If you haven't managed to keep your dentures plaque-free, then the plaque may turn to tartar. While plaque isn't all that visible, tartar is a harder deposit that shows up more easily. So, you'll want to remove it from your teeth. Your regular cleaning routine alone isn't usually enough to dislodge tartar from dentures. There are some ways you might be able to get rid of tartar yourself—and there are some things you shouldn't try. What's the best way to deal with the deposits on your dentures?
Try a Denture Tablet Soak
If you brush your dentures rather than soak them, give denture cleaning tablets a go. Soak your dentures in a tablet solution overnight. This may be enough to get rid of small tartar deposits. Or, the solution may weaken the tartar enough for you to brush it off. If some of the tartar is removed after a tablet soak but the rest won't come off, then you can try using a denture tablet soak on other nights. A regular tablet soak may get rid of the deposits over time.
Try a Vinegar Solution
If denture cleaning tablets don't work, try a homemade tartar cleaner. Mix equal parts white vinegar and water and soak your dentures in the solution. If this works, the vinegar will dissolve the tartar. It may not get rid of all of the deposits; however, it may make any remaining tartar soft enough to brush away. To check if this has worked, rinse the dentures and then brush them as you normally would. If the vinegar has worked, the tartar should shift.
A word of warning: don't use vinegar on partial dentures that have metal clasps without checking if this is OK with your dentist first. The vinegar may damage metal attachments.
Don't Try This at Home
Don't be tempted to buy a hard toothbrush and an abrasive toothpaste to try and brush the tartar off. This won't work. The abrasion may also scrape the surfaces of your dentures and damage them. You also shouldn't try to scrape or pick the tartar off with a knife or toothpick. This may get some of the deposits off, but it is also likely to scratch or nick some of your teeth.
If denture cleaner soaks and vinegar soaks don't work, make an appointment to see your dentist. He or she can clean the tartar off your teeth effectively and safely. They can also give you tips to prevent tartar from building up on your teeth again in the future.