Perform Mouth Care on a Resident with Dentures

Care Plan: A resident is sitting at an overbed table and the resident’s denture is in a denture cup. The resident is not able to provide own mouth or denture care. The resident’s denture needs to be cleaned and the resident needs mouth care. The denture is stored in a denture cup after cleaning.


Click on each question to view the answer…

Do I have to brush the dentures first?

No.  You may brush the gums first, or the dentures first, whichever you prefer.  You should practice the same way each time to establish a routine.

Why do I have to brush the patient’s gums?

Denture adhesive paste and food particles will remain in the mouth after the dentures have been removed.  Failure to clean the mouth can cause these particles to create ulcers and infections.

Why do I have to change gloves during this skill?

Your gloves will be contaminated after cleaning the dentures.  Since you will need to perform mouth care, you should use clean gloves when brushing the patient’s teeth.

Do I put the gloves on before or after turning on the water when cleaning dentures?

Either.  You may put the gloves on before or after turning the water on.  However, you must use a paper towel to turn the faucet on, whether you have gloves on or not.  Remember, the faucet is dirty.  You do not want to contaminate the gloves or your hands by touching the faucet.

Why do I have to put a washcloth in the bottom of the sink?

This creates a softer surface in case the dentures fall into the sink while cleaning.  Without the washcloth, the dentures might hit the hard surface of the sink and break.  You should make sure that the dentures are always held over the sink when cleaning.

Do we have to use a toothette when cleaning the gums?

You may use either a soft toothbrush or a toothette when cleaning the gums.  Most facilities encourage the use of toothettes because they are not as abrasive on the gums and they are disposable.  Denture adhesive paste is difficult to clean off of toothbrush bristles and can harbor bacteria, so disposable toothettes are more desirable.