Proper maintenance of your dentures is vital to ensuring they last and function as well as they can. This includes an overnight soak of your dentures. You might think it’s better not to soak your dentures overnight, but here are three very good reasons why you should.

Hand holding up a glass of water with dentures soaking in it

Acrylic Dentures Have Pores

You might think that your dentures are solid, but the truth is that acrylic dentures are full of pores, tiny holes. To us, these holes may seem microscopic, but to bacteria, these aren’t tiny holes, these are caverns, and the perfect place to shelter themselves from attempts to remove them. Brushing your dentures and performing other superficial cleaning techniques will likely not get the bacteria out of these holes.

The bacteria that shelter in your denture are the same ones that can attack your gums, resulting in gum disease. They can also migrate elsewhere in your body and contribute to other health conditions, such as pneumonia. And they can produce foul odors, giving you bad denture breath.

Bacteria Increase as We Age

It’s easy to forget that oral bacteria are actually a communicable disease, but it’s true. And over time, we are exposed to more different oral bacteria, which grow in our mouths. This means that we have more different bacterial populations developing. It’s part of the reason people are at increased risk of gum disease and tooth loss as we age.

Another factor is that we are losing our antibacterial saliva. Part of that is due to natural declines in our saliva production. But it’s also related to medical conditions and side effects of medication, which can lead to dry mouth. With less saliva, we get more bacteria.

Soaking Is Very Effective at Cleaning Dentures

While brushing isn’t effective at removing all the bacteria from your dentures, soaking them overnight is. Soaking your dentures can remove 99.9% or more of oral bacteria on your dentures. This isn’t 100%, admittedly, and bacteria populations will continue to climb over the course of the day.

But thinning the oral bacteria population every night will help your body keep one step ahead of oral infections, which can make your dentures healthier and more comfortable.

Of course, soaking is only used for removable dentures. Permanent dentures are made of different materials and don’t require the same care.

To learn more about your denture options in Columbia, SC, please call (803) 781-9090 for an appointment with a denture dentist at Smile Columbia Dentistry.