Should You Keep Dentures in Water Overnight?

Medically Reviewed By
Jonathan G. Campbell, DDS, FAGD
One of the top rated Dentist in Salt Lake City, UT
dentures in a glass

Removable dentures are designed to be removed at night to allow your gums to rest and for cleaning. However, we hear many patients ask what they should do after cleaning their dentures. Should they just put them in the case, or should they be keeping their dentures in water overnight?

If you have questions about how to care for your dentures, let the team at Legacy Dental help. Our highly trained staff can help you understand the best way to care for your dentures and other oral appliances.

Best Care Practices for Removable Dentures

Plaque and food stick to your dentures just like natural teeth. If you don’t regularly clean your dentures, you’re at risk of developing bad breath and gum disease.

Therefore, you should brush your dentures at least once daily; twice is better. However, you should never use toothpaste. Most toothpaste brands are too abrasive for artificial teeth and can damage the surface of your dentures.

Instead, you should be using a soft-bristled toothbrush made for dentures and a mild soap or denture cleaning solution. While brushing is important, you must also soak your dentures in water or a denture-soaking solution overnight. If dentures dry out, they can become brittle and lose their shape.

Steps for Cleaning Dentures

Start by placing a soft folded towel on your bathroom counter. This will protect your dentures in case you drop them. Then, remove your dentures and rinse them with warm- not hot- water. Use your soft-bristled toothbrush and cleanser to loosen and remove plaque, food particles, and bacteria. Make sure to clean all areas. Brushing will also help loosen and remove denture adhesive. Then, rinse with warm water. If you are going to bed, you should place your dentures in lukewarm water or a denture solution. Never allow your dentures to dry out, as this can cause them to become brittle and warped. Never place them in hot water, as this can cause warping as well.

Benefits of Soaking Removable Dentures

There are several benefits of soaking removable dentures, including:

Soaking deep cleans dentures

Dentures have surface pores where bacteria can settle. Brushing alone can’t get into these pores to remove the bacteria. While it’s true that we also have bacteria in our mouths, the immune system can keep it in check. However, since dentures are made of artificial material, they do not have any bacteria-fighting properties, which means bacteria can thrive without a thorough cleaning.

Soaking kills 99.9% of germs

You will find a plethora of denture-cleaning products at your local pharmacy. However, it’s important to note that they are not all created equal. While you may be tempted to purchase a fast-acting or inexpensive cleanser, it might not be the best option. Choose a solution that is designed for overnight soaking. If you’re unsure what to choose, ask one of our dentists or hygienists.

Soaking can reduce health risks associated with dentures

Saliva offers a variety of protective benefits and is the first line of defense against bacteria in the mouth. Unfortunately, many of our older patients suffer from dry mouth due to aging and/or medications. If dentures are not properly cleaned, they pose serious health risks, including gum disease.

How Long Can You Leave Dentures in Water?

Any time dentures are going to be out of your mouth for an extended period of time, they should be kept in water or a denture solution. If they are allowed to dry out, they may become brittle and warped. Ideally, dentures should only be soaked overnight and put back in your mouth the following morning.

If you have dentures or think you might benefit from partial or complete dentures, schedule a consultation with the team at Legacy Dental today. We offer extended office hours for patients who have difficulty taking time off work. Our hours are Monday through Thursday from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM, Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, and Saturday from 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM. 


Legacy Dental blog is proudly run by our Salt Lake City dentists team; We share knowledge about general dental care and practices. Apart from running this blog, we offer various dental services such as general dentistry, emergency dentistry, and dental implants for the community in Salt Lake City, Utah

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Friday: 8.00am – 5:00pm
Saturday: 8.00am – 2:00pm
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