture base. Different types of fillers and bonding methods can affect the amount of water absorbed. Heat-polymerized silicone denture liners, for instance, have better bonding and less water absorption, resulting in a more durable and stable liner.
Caring for dentures with soft liners
When you receive dentures with soft liners, it’s important to follow specific instructions for their care:
Keep the dentures in your mouth for the first 24 hours
The material used for the soft liner remains soft during this period and molds itself to your oral tissues. It’s crucial to allow this shaping process to occur.
Rinse the denture with warm water
After the initial 24 hours, you can remove the denture once every 12 hours. During removal, rinse the denture with warm water only. You can gently brush the teeth part of the denture with toothpaste and a soft toothbrush, but avoid using any chemical or mechanical cleaning on the soft liner itself as it can tear.
Handle with care
Throughout the next week, you can remove the denture as needed but remember that the soft liner is fragile and should be treated gently. You can brush the pink plastic part of the denture, avoiding the soft liner.
Avoid denture adhesive initially
It’s recommended not to use any denture adhesive, especially in the first 72 hours. This helps in evaluating the natural retention of the denture without any external factors affecting the results.
Gradually resume normal diet
For the first 24 hours, stick to a softer diet. Afterward, you can gradually return to your regular diet. This allows the soft liner to adapt and mold itself to your tissues while you eat normally.
Regular check-ups and potential relining
Your dentist may need to replace the soft liner periodically until your tissues heal or until maximum retention is achieved. Make sure to bring your old dentures with you during recall visits, as they may be required for relining if necessary.
Cleaning dentures with soft liners
Cleaning soft relined dentures requires special care to avoid damaging the soft liner material. Generally, the best method to clean the surface of the soft liner is using a soft cloth with cold water. Gently wipe the denture to remove any debris or plaque without causing damage to the soft liner material.
Here are some additional tips:
Avoid mechanical cleansing
Brushing or scrubbing the denture with a toothbrush is not recommended for soft denture liners as it can damage the resilient lining.
Chemical cleansers are the preferred method for cleaning dentures with soft liners. These cleansers can be categorized based on their chemical composition. Alkaline peroxide and alkaline hypochlorite solutions are commonly used. They come in powder or tablet forms that dissolve in water to create cleansing solutions.
Peroxide cleansers are popular and widely used for denture cleaning. When dissolved in water, they form alkaline solutions of hydrogen peroxide. These cleansers help remove stains, disinfect, and maintain oral hygiene.
Hypochlorite cleansers are effective in removing stains, dissolving organic substances like mucin, and killing bacteria and fungi. They have bactericidal and fungicidal properties.
Silicone-based soft liners
Silicone-based soft denture liners have shown better performance in cleaning treatments compared to acrylic-based liners. They are more compatible with cleansing solutions and maintain their resilience better over time. Therefore, silicone-based liners are considered more promising for long-term usage.
While the modifications discussed can help to enhance the performance, hygiene, and durability of soft denture liners, it’s still important to follow the instructions provided by your dentist or denture specialist regarding the specific cleaning methods and products suitable for your soft relined dentures. Regular and proper cleaning of dentures helps maintain good oral hygiene and prolong the lifespan of the denture and soft liner.