Many patients that are confined to beds are unable to care for their dentures properly. Dentures are cleaned as if they are natural teeth. They can break easily so you will need to take special care and be careful not to drop them. When they are not in use they need to be stored in cool water to prevent them from drying out. You always wash them in tepid water, never warm, as high temperatures will cause the dentures to crack.

How to Clean Dentures:


  • 2 Towels

  • Denture Brush

  • Cleaning Paste for Dentures (do not use regular toothpaste, it can damage dentures if there is whitening agents in it)

  • Dentures

  • Dentures Case

  • Toothette (a disposable, single-use sponge swab attached to a stick)

  • Toothpaste

  • Emesis Basin

  • A Cup of Water

  • Washcloth

  • 2 Pairs of Gloves

  • Tray


  1. Knock on patient’s door, then enter

  2. Greet the patient by name, introduce yourself, and the task you will perform

  3. Provide for privacy by shutting the curtains

  4. Wash your hands

  5. Gather all supplies and set up on a towel-covered tray table

  6. Put on gloves

  7. Bring the case of dentures, toothpaste, and denture brush to the sink

  8. At the sink grab a paper towel fold it up and set the denture case, with dentures still in it, on the top of the sink.

  9. Place paper towels in the bottom of the sink to keep dentures from breaking if dropped

  10. Turn the water on cold and check the temperature with your wrist

  11. Take the dentures out of the case and set the lid on the paper towel

  12. Hold the dentures in one hand and the case with the other

  13. Rinse the case out 2 times, fill with cold water, and set aside on the counter

  14. To clean the dentures use a small amount of denture paste and brush on ALL areas

  15. Rinse dentures off, put into case filled with cold water, and put on lid

  16. Rinse off denture brush and store all supplies in dresser

  17. Take off and throw away gloves

  18. Wash hands and put on new gloves

  19. Gather toothette and fill cup of water 1/2 full (for drinking water) and place on tray table

  20. Ask patient if it’s ok if you raise the bed to 60 degrees (so they are sitting up)

  21. Put towel over chest (remember to roll down and away from the patient)

  22. ASK IF THEY HAVE ANY CUTS OR SORES IN THIER MOUTH. If they do you must notify the nurse before moving forward

  23. Have them take a sip of water and spit it into the basin

  24. Put toothpaste on toothette, pour on water (over basin) to get it a little wet

  25. Brush the tops of the gums, and then bottoms, making sure to always start on the outsides and work in

  26. After brushing have them rinse their mouth and spit 2 times in basin

  27. Pat dry with the wash cloth after each spit

  28. Rinse basin in sink and pour out 2 times

  29. Pat dry with clean paper towel and store with paper towel barrier

  30. Take off gloves and wash hands

  31. Place the call light in the patient’s hand, and ask how they would like the head of their bed


Think you're ready?

Enter your zip code in the form below and we’ll match you with the best CNA schools near you and online. It’s fast and free!