Dental health professional recommendation and consumer habits in denture cleansing

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Abstract

Statement of problem.

Regular cleaning of dentures is essential to the oral and general health of denture wearers. Only limited systematic data are available on the recommendations that dental health care professionals (DHCPs) make to patients for denture cleaning. Data on denture wearers’ cleaning regimens are also lacking.

Purpose.

The purpose of this study was to provide data on recommendations that DHCPs make to patients for denture cleaning and on the cleaning regimens of denture wearers.

Material and methods.

DHCPs (n=613), including dentists and hygienists, were surveyed in developed (Japan, USA, Italy) and developing (Brazil, India) countries. A questionnaire assessing a range of denture cleaning recommendations was used. The questions addressed products, frequency, how to use remedies, the suggested dilution and duration of cleansing treatment, the location of dentures while cleaning, and the reasoning behind the recommendation of particular products or modes of treatment. Denture cleansing methods and the routine of denture wearers in developed and developing countries were also surveyed with a questionnaire (n=2862) and a 1-week diary (n=1462).

Results.

An average of more than 2 treatments was recommended by DHCPs. Specialist denture cleanser tablets, “regular” toothpaste, mouthwash, soap and water, denture paste, foam or liquid denture cleanser, and dishwashing detergents were most commonly recommended; other product recommendations included baking soda, vinegar, salt water, and bleach. More than 10% of DHCPs made no primary recommendation on cleaning. Denture tablets were more commonly recommended in developed countries, whereas toothpaste was the most common recommendation in developing countries. Denture wearers used products and methods similar to those recommended by DHCPs. Toothpaste, water, and mouthwash were used more frequently than denture tablets. More than 75% of denture wearers reported using denture cleanser tablets for more than 5 minutes, whereas soap and toothpaste were typically used for less than 2 minutes.

Conclusions.

DHCP recommendations and denture wearer habits are diverse, with no consensus on the most appropriate denture cleaning methods. This reflects a lack of clear, systematic evidence upon which to base recommendations.

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