Don’t Let Denture Tartar Ruin Your Smile

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Hardened plaque buildup, called tartar, will jeopardize denture fit and function, inflame gums, and attract embedded stains, if not properly cleaned

For seniors with full or partial dentures, the fit and feel of their dentures and the beauty of their smile can depend on effectively eliminating hardened dental plaque, known as tartar or calculus, from their dentures.  Improper cleaning habits lead to an accumulation, increasing the occurrence of bad breath.

In fact, over half of denture wearers have long-term accumulations of calculus.  This can become increasingly worse over the years to the point where the dentures may not fit properly and become increasingly uncomfortable.  Without proper care, the tartar can irritate and inflame gums as well as cause unsightly denture stains.

However, there are effective ways to remove the tartar, which is as important to do with dentures as it is with natural teeth.

While most seniors usually try to clean their dentures at least once a day, dentures tend to accumulate tartar just like natural teeth.  Older dentures often show signs of tartar buildup, which looks like a hard, rough, tan or beige accretion on the denture.  The tartar buildup hardens over time and becomes even more difficult to remove, while resembling ugly staining.

“With dentures you need to clean them daily just as you would with your own natural teeth or else plaque builds up on them and gradually hardens to form calcified tartar or calculus which takes up stains from foods, drinks, and smoking,” states dentist Dr. Robert Esmund in his article “Cleaning and Whitening Dentures – Whiter False Teeth.” 

A Better Way to Eliminate Tartar

Dental plaque is a bacteria-packed sticky film that naturally adheres to teeth and dentures.  Without regular removal, it hardens into a calcified plaque, called calculus or tartar, that is very difficult to remove.  

While it is common for seniors to scrub their dentures with a brush and toothpaste, keeping them free of accumulated tartar can be difficult for a number of reasons.

It can be hard for seniors to reach into every nook and cranny of the denture to scrub off the tartar.  Limited vision and manual dexterity can also make brushing it difficult.  Even the act of scrubbing can increase the possibility of dropping or damaging it.

Seniors may also try to clean and remove the tartar with commonly used cleaning tablets dropped into a glass of water along with their dentures.  While this approach does offer some superficial cleansing, it often does not sufficiently remove tartar and hardened calculus. 

For seniors who want to take better care of their dentures, part of the problem may be that they are still following an outdated method, and not a more current, best practice recommendation specific to dentures.  

Today there are certain methods that have been found in clinical testing to be far more effective at eliminating even hardened, accumulated calculus from dentures.

One example involves independent testing results from National Environmental Testing, Inc., a state certified testing laboratory in Wisconsin.  When the laboratory was asked to compare the calculus dissolving properties of equivalent weights of a professional strength denture cleansing product, called Stain Away Plus by Regent Labs, with leading brands over various time intervals, the results were significant.

“Tests demonstrate that Stain Away Plus is up to 3.8 times more effective in calculus removal than leading tablets when used overnight… [and] twice as effective in 15 minutes…,” the study concluded.

On a practical level, this means that a single night soaking of dentures will remove years of accumulated, calcified plaque that typical denture tablets may not adequately remove. 

Eradicating Stains and Discoloration

Eliminating deeply embedded stains in dentures is also a top concern for seniors.

Typically, the embedded tartar absorbs stains and discoloration caused by smoking or chewing tobacco and by partaking in dark drinks or food.  So, drinking coffee and red wine are problems, as is eating dark chocolate or other such treats.

For this concern, another study showed the effectiveness of the professional strength denture cleanser.

Clinical Research Associates conducted a study of nine brands of denture cleaners to evaluate their ability to remove stain and calculus from the dentures of prison inmates.  

The study found that Stain Away Plus “removes extrinsic stains and calculus on dentures rapidly.  92% of accretions were removed well within 60 minutes.  Overnight soak completely cleaned 100% of dentures tested.”

For seniors, using such a professional strength approach at home provides an effective way to finally remove stubborn stains and achieve whiter dentures.

Because tartar is essentially a hardened, bacteria-packed film that sticks to the denture, removing the tartar also helps to reduce bacterial related odors and bad breath as well.  In fact, the professional strength denture cleanser has been proven in testing to kill 99.9% of bacteria on dentures for a cleaner, more sanitary surface and fresher breath.

The bottom line is that some seniors may be inclined to continue using a familiar but outmoded denture cleaning method due to habit.

However, those who take advantage of the proven ability of professional strength denture cleaners to remove hardened dental plaque will improve the fit and feel of their dentures while removing stains and discoloration from their smile.

For more information, call 800-USA-1525; Fax: (954) 426-8535; email regentlabs@earthlink.net; visit www.regentlabs.com; or write to REGENT LABS, INC. 700 W. Hillsboro Blvd. #2-206, Deerfield Beach, FL 33441.

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