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Do you feel like your denture teeth are stained or discoloured and you want to whiten them? Are you considering whitening your natural teeth, but you have dentures?

The main question is, can denture teeth be whitened? In short NO. Denture teeth can have superficial surface staining that can be cleaned or polished to whiten but the actual denture teeth themselves can not be whitened.  Denture teeth are different than natural teeth and do not respond to whitening kits, whitening solutions or whitening toothpaste. Denture teeth are made of acrylic that is composed of a set shade and that shade can not be altered or changed. You can damage or weaken the denture teeth with teeth whitening chemicals. Depending on the quality of denture teeth in your denture there may be deep staining or discolouration because of porosity, but usually higher quality teeth are less inclined to discolour or stain. If, this is true, then why are there many videos and blogs online that say you can white denture teeth?

The staining that is seen on your dentures are usually superficial, a build-up of biofilm, plaque and calculus can coat your denture teeth and discolour making it seem like your teeth are stained. If proper cleaning is done staining should not occur because there would be no chance for staining to develop. Dentures need to be professionally cleaned when the staining does not come off from your daily brushing. A simple professional polish can make your denture seem like new. Bring them to your denturist to see if this is possible.

What if you are planning to get a new single upper denture and your natural teeth are stained? You should get your natural teeth cleaned with your dentist first, then whiten your natural teeth to the shade you want them to be before getting dentures to match. When getting dentures, tooth shades are usually matched to your natural teeth. If you plan on getting whiter teeth before whitening your natural teeth, the natural teeth may not whiten to the denture shade. The different shades between your denture teeth and natural teeth may not look ideal aesthetically. Once the denture teeth are chosen and set, they cannot be changed or whitened unless you get a new denture made. Therefore, it is recommended to get your natural teeth to the shade you want before investing in dentures. If you are getting complete dentures without natural teeth, you can choose any shade you like.

DO’s and DON’T’s

There are a lot of recommendations for denture whitening online, here are some of our recommendations at Woodside Denture Centre.

DON’T:

  • Scrub your dentures with Whitening Toothpaste
    • It does not work; it will not whiten the denture teeth and it will wear down your dentures quicker because toothpaste contains abrasives which can also scratch the denture creating more build-up and actually increase staining.
  • Soak your denture in Bleach
    • Bleach can damage or weaken the acrylic of your dentures and teeth. Some sources tell you to dilute it, but we recommend staying away from it all together especially if you have a soft or temporary liner.
    • Bleach also does not penetrate biofilm or break down calculus build up.
    • The denture will soak up the bleach which can cause chemical burns to the gums.
  • Do not try to whiten your dentures with teeth whitening products, it will not work.

DO’s

  • Properly clean your dentures daily to prevent build-up and staining
    • Use low abrasive cleaners and a soft-bristle toothbrush, but do not scrub too hard
  • Soak dentures in Denture specific cleaners
    • Always brush first before soaking overnight, just soaking it will not penetrate through the biofilm build-up.
    • There are commercial grade denture cleaners like “Nu-dent” which are great for more serious staining and build-up without harming your dentures. These cleaners can usually be purchased at or through your denture clinic. Not recommended for soft or temporary liners.
  • For a more natural overnight soaking approach
    • Use white vinegar or baking soda, this can loosen up the stained plaque making it easier to brush off.
    • For baking soda, 2-3 teaspoons of baking soda and enough warm water to fully immerse the dentures.
    • Always brush first before you soak your dentures
  • Get your dentures professionally cleaned and polished
    • This can make your dentures like new again. Having smooth surfaces will minimize build-up on dentures.