Let's talk about...
by Ladye Sparks
DJW Associate Editor
Why do we feel perfectly comfortable discussing the relative merits of Metamucil and All-Bran, but hesitate to talk about something as basically cleanly as getting our dentures sparkly white?
If you brush 'em, they don't feel clean. If you soak 'em, they don't look clean É and you still brush after you've soaked, don't you?
There's a cheap and easy to keep them smooth, clean and odor-free. (I'll bet you remember it from your youth.) It's soda. Good old baking soda. Combine it with vinegar, and you've got a humdinger of a denture cleaner.
Dentures seem to attract plaque. That causes the roughness your tongue encounters behind your gums. It's almost impossible to get off without a knife, and that ruins the dentures.
Here's where the vinegar comes in. Fill a margarine cup about half full of vinegar (white, brown, cider or grain) and heat it in the microwave for 30 to 45 seconds. Rinse off your choppers and drop 'em in the hot vinegar. Now prepare a small container of four-fifths soda and one-fifth salt. I use an empty pill container for the mixture: small, handy and cheap. I put a dessicator from a bottle of pills in mine; keeps it from clumping.
While you're bathing, let the teeth soak. When you're ready, take them out but don't rinse them. Dampen your toothbrush and hit it briskly on the edge of the sink. Dip this barely damp brush into the soda mixture and apply to the teeth.
That fizzing and bubbling of the soda and vinegar gets into the crevices between the teeth and pulls out all sorts of gunk. The plaque should be sticky but brushable, and your teeth will positively gleam! If the plaque is stubborn, repeat the process. When you're through with the vinegar, cap it and save it for next time.
Once your dentures are cleaned and back in your mouth, your tongue will glide over the polished surfaces, and there won't be a hint of "denture odor."
You don't need to do the whole routine every day. Daily brushing with soda and salt will keep your teeth clean and odor-free for many days, but eventually you'll need the hot vinegar bath again.
You can buy a box of soda and a quart of vinegar for about half what toothpaste costs, and it works twice as well. Now that's a bargain!
This story was published in the DallasJewishWeek
on: Thursday, June 6, 2002