The title says dentures but this goes for anything you wear in your mouth. Be it your rugby mouth guard, Invisalign-style retainer or that anti-snoring gizmo you wear at night:

All removable dental appliances must be cleaned properly

Improper cleaning can lead to stinky breath, oral disease and tooth loss. But as well as the health consequences, you also risk compromising the device itself. This could mean loose mouthguards, distorted ortho retainers and broken dentures.

Even armed with the best intentions, there are 5 huge mistakes people regularly make with their dental devices. We’ve listed them out here along with our tips to help avoid them:

1 - Not scrubbing

After eating most of us either scrub our dishes or put them through a dishwasher to blast the surface clean, we don’t just rinse them in water. And yet so many retainer and denture wearers are content with a quick rinse. Newsflash: it’s not good enough and you know it.

Get in there and scrub the germs off properly! And no, the bubbles from your denture cleaning tablets don’t count.

2 - Damaging the surface with an abrasive brush or paste

The glossy finish on your dentures or mouth guard is vulnerable to the tiny scratches caused by harsh toothpastes or toothbrush bristles. Even if you can’t see any scratches, they’ll be prime areas for germs to collect and will show discolouration and wear over time.

Use a brush with silicon bristles at varying heights in a circular motion. Germs will find it tough to gather on the silicon surface and it will be soft enough not to scratch your appliance. And be sure to use a gentle toothpaste or cleaning detergent that’s free from alcohol or bleaching agents.

Protip: to check if your toothpaste is gentle enough, use your finger to rub it onto the shiny side of some tin foil. If you can see scratches on the foil after rinsing, you can bet it will scratch up your denture.

3 - Using very hot water (or a dishwasher)

Retainers, mouth guards, anti-snoring devices and bleaching trays are all made from thermoplastics. They are rigid at room temperature but if you heat them up too much they will lose their shape. Similarly dentures (especially flexi dentures) can become warped in hot water. You should not be putting your dental device in the dishwasher as the water gets extremely hot. The last thing you want is to ruin the fit and have to pay out for a replacement.

Use warm water instead. If you’re following our instructions on scrubbing and using a proper cleanser you’ll get the device just as clean.

4 - Using bleach or bleaching products

Bleach is a fantastic cleaning product but it is also very harsh on surfaces and obviously leads to discolouration, not to mention the dangerous side-effects if you don’t rinse it off properly. Also denture wearers should be aware, the teeth on your denture won’t get any lighter but the pink acrylic will and it’s not good a look.

Ideally you should be using a gentle detergent that won’t harm you or your device but still attacks germs and breaks through the biofilm layer.

5 - Holding the denture in your hands

This is a big one for dentures. It can be tough keeping a grip on a slippery lathered-up denture while you scrub it with a brush, it’s incredibly easy for it to slip out of your hands and land on the hard surface of your bathroom floor or sink. No wonder hundreds of dentures are broken every day during cleaning.

If you hold your denture low over the sink as you clean it, it won’t fall as far if you drop it and is less likely to break. Saving you money and the embarrassment of having to go about your day with missing teeth.

The easy solution – Dr Mark’s HyGenie

Our latest home dental product solves all these cleaning issues in one fell swoop. For the ultimate home dental cleaner, we’re proud to introduce Dr Mark’s HyGenie.

This patented all-in-one solution will store, protect and clean your dental appliances to perfection. To use, just pop your device into the reinforced protective cage with a bit of cleaning liquid, stick the lid on and twist it round. The built-in silicon brushes offer a full 3d clean and when it’s time to rinse just stick the whole thing under the tap to let the water run through one side and out the other, easy as pie.

To see Dr Mark’s HyGenie in action, check out the video here for a demonstration from a dental hygienist. HyGenie is brand new to the UK market for 2021 and available for purchase directly from Denture Medics as well as specialist retailers. If you’d like more information on where to buy drop us an email at or call on 01474 560 618.