Dentures are artificial teeth that have been made to replace natural teeth. Dentures help people who have lost their teeth to eat properly and speak clearly. Originally made from wood, stone or animal teeth, modern dentures are made from a more natural looking acrylic. But, just like regular teeth, dentures can become discolored over time. Coffee, tea and smoking can all lead to unsightly, yellowish discolorations that can be difficult, if not impossible to remove. There is a simple solution to rid your dentures of discoloration by using common household items you already have in your kitchen cupboard.
Select a glass or plastic cup that will easily accommodate your dentures, enabling you to cover them completely in liquid when filled.
Fill the glass with a mixture of white vinegar and distilled water, using approximately half of each. Leave an inch of space at the top.
Add 3 tbsps. of baking soda to the vinegar/water solution. This will cause the vinegar to fizz. Wait for the foaming to come to an end before proceeding.
Place your dentures in the solution and allow them to soak for 15 minutes to loosen any stubborn debris or material which may be contributing to the discoloration.
Remove the dentures and set them on a clean towel, reserving the cleaning solution.
Dip a soft toothbrush into the solution and use the moistened bristles to gently scrub the dentures, rubbing the stains away gradually. Baking soda is both mildly abrasive and a natural bleaching agent, however, due to the nature of the acrylic most commonly used to make dentures it should not be used without being dissolved in solution. To do so can scratch or otherwise damage the denture.
Rinse the dentures under warm, running water and then wash in mild, liquid soap to remove any remaining cleaning solution.
Repeat as many times as necessary, removing the stains bit by bit but leaving the acrylic intact, until the dentures are restored to their original color.
Always work over a sink filled with water or a towel as the acrylic can be easily damaged if the dentures are dropped.
Lisa Parris is a writer and former features editor of "The Caldwell County News." Her work has also appeared in the "Journal of Comparative Parasitology," "The Monterey County Herald" and "The Richmond Daily News." In 2012, Parris was honored with awards from the Missouri Press Association for best feature story, best feature series and best humor series.