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Newly released denture guidelines shed light on correct maintenance and cleaning

The optimal care of complete dentures is essential to maintain good oral and overall health. (Photograph: sirtravelalot/Shutterstock)

Mon. 10 September 2018


BUENOS AIRES, Argentina: As populations age, the number of people who need advice on the best denture care will rise over the coming years. Therefore, new global guidelines have been developed and were announced at the FDI World Dental Congress on 7 September to address the multitude of inconsistent and contradictory advice on the maintenance of complete dentures.

The guidelines were developed by a global task force that included representatives from the Oral Health Foundation and King’s College London in the UK, as well as leading experts from Belgium, Japan, the Netherlands and Switzerland. Based on a comprehensive review and evaluation of the existing evidence and current guidance, the panel found a severe lack of clear or reliable recommendations for denture wearers. To give oral healthcare professionals, caregivers and patients well-researched advice on the best denture care, the guidelines were compiled.

They include daily cleaning of dentures through brushing with a toothbrush or denture brush and an effective, nonabrasive denture cleanser (no dentifrice). Furthermore, daily soaking in a denture-cleaning solution outside of the mouth offers extra chemical breakdown of remaining plaque and some level of disinfection of the denture. Lastly, all patients who wear removable dentures are advised not to keep their dentures in their mouths overnight, unless there are specific reasons for doing so. Overall, it is recommended that all denture wearers be enrolled in a regular recall and maintenance program with their dental professionals.

The project, which received an educational grant from GSK, found that recommendations to both dental professionals and denture wearers vary between countries and within a country. The report highlighted that advice usually relies on personal experience, and this has led to contradictory guidance from dental professionals and health bodies.

Dr. Nigel Carter, OBE, CEO of the Oral Health Foundation and member of the Global Task Force for Care of Full Dentures, believes the new guidelines will be key in helping denture wearers significantly improve their oral health. He said, “Our findings show that people with dentures are using a variety of ways to clean them. This ranges from soap and water to toothpastes, bleaches and commercial products. With the variety of recommendations available, this is not a surprise and had to be addressed.”

“The amount of inconsistent and often unproven advice about cleaning and maintaining dentures is frightening. Incorrect denture care can pose a real threat to both the oral health and general health of denture wearers. We hope these new recommendations can help health professionals and carers to give patients clear and trustworthy advice about the best way to look after their dentures,” Carter explained.

In 2046, it is estimated that there will be more than 18 million people over the age of 65 in the UK.1 “The older you get, the more likely you are to have dentures. With an ageing population, the demand for correct and trustworthy information on how to look after them becomes even more important,” said Carter.

The new guidelines can be obtained here.

Editorial note: References can be obtained from the Oral Health Foundation.

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