How to Safely Whiten Your Dentures

Submitted by Bonnie C. Ferrell, DDS on May 2, 2017

Just like real teeth, dentures can become stained over time with exposure to various foods and drinks. Coffee, tea, red wine, tobacco, and certain foods can all leave dentures with a less-than- sparkling appearance. Not to worry, though. Dentures can be cleaned and whitened safely and easily.

The first step is to gently clean the dentures with a brush made especially for them. If you do not have a specialized brush, you can use a regular toothbrush or a nailbrush with very soft, rounded bristles. You can use toothpaste made for dentures, plain hand soap and water, or a little baking soda. Never use regular toothpaste on dentures—these can be too harsh and may damage the surface. If you take the time to do this every day, stains will not build up as readily. Be gentle, and make sure to clean carefully around any clips and under the base. Be sure to rinse thoroughly before replacing dentures in your mouth.

The second step is to soak dentures for at least six hours a day in either a denture soak or a water and vinegar solution. This will help to loosen stains and tartar. Most people do this overnight each evening, as part of regular denture care. Make sure to keep your dentures moist—do not let them dry out as this can change the fit.

If you’ve regularly cleaned and soaked your dentures and they still aren’t shining like they used to, you can consult with your dentist about professionally polishing them or replacing the teeth with whiter ones. Remember, your dentures can only be as white as they originally were, so if you would like to go a shade lighter, you will need to replace the teeth with a new set.

There are many other “home remedies” for whitening dentures being recommended on the internet. While some of these are very creative, they might not all be safe. Some may damage your dentures beyond repair, and others can have negative health implications. It’s best to consult with your dentist before trying anything you read about online. Remember, the key to beautiful dentures is regular care and attention with the right products and tools.

Dr. Bonnie Ferrell cares for dental patients in the Lowry area of Denver, Colorado. To learn more about her practice and her many happy patients, visit her at