How can a carer help nursing home residents with their denture hygiene?
Oral health is paramount to your overall health and dentures form a large part of your oral health. Dentures develop a biofilm overtime which is very similar to what is found on natural teeth including plaque, stains, and calculus. Even if the resident wears dentures it is very important that they still brush their gums, tongue, and palate with a soft toothbrush before putting in dentures. Encourage them to do this at least twice a day.
You can wash the residents’ dentures in warm soapy water at least twice a day in a large plastic bowl after every meal to remove any food particles and debris. This is necessary as it will prevent inflammation to gums and allow the denture to fit correctly. You can use normal washing liquid to wash the denture e.g. Fairy washing-up liquid.
Do not use toothpaste on the denture
Toothpaste can be too abrasive and will remove the protective polish and shine from the denture surface. Remember- toothpaste is designed for your natural tooth enamel which is not present on dentures. Do brush and clean the dentures every day as this helps reduce the risk of a fungal or bacterial infection in the mouth.
Do not use boiling water to wash dentures.
Boiling water will distort dentures meaning they will not fit correctly after washing. Use hand hot water for washing.
Encourage the residents to rinse their mouth daily with lukewarm water and salt, as this will also help to clean their gums and promote oral health.
Did you know…
Dropping dentures in the sink or banging them off the tap is the most common reason for breaking dentures. So, avoid washing the dentures in the sink. Even if the denture does not break or fracture then and there, it will weaken the denture eventually causing it to break, usually within 6 months of the bang or drop.
The best thing to use to clean dentures is a large plastic bowl or container. Keep this bowl or container specifically for washing the dentures in warm soapy water. You can use a denture brush or a soft toothbrush to help get into the hard to reach areas. Make sure to rinse thoroughly after washing.
Disinfect the dentures once per week for at least one hour using denture disinfectant tablets like Nitradine. Most denture disinfectants contain a mild bleaching agent, which can, overtime change the colour of the dentures. So, avoid leaving the dentures soaking overnight in any solution other than fresh water.
Take the residents dentures out at night-time. It is better to leave them out, as it allows the gums and bone to relax and it gives them a chance to rest from the pressure of wearing the denture all day.
These are some easy steps that you can follow daily to help ensure and promote resident’s denture hygiene
Article written by Megan O’Toole, dental nurse at Dental Tech Group.
Our Mobile Team comes fully equipped and ready to provide dental and denture care to your residents; For more information call 01 455 1866 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dental Tech Denture Clinics
DUBLIN – Whitehall House, Terenure, Dublin 6W – Call 01 4551866
WEXFORD – The Whitemill Medical Centre, Wexford – Call 053 9192999
WATERFORD – Waterford Health Park, Waterford – Call 051 365999
KILDARE – Vista Primary Care, Naas, Kildare – Call 01 4551866