Denture cleaning tablets are often considered in place of manual cleaning or as an adjunct. A denture cleaning tablets must be non-toxic, must not harm the gums, must not affect the colour or the strength of the denture and must be of low cost.
A denture cleaning tablet will not be as good as manual cleaning of your dentures. However, there are circumstances when manual cleaning is impossible or difficult. These are patients who have Parkinson’s disease or have conditions such as arthritis where manual cleaning is a problem.
A denture cleaning tablet is used soaking at night when the dentures are taken out and placed in a glass of water. The denture-cleaning tablet is dropped into the glass which dissolves and starts the process of cleaning the denture.
The mechanism of action is usually by releasing bubbles which loosen the debris on the denture. They also claim to reduce staining of the denture.
There are various chemicals that are used in the denture cleaning tablets such as alkaline peroxides, alkaline hypochlorite, alkaline perborates and diluted acids.
The tablets come in long plastic containers and it is important that dry hands are always used as moisture will adversely react with the tablets making them less effective. In addition, some denture-cleaning tablet kits come with a brush so that the loosened debris can be further cleaned off a manual brushing. It is more useful for patients to use manual cleaning but also use denture cleaning tablets as an adjunct.
The main function of denture cleaning tablets is to keep the dentures fresh, kill surface bacteria, remove and prevent staining. In conclusion, denture cleaning tablets are not strictly necessary for cleaning dentures nor are they the best method. However, they do have their place when patients are unable to clean the dentures manually and there is no other option.