Oral Health and Genetic Risk Factors

What Causes Denture Acrylic to Turn White?

Dentures don't just help you to eat; they are also an important aspect of your day-to-day interaction with people. That is why it is important that they appear as real as possible. After all, it is hardly good for your confidence when people are staring at and commenting on your dentures all day long.

To that end, finding a reputable dentist should be your first priority when you are looking to replace teeth with dentures. Once you have your nice new set of false teeth though, you need to quickly learn how to clean and maintain them. Some cleaning and soaking practices, which will be outlined below, can cause the gum-coloured acrylic of dentures to turn white over time.

Bleach Turns Denture Plastic White

Most dental practitioners will advise against using bleach to clean dentures. The main reason for this is that bleach can cause pink denture acrylic to turn white over time. This colour fade occurs for two reasons. First, household bleach contains 5.25% sodium hypochlorite. Sodium hypochlorite corrodes metal and plastic.

If a bleach-based cleaner is not adequately diluted with water then, it will cause the colour of denture acrylic to fade. Second, dentures left to soak in a bleach-based cleaner overnight or for prolonged periods will fade from pink to white. In addition, metal denture parts also corrode under these conditions, gradually turning black.

Bleach Is an Effective Cleanser—If Used Correctly

As illustrated above, it is the corrosiveness of bleach that causes the colour of denture acrylic to fade. Does this mean that you should never soak dentures in a bleach-based cleanser? No, it doesn't. It means that if you are exploring the possibility of using bleach as a denture soak, you should learn how to do it the right way.

To begin with, you need to adequately dilute the bleach soak with water. To do this, mix ten parts water with one part bleach. This ratio will greatly weaken the corrosive effect of the sodium hypochloride. Lastly, if you soak your dentures daily, soak them for 3-10 minutes at most. This is enough time for the solution to remove bacteria and surface staining.

Your Dentist Knows Best

If you plan to experiment with a homemade denture cleanser—for example, one that uses bleach or vinegar—consult with your dentist first. Since they know exactly what your dentures are made of, they can advise you on denture cleanser usage.

There are many ways to clean dentures. However, never take risks. Always know exactly how much or how long is required when exploring a new cleaning method. While not cleaning your dentures enough will shorten their life span, cleaning them too much can be just as harmful.