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Denture care: Looking after your dentures

Patient information A-Z

Further to your clinic appointment this leaflet explains more about how to look after your new dentures. If you have any further questions, please speak to the clinician caring for you.

Getting used to your new dentures

For the first few weeks your new dentures may feel bulky and odd. You will need to practise inserting and removing them and with time you will become used to them.

Wearing your dentures

You can wear your dentures during the day, remembering to remove them to clean after you have eaten meals. They must be removed before you go to bed (remember to keep them in a container containing water). Removing them at night allows your gums to rest, promoting oral health.

You may experience excess saliva in the first few days of wearing your new dentures, but this will settle as you get used to them.


Adaption to dentures is normally managed very well irrespective of denture experience. It is common to have sore spots 24 to 48 hours after you initially wear them. After you have received and been fitted with your new dentures, your dentist will normally arrange an appointment to see how you are adapting to them. Your dentist can address any sore areas at this time, with the sore spots taking up to a week to heal. If your mouth is extremely sore and you are not able to see your clinician immediately, it might be advisable to reduce or stop wearing your dentures until two to three days before your appointment.

Eating with your new dentures

It will take time to get used to eating with your new dentures. Start with soft foods and gradually progress to more solid food. Cutting your food into smaller portions and ensuring you chew on both sides of your mouth may help prevent the denture from tipping. Try to avoid biting with your front teeth – as this will rock/tip the dentures.

Speaking with your new dentures

Initially your speech may be altered slightly when pronouncing certain words and require practice. Within a few weeks of wearing your dentures and practising talking it should be back to normal. Reading aloud from newspapers / books can help speed up this process.

Cleaning your dentures

Daily cleaning of your dentures is essential to prevent build-up of food debris, staining an plaque. Not cleaning your dentures can lead to problems with appearance, mouth odour, irritation of gums and infections; it can also cause problems with any teeth that may be around the denture.

  • Brushing

Use a soft toothbrush or denture brush to clean your denture with soap and warm water (avoid hot water). Try to avoid toothpaste, abrasive pastes or smokers’ toothpastes. These can scratch your denture making it more likely to collect debris and stain. Brush or rinse the denture after every meal to prevent the build-up of debris.

Dentures can break if you drop them, so be sure to clean them over a sink / bowl filled with water just in case they accidently slip out of your hands.

  • Soaking

You can use proprietary denture cleaning tablets or solutions for soaking. This will help to remove and loosen any stains or deposits. Try to avoid leaving dentures in the solutions overnight. Just 10 minutes in Milton’s solution once or twice a week will usually be sufficient.

Care of your mouth

With partial dentures, you must take extra care of your teeth and gums. With full dentures you must still take care of your oral health. Ensure you are brushing your teeth, gums, tongue and palate with a soft brush twice daily. This helps to remove plaque and improves the general health of your mouth.

Replacing dentures

Due to normal wear over time dentures will need to be relined, rebased or remade. The dentist will use your existing dentures to reline or rebase. They may need replacing if they become loose and the teeth show signs of significant wear. Dentures become loose because the mouth naturally changes with age. Gums and the underlying bone can shrink, causing the dentures to become loose. Dentures can also become loose if you lose any teeth which help to support them. It is important to replace worn or poorly fitting dentures before they start causing problems.

If you have any further concerns, your clinician will be very happy to discuss them with you.

Contact details

Restorative Dentistry, Clinic 8, Box 47, Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, CB2 0QQ

Opening hours: 09:00 to 17:00, Monday to Friday.

Direct line: 01223 216412

Switchboard: 01223 245151

We are smoke-free

Smoking is not allowed anywhere on the hospital campus. For advice and support in quitting, contact your GP or the free NHS stop smoking helpline on 0800 169 0 169.

Other formats

Help accessing this information in other formats is available. To find out more about the services we provide, please visit our patient information help page (see link below) or telephone 01223 256998.

Contact us

Cambridge University Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust
Hills Road, Cambridge

Telephone +44 (0)1223 245151