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Associated Topics

Studies unclear on best method for cleaning dentures

Laurie Moeller D.D.S.; Maureen Romer D.D.S., M.P.A.


Systematic Review Author(s)

de Souza RF, de Freitas Oliveira Paranhos H, Lovato da Silva CH, Abu-Naba'a L, Fedorowicz Z, Gurgan CA

Summary Title

Limited evidence suggests no difference in denture cleaning methods




Key terms

Plaque: (pronounced plak) Plaque is a thin layer of bacteria that forms on your teeth all the time.

Dentures: Dentures are a set of artificial teeth. They can replace all of one's teeth (complete dentures) or a section of teeth (partial dentures).

Ultrasound: Ultrasound refers to high frequency sound waves. It can be used to create images, similar to radiographs, or clean devices used in dentistry.

Plaque can build up on dentures and cause oral problems like irritation to the gums, cheeks and/or roof of your mouth.  Plaque that is not regularly cleaned from dentures also can cause bad breath and can stain your dentures.  You can clean dentures in a number of ways.  They can be brushed with toothpaste or a cleaner specifically made for use with dentures.  Ultrasound devices also can be used, and there are a number of solutions in which you can soak your dentures.

The authors of this review wanted to see whether adults with dentures preferred one cleaning method over another.  They also looked to see if oral health was better depending on the method that was used. They found six studies that involved 192 adults who wore complete dentures.  

Authors' findings
None of the studies reported which method adults with complete dentures preferred for cleaning.  Each of the studies, however, looked at the health of the areas where the dentures were in contact with the mouth.  Unfortunately, these studies were all very different from one another, and the authors could not compare the results to determine which was the best method for cleaning dentures.    

Current research does not identify the best method for cleaning dentures. 

Additional note
If you are unsure of how to care for your dentures, talk with your dentist.


Do adult denture wearers prefer one cleaning method over another: brushing, ultrasound, chemical solutions, or a combination of any of these?  Is there a difference in how the methods affect oral health in the areas that support the denture?


There is no evidence that adult denture wearers prefer one method over another or that any one method is the best way to limit the effects of dentures on the mouth.