News & blogs Taskforce announces new denture guidelines to combat growing health needs of an ageing world population 07 September 2018 A GLOBAL TASKFORCE of academic experts brought together by UK-based charity the Oral Health Foundation has today announced new guidelines to address the needs an aging population worldwide and tackle the wealth of inconsistent and contradictory advice on the best care of dentures. The need for people to have dentures, otherwise known as false teeth, is expected to increase dramatically over the next 30 years as the elderly population increases. It is predicted that by 2050 an estimated two billion people will be over the age of 60 – more than double today’s figure. The taskforce labelled current recommendations on denture care ‘confusing’ and ‘unreliable’, adding that many claims lack valid evidence. As a result, the group of experts including representatives from the Oral Health Foundation and King’s College London, have launched a series of simple and effective guidelines on how to look after dentures.1 Dr Nigel Carter OBE, Chief Executive of the Oral Health Foundation believes the new guidelines will help end confusion about how dentures should be looked after. Dr Carter says: “We have found that people with dentures do not know how they should be cleaning them. Our report shows that denture wearers use everything from soap and water to toothpastes, bleaches and commercial products. But with the variety of recommendations available online and from other sources, it is no surprise that people are confused. “The amount of inconsistent and often unproven advice about cleaning and maintaining dentures is frightening. Incorrect denture care can pose a real threat to both the oral health and general health of denture wearers. “We hope these new recommendations can reassure people about the best way to look after their dentures.” The project, which received an educational grant from GSK, featured a panel of independent and internationally-recognised experts from the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Japan and the UK. The risks associated with poor denture care are wide-ranging and include inflammation of the mouth, staining, changes in taste and bad breath. It has also been linked to wider health problems such as pneumonia, particularly in the frail elderly. The new advice has been summarised in four key steps: Brush your dentures daily: use a toothbrush or denture brush along with a non-abrasive cleaner (not toothpaste as some have been previously instructed). Soak your dentures daily: use a denture cleanser to remove more of the bad bacteria and disinfect your dentures. Take out your dentures at night: Unless there are reasons for leaving dentures in, taking them out overnight will help to relieve any soreness and prevent infection. Visit your dentist regularly: To make sure that dentures are being kept in good condition and the mouth is still healthy. The new guidelines were launched on Friday afternoon at the FDI World Dental Congress, held in Argentina. “We will now be working with the NHS, local authorities, dental practices and GPs to help adoption of these guidelines across the UK,” adds Dr Carter. “The older you get, the more likely you are to have dentures. With an aging population, the demand for correct and trustworthy information on how to look after them becomes even more important. “Unclean dentures can have serious consequences to health. Please adopt these guidelines, whether you wear dentures, are a carer to someone that does, or you have a family member that wears them.” For more information about how to correctly look after full dentures, contact the Oral Health Foundation’s Dental Helpline for free, expert and impartial advice on 01788 539780. You can also read about correct denture care in more detail by clicking here. References Oral Health Foundation (2018). White Paper on Optimal Care and Maintenance of Full Dentures for Oral and General Health. [online]. Available at https://www.dentalhealth.org/denturecareguidelines [Accessed 3 Sep. 2018].