Care for Dentures

Dentures are removable or fixed dental prosthesis that need proper care to be preserved in good condition and to last many years.

Total or Partial Removable Dentures

Dentures are a prosthetic option for individuals who have lost all of their teeth.

Having a total or partial denture may never replace natural teeth, but it allows the patient to eat, talk and smile with confidence.

Dentures need to be removed daily. Many people fail to do so, because having them out of the mouth makes them feel insecure. However, it is very important for the soft tissues of the mouth to not be covered by the denture all of the time otherwise, oral thrush and other conditions may appear.

Thrush is a fungal infection of the tissues by Candida Albicans and it is called candidiasis. It causes white patches in the mouth, and sometimes a white discharge and itch may occur.

Thrush is commonly located on the roof of the mouth where the denture covers it, but it may also appear on the tongue or cheeks. When these patches are wiped off, they may leave a red or bloody surface. Therefore, treatment is usually in the form of mouth rinses of Nystatin, prescribed by dentists.


A toothbrush must be exclusive for cleaning the dentures. Contrary to popular belief, dentures must be washed with antibacterial soap and not with toothpaste. This is because toothpaste contains abrasive materials intended to polish teeth, but on dentures, the plastic material they are made up of, gets scratched and these microscopic scratches harbor bacteria and pigments, making the dentures smell bad and appear stained over time.

Also, dentures may shrink if they are not moisturized by either saliva or water. Therefore, when taken out for sleep, they should be place in a humid environment, like wrapped in a wet towel or placed in water. Deformation of the material does not normally occur suddenly, but after several weeks, the patient may notice a different fitting.

Sometimes dentures need to be relined because of changing mouth tissues, especially the bone which is reabsorbing (shrinking) over time.

Fixed Dentures

Implants, dentures supported by implants, and bridges fall into this category. Special instructions are given by your dentist for each of them.

The use of a modified toothbrush (interdental toothbrush) and special dental floss is commonly prescribed. The dental floss is called Super-Floss by Oral-B, and it consists of a floss with a firm end, allowing it to be threaded under the fixed denture, a spongy section in the middle, and normal floss on the opposite end. Interdental brushes are also helpful to maintaining proper oral hygiene.

If you are interested in getting dentures in Costa Rica, please fill out the “Help Me Find a Dentist!” form and a participating dental specialist will contact you to discuss your case.