Dentures require regular cleaning to maintain their appearance, comfort, and hygiene. Baking soda, a versatile and natural cleaning agent, can be an effective solution for keeping your dentures clean and fresh.
While commercial denture cleaning solutions work well, many people have turned to using homemade denture soaking solutions like baking soda because it is an effective and affordable product with many benefits.
Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, has mild abrasive and whitening properties that help to avoid plaque buildup and prevent stains.
Some of the commonly cited reasons for using baking soda include:
- Removes stains – Baking soda is a gentle cleaner that breaks down and lifts away stains from food, coffee, tea, tobacco, etc.
- Eliminates odors – It neutralizes and deodorizes dentures, leaving them fresh.
- Displays antiseptic properties – Baking soda has antiseptic qualities that help kill bacteria on dentures.
- Affordable and accessible – It’s an inexpensive cleaning solution that most people already have in their homes.
Pros and Cons of Cleaning Dentures with Baking Soda
Using baking soda offers many advantages:
- Whitens dentures by lifting surface stains and brightening acrylic bases.
- Removes plaque buildup without being too abrasive.
- Naturally deodorizes dentures without harsh chemical cleaners.
- Saves money compared to specialty denture cleaning products.
- Has antibacterial properties that sanitize dentures.
- Leaves dentures feeling extremely clean.
However, there are some downsides to consider:
- Can slowly damage acrylic resin bases over time with overuse.
- May be too abrasive on denture attachments like precision attachments.
- Doesn’t sanitize as thoroughly as chemical cleaners made for dentures.
- Requires more scrubbing and elbow grease than specialty cleaners.
- May leave a powery residue that requires thorough rinsing.
- Doesn’t work as well on hard tartar deposits.
How to Use Baking Soda to Clean Dentures
Here are some simple and effective methods to use baking soda for cleaning dentures:
A. Baking Soda and Water Paste
Create the Paste: Mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda with a few drops of water to create a thick paste. The consistency should be similar to toothpaste but slightly thicker.
Gentle Scrubbing: Gently apply the baking soda paste to your dentures. Use a soft-bristled brush to gently scrub the dentures’ surfaces. Ensure that you cover all areas, including the nooks and crannies.
Rinse Thoroughly: After scrubbing, rinse the dentures thoroughly under running water. This step is crucial to remove any leftover baking soda residue. Rinse until the dentures feel clean and free from the paste.
Before Wearing: Once you’ve rinsed the dentures, they are ready to wear. Make sure there’s no residue left on them that could affect taste or comfort.
B. Baking Soda and Vinegar Soak
Prepare the Solution: In a bowl or container, mix 4 cups of warm water with 2 tablespoons of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of vinegar. The vinegar helps to break down debris and stains.
Soaking Time: Immerse your dentures in the solution and let them soak for 15 to 20 minutes. This soak will help to loosen any debris or buildup on the dentures’ surfaces.
Brushing and Rinsing: After the soak, remove the dentures from the solution. Use a soft brush to gently scrub the dentures, paying attention to any areas that need extra cleaning. Rinse the dentures thoroughly under running water.
C. Overnight Baking Soda Bath
Prepare the Bath: Fill a basin with water and add 2 to 3 tablespoons of baking soda. Mix the solution until the baking soda is dissolved.
Long Soak: Place your dentures in the baking soda bath before going to bed. Let the dentures soak overnight. This extended soak gives the baking soda time to break down plaque, stains, and odors.
Morning Routine: In the morning, take the dentures out of the baking soda bath. Rinse them well under running water to remove any residue. Your dentures should feel fresh and clean.
D. Extra Strength Scrub
Dampen Dentures: Ensure your dentures are damp before proceeding.
Direct Application: Sprinkle a small amount of baking soda directly onto the dentures’ surfaces. The baking soda acts as a gentle abrasive to help remove tough stains.
Gentle Scrubbing: Use a soft brush to gently scrub the dentures, focusing on the areas with stains or buildup. Be careful not to scrub too vigorously, as you don’t want to damage the dentures’ material.
Thorough Rinse: After scrubbing, rinse the dentures thoroughly under running water. Check to see if the stains have been removed, and repeat the process if necessary.
E. Weekly Cleaning Treatment
Nighttime Soak: Once a week, remove your dentures at night and let them soak in a baking soda bath. Follow the “Overnight Baking Soda Bath” method mentioned above.
Morning Rinse: In the morning, remove the dentures from the baking soda bath. Rinse them well under running water to ensure that any loosened debris is washed away.
Tips for Proper Cleaning of Dentures
- Always follow dentist’s recommendations for denture cleaning.
- Avoid vigorously scrubbing dentures as it can damage the plastic.
- Rinse dentures thoroughly after using baking soda.
- Soak or brush dentures over a sink of water or towel to avoid breakage.
- Brush, rinse and soak dentures one at a time.
- Invest in a good denture brush with soft, nylon bristles.
- Always handle dentures carefully by the base, not the teeth.
Baking soda’s mild abrasive and antimicrobial properties make it an inexpensive yet effective home remedy to keep your dentures looking clean, feeling fresh, and contributing to your overall oral health.
With proper care, baking soda can remove stains, sanitize, and deodorize dentures without damage. Speak with your dentist to determine if using baking soda is appropriate for your dentures. Remember that these methods should be gentle to avoid damaging your dentures. Always rinse them thoroughly before wearing to ensure your comfort and hygiene.