Tip sheet for carers

​If you are looking after someone who has dentures (false teeth), here are a few tips that might help.

Last updated: 27 May 2022
  • Before you start, it’s important to put on a new pair of disposable gloves, or make sure that your hands are clean.
  • Ask the person to take their dentures out, or help them if necessary.
  • Have a look around the person’s mouth and check for any signs that the denture may not be fitting as well as it should. It might be helpful to use a torch to do this.
  • Signs of ill fitting dentures include cuts, redness, or soreness in the mouth, or looseness in the denture itself. If you see any of these, it’s important to make a dental appointment for the person - do not try to adjust the denture yourself.

If the person has a partial denture, make sure any natural teeth left are brushed twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.

  • After meals, encourage the person to rinse their mouth and denture with water to help avoid food build up.
  • It’s still important to have regular dental checks, even if the person does not have any teeth. The dental practitioner will check their dentures and make sure that they still fit and work well. They will also check their lips, cheeks, gums and tongue for sores, infections or early signs of oral cancer.
  • Any ulcer that does not heal, especially under the tongue, or patches of red or white on the roof of the mouth or under the tongue may be an early sign of cancer. These ulcers are often not painful in their early stages. If you notice any of these signs, take the person to a dental practitioner or a doctor as soon as possible.
  • When someone gets new dentures made, you should ask for the person’s name to be included on the inside of the new denture.
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Clean the dentures as follows:

  1. Clean dentures in the morning and at night. Do this over a sink of water or towel to reduce the risk of breaking if dropped.
  2. Use mild liquid soap on a soft toothbrush or denture brush. Don't use toothpaste to clean dentures.
  3. Brush all surfaces of the denture well. Rinse with cold water.
  4. Also clean the gums and tongue using a soft toothbrush in the morning and at night.
  5. Take dentures out before you go to sleep at night. Keep cleaned dentures in a dry container overnight.

Infographic reproduced with permission of Dental Health Services Victoria ©2022