We realize admitting to having false teeth can sometimes be a bit embarrassing, even when they look natural. So when prosthetics (dentures, implants, crowns, etc.) are discolored, they might look different from the teeth around it, causing you even more self-conscious.
Don’t let your oral prosthetics get in the way of your holiday cheer. You may not be aware, but whitening your teeth (natural or not) doesn’t have to be a hassle.
With regular maintenance and the right ingredients, your teeth will brighten any room.
Learn more about the Dos and Don’ts for whitening your dentures this holiday season!
Dos and Don’ts for Whitening Dentures
Don’t be intimidated by your full set of fake teeth. Do follow these quick tips to help keep your dentures or other oral prosthetics as white as when you first put them in.
Do Switch Toothbrushes and Toothpastes
Traditional toothbrushes and toothpastes may be too abrasive for your dentures. Buy a toothbrush with softer bristles designed for full or partial dentures. Throw out your traditional whitening toothpaste, too. Special kinds of toothpaste specifically designed for dentures tend to be light while still giving you a nice clean feeling.
Don’t Wait to Clean Your Dentures
Berries, red wine, and coffee are the holiday favorites that can all stain your dentures. If you can’t avoid foods that stain your prosthetics, clean them immediately after. Excuse yourself after a meal to rinse your mouth with water or gently brush your teeth. This will prevent stains from sticking around too long.
Do Floss Your Dentures Regularly
Treat your dentures just as you would treat your natural teeth — or better. Brush, floss, and use mouthwash to clean them both day and night. Don’t skip out on flossing!
Eliminating food particles and dark-colored beverages are what’s going to prevent your prosthetics from discoloring in the first place.
Don’t Leave Your Dentures In Overnight
Sleeping with your dentures exposes them to a high concentration of bacteria growth. Take them out before you go to bed and put them in a soak for extra whitening. You have a few options for soaking your dentures at night:
- Cleaning tablets
- Warm water with one teaspoon of salt
- White vinegar
While lemon juice and mouthwash make effective soaks for dentures, they can cause damage after more than 30 minutes. So don’t leave your dentures in lemon juice or mouthwash overnight! Always read instructions (or talk to your dentist) before trying a new cleaning tablet to soak your dentures overnight.
Do Use DIY Whitening Solutions
When you’re in a pinch, or simply prefer making your own solution, you can use household ingredients to whiten your teeth after you brush! The following ingredients or products can remove stains from your dentures:
- Baking soda
- Denture cleaning bleach
- Hydrogen peroxide
Be sure to read the instructions on the label of products designed to clean dentures. Talk to your dentist about other products and treatments that may be used to whiten dentures both at home or during your next appointment.
How to Whiten Oral Prosthetics and Natural Teeth Together
Not everyone has a full set of dentures. Implants, partial dentures, and oral prosthetics sit among natural teeth. The challenge with these prosthetics isn’t just whitening them. You also have to match them to your natural teeth.
Can you whiten oral prosthetics? The answer depends on what materials were used to repair or replace your teeth. While whitening products may work on natural teeth, they may not affect crowns. Traditional whitening products have little to no effect on porcelain.
Over-the-counter strips are most likely to leave your teeth looking inconsistent.
How to Remove Stains from Oral Prosthetics
It is possible to remove coffee stains or other discoloration from crowns, veneers, and other oral prosthetics. Household ingredients, like baking soda or vinegar, may bring you more luck.
Talk to your dentist about what ingredients and products will work best on the type of oral prosthetics in your mouth. A simple polish at the dentist may be all you need to get your prosthetics looking good as new.
Prevention Can Help Prosthetics Look Authentic, Too
Many patients choose porcelain prosthetics for their ability to keep their original color, even when exposed to acidic drinks and staining fruits. Preventative measures can help to keep your teeth a consistent color.
If you are planning on getting crowns or dentures, talk to your dentist about color matching. Color matching is done before the oral prosthetics are installed. Crowns and bridges can be easily matched to the patient’s natural tooth color.
The result is a prosthetic that “fits in” with the rest of your teeth. It will also make the whitening process easier. Consistently applying vinegar or baking soda across all teeth will remove stains without drastically changing the color of your natural (or artificial) teeth.
Once the prosthetics are added to the mouth, talk to your dentist about foods to avoid and ways to maintain your winter white smile. Regular maintenance and trips to the dentist can help to keep all of your teeth healthy, clean, and white year-round.