Inside Dentistry
October 2009
Volume 5, Issue 9

Cleaning Dentures Effectively and Gently with Polident®

Antibacterial denture cleanser is non-abrasive and can clean dentures without scratching, which promotes less bacteria growth.

Dentists who create dentures and partials do their best to deliver the most natural-looking and comfortable prostheses for patients. Once the appliance is delivered, however, upkeep becomes the patient’s responsibility. For some patients, the cleaning instructions delivered by the dentist or hygienist are easy to abide by, but others may simply forget, or adapt the instructions according to their old oral care habits. This could be detrimental to the upkeep of the denture, and, in the long term, the patient’s health. Consider what was discovered in a recent study of the cleaning habits of 234 denture wearers1:

  • Only 11.9% of subjects had clean dentures. (In a similar study of 42 elderly denture wearers, only 16.7% had clean dentures.2)
  • 12% used denture cleansing tablets.
  • 52% brushed their dentures with toothpaste or regular soap.
  • 29% used household bleach to clean their dentures. (Household bleach has been linked to denture discoloration.)
  • 4% were brushing with water alone and one patient used mouthwash as a denture cleanser.

Statistics like these point to a need for dental professionals to redouble their efforts in teaching patients the proper way to care for dentures. Patients with especially poor denture hygiene may experience plaque and calculus build-up and, unchecked, this can damage the oral mucosa.3 Additionally, poor denture hygiene is also associated with oral Candida, which can lead to disease under favorable conditions.2 Even patients who think they are cleaning their dentures appropriately—such as those who use toothpaste to brush dentures—may be surprised to learn that this practice might actually harm dentures in the long term. Research shows that brushing dentures with toothpaste can cause surface roughness,4 giving bacteria more places to grow.

The simple solution many denture patients have discovered is Polident® (GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, Figure 1), which is non-abrasive and cleans dentures without scratching, in turn promoting less bacteria growth. Despite its gentle cleaning mechanism, Polident is still effective enough to kill 99.9% of odor-causing bacteria5 and remove plaque and tough stains. The simple procedure for cleaning dentures with Polident is also easy for patients to comply with, and offers them a number of options for cleaning dentures, from a 3-minute formula (Polident 3-Minute), to an overnight soak (Polident Overnight Whitening). Additionally, Polident Smoker’s Formula and Polident Partials Formula offer more helpful options to fit the needs of every denture or partial wearer. All varieties of Polident use a unique triple mint formula that delivers freshness and confidence.

Dentists should remind their patients that both brushing and soaking dentures daily is important in keeping dentures clean and fresh, as both methods offer different benefits. While soaking dentures allows the cleaner to penetrate the material and kill germs, brushing with the effervescent solution after soaking helps to ensure the removal of debris and plaque, and also helps to dislodge food particles that soaking alone cannot do. Both methods are necessary to keep dentures as clean and odor-free as possible.

It is not unusual for denture wearers to feel self-conscious about their dentures, especially early on in their experience wearing them. Dental professionals, however, can play an important role in helping patients feel confident wearing dentures by teaching them how to keep dentures fresh-looking and odor-free. Brushing and soaking dentures daily with Polident is an easy way for patients to maintain their dentures in top condition, and to keep them discreet and natural-looking.


  1. Dikbas I, Koksal T, Calikkocaoglu S. Investigation of the cleanliness of dentures in a university hospital. Int J Prosthodont. 2006;19(3):294-298.
  2. Kanli A, Demirel F, Sezgin Y. Oral candidosis, denture cleanliness and hygiene habits in an elderly population. Aging Clin Exp Res. 2005;17(6):502-507.
  3. Jagger DC, Harrison A. Denture cleansing—the best approach. Br Dent J. 1995; 178 (11):413-417.
  4. Data on file. Kleber CJ. 2006 Research Report Study L2630368.
  5. Data on file. GSK Micro Study MD# 060-03.

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