If you have dentures, you really should consider an ultrasonic cleaner.
Ultrasonic denture cleaners are one of the best ways to get any dental appliance clean. This is backed by science. And if you have dentures, it is extremely important that you maintain a tight cleaning routine.
Just because you have prosthetic teeth doesn’t mean you’re off the hook for oral hygiene. Dental care is just as important and often more difficult with dentures. But ultrasonic cleaners can help you get cleaner dentures with less hassle.
Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about ultrasonic denture cleaners including:
- How ultrasonic cleaners actually work.
- Why brushing alone isn’t enough.
- What studies say about ultrasonic cleaning.
- How to choose the right ultrasonic cleaner.
- Which is the best ultrasonic cleaner for dentures.
- How to get the most from your ultrasonic cleaner.
By educating yourself, you’re in a better position to make the right buying decision. Once you’re ready, our ultrasonic denture cleaner reviews will help you choose which one is right for you.
Before we get there, let’s answer some basic questions.
What Are Ultrasonic Denture Cleaners?
To keep things simple:
Ultrasonic denture cleaners use high frequency sound to vibrate a water bath. The rapid agitation of the water can get dentures clean down to the microscopic level.
In order to be considered ultrasonic the device must be able to operate at above 20,000 Hz. At this point, tiny bubbles are formed that quickly rupture. As they do, small but powerful shockwaves are emitted. This is where the power of ultrasonic cleaners lie.
Similar cleaners that don’t reach 20,000 Hz are referred to as sonic cleaners. Unlike ultrasonic cleaners, you can usually hear them humming. While they do provide some benefit, they are not nearly as effective on the microscopic level as ultrasonic cleaners.
In case you didn’t know, it’s important to get your dentures clean, really clean.
Why Use Ultrasonic Denture Cleaners?
As we age, oral care becomes even more important. And you need to take especially good care of your mouth if you wear dentures.
But isn’t brushing enough?
While brushing is an important piece of the oral health puzzle, it’s not enough for denture wearers. Research has found higher yeast and lactobacilli counts in older subjects— even more so in older denture wearers.
You don’t have to read the study or know what lactobacilli is to get the point:
Bacteria cause decay and bad breath (and potentially much worse). And while it helps to brush your dentures well before placing them in an ultrasonic bath, no toothbrush is going to remove all of the bacteria hiding away in your dentures.
Just like your real teeth, dentures have tiny pores that the bristles of your brush simply can’t reach into. Denture specific toothbrushes are great, but this is true for them too. You need a liquid to penetrate the cracks.
Which brings up another question:
What about tablet cleansers?
A Look At What the Studies Say
Scientific interest in denture care is picking up as more of the health community emphasizes preventing disease instead of treating it.
In a small 2016 study where participants either brushed or used an ultrasonic cleaner, no significant difference was seen between these two mechanical cleaning methods. In the same study, soaking dentures overnight with a tablet lead to less bacteria than soaking in water alone.
This would indicate that ultrasonic cleaning and brushing are interchangeable. It also seems to say that overnight soaking in tablet solution is an important step.
However, there are a lot of variables here. That means there is more to the story.
To this point, a 2011 study featuring 80 complete denture wearers is still probably the best source of info on how different cleaning methods affect oral bacteria levels.
Researchers divided the participants into four groups.
All of the groups brushed their dentures for two minutes, three times a day (after each meal) with tap water and a specific brush for complete dentures. They would also rinse their mouth with water after brushing. Lastly, each group kept their dentures immersed in water during sleep.
The first group stopped right there. They call this the “control group”.
The second group did all of the same but then soaked their dentures for 20 min in warm water with an effervescent tablet after dinner.
The third group did the same brushing routine as the control group. At the end of the 21 day period, they had their dentures cleaned with a commercial ultrasonic cleaner by a professional.
The last group combined the second and third groups into one routine. They used a tablet every evening after dinner and had their dentures cleaned with an ultrasonic cleaner at the end as well.
All of the experimental groups (2-4) outperformed the control group. This indicates that ultrasonic cleaner usage and denture tablets both increase the effectiveness of a strong brushing routine. In this case, they didn’t even use the ultrasonic cleaner on a daily basis.
When you look at both of these studies together, the most logical conclusion is that brushing, tablets, and ultrasonic cleaners may all have their place. But if brushing is very difficult for you, an ultrasonic cleaner may be an adequate substitute.
Either way, a high quality ultrasonic cleaner is one of the best ways to guarantee that you get your dentures are completely clean.
The Best Ultrasonic Denture Cleaners On The Market
Dental professionals have been using ultrasonic cleaners since the 1950s.
But you need to understand what makes a good ultrasonic denture cleaner if you are looking to own one.
The truth is, there are only a few ultrasonic cleaners specifically made for dentures. But that’s really not a problem. Most ultrasonic cleaners are more than large enough to accommodate a set of dentures. Not to mention, you can also use them to clean jewelry or your eyeglasses.
Just make sure you get an ultrasonic cleaner and not a sonic one. Beyond that, setting standards for what makes the best ultrasonic cleaner for your needs is pretty simple.
How well it gets the job done is obviously the most important issue. Still, there are a few other things to consider before making a purchasing decision.
1. Effectiveness: How well the device gets items clean, dentures or otherwise.
2. Usability: User friendliness and the presence of useful features.
3. Size: It’s about your counterspace; smaller gets higher ratings.
4. Value: Factoring in price, durability, even warranty information.
Our reviews are based off the direct evaluation of what real users say about the product. We take that info and filter it through our criteria to come up with our rankings.
Luckily, there are several good ultrasonic cleaners on the market that are great for dentures.
Branson is probably the industry leader when it comes to industrial strength ultrasonic cleaners. Luckily for us, they have a few small models that are perfect for dental appliances. If you can afford it, the B200 will get you the best results of any ultrasonic cleaner on this list.
The Branson B200 operates at 50,000-60,000 Hz. The nearest competition comes in a 42,000 Hz. This brings professional quality directly into your home. The only problem is that it is twice the price of any other cleaner on this list. However, it will last longer as well.
95% of reviewers rate the B200 at least 3 stars and over 75% rate it 5 stars. Despite the price tag, it has one of the highest satisfaction ratings of any product on this list. Simple on-off switch, 5 minute timer, and a one year warranty push the usability and value scores higher.
The Famili is a well regarded product, with 80% of reviewers rating it at 4 or 5 stars. Only about 5% of reviewers give it a one star. It cleans at 42,000 Hz like most of the cleaners on this list, well above the requirements to create ultrasonic action.
While it is the bulkiest unit on this list, it also has a higher build quality than every product that follows. Unlike the products from Magnasonic and iSonic, the FM8000WW actually comes with a warranty. They also seem to have the best customer service of any brand on this list.
This is easily the top selling ultrasonic cleaner on Amazon—and it gets excellent ratings too. Over the course of nearly 3000 reviews, 70% are 5 star while only 5% are 1 star. It operates at 42,000 Hz as well.
It is easy to use, has 5 different cycles to choose from, and comes with a large removable basket that helps keep items secure. Some reviewers complained about the the unit breaking down within the first few weeks or months and it does not have a warranty. So use caution.
iSonic easily has the most diverse range of ultrasonic cleaners on the market. While they have others specially made for dental appliances, this one receives better reviews. Out of more than 70 reviews, over 70% are 5 star and over 95% come in at 3 or above. It operates at 42,000 Hz.
The iSonic D3800A is the most compact ultrasonic cleaner on this list and it’s as easy to use as well. The only complaints from customers were about the build quality and durability. Several reported that it breaks quickly and iSonic does not offer a warranty.
The iSonic F3900 Ultrasonic Cleaner for Dentures, Retainers, and Mouthguards is one of the only true dental-specific ultrasonic cleaners on the market. Over 60% of the reviews on Amazon are 5 star, which is pretty good.
It works well and is relatively easy to use. However, you must pick it up and dump it in the sink to clean it because the water tank is not removable. This annoyed several reviewers. There were also quite a few complaints about durability; many said that it is “not built to last”.
Please note: The iSonic D2830 may be a better choice for some but is not widely reviewed enough to gain consideration here.
How To Make the Most of Your Ultrasonic Cleaner
Simply having an ultrasonic cleaner won’t get your dentures clean.
You have to use it. And if you really want to get the most value from it, you need to use it right. Sure, manufacturers provide instructions (and it’s important that you follow those). But like anything else, experience provides education you might not find elsewhere.
There a few things you should do to get the most out of an ultrasonic cleaner as a denture cleaning device.
Always brush your dentures first. Ultrasonic cleaners aren’t made to remove large food particles. That is a job for you and your toothbrush. Use a denture-specific one for the best results.
Use the basket. Most of the ultrasonic cleaners on our list aren’t made specifically for dentures. In fact, few are. Many though, come with baskets or other accessories that allow you to secure your items in the bath. If your dentures are allowed to move freely, they may end up getting damaged as the action in the bath jostles them against the container wall.
Use cleaning solution. Ultrasonic cleaning power is based on the formation and then collapse of tiny bubbles. So soap is not always entirely necessary. However, it usually helps. Many even come with ultrasonic-specific solution. You might even add a few drops of a denture cleaning solution. Just be careful as it never takes much.
Choose the longest time setting. Ultrasonic cleaners work fast. The longest setting on most is five minutes. Still, be sure to let the machine clean your dentures that full five minutes. And don’t be afraid to run it a second time, though it’s unlikely that you’ll need to do so often (if ever).
Rinse and soak. As we’ve pointed out before, rinsing and soaking your dentures at night is an extremely important step. It’s especially important to rinse if you’ve used a cleaning solution that wasn’t made specifically for dentures. And of course, we recommend soaking with denture cleaning tablets at night.
Certainly, you’re likely to notice the difference in how clean your dentures are the first time you use an ultrasonic cleaner. But follow these steps and it will do more than that for you.
Clean dentures are better for your overall health. Clean dentures also last longer.
Dirty dentures lead to bad breath, dry mouth, and a host of other issues.
Ultrasonic cleaning is easily one of the best ways to keep your dentures clean. Choose one that fits your budget and needs. Use it the right way. Have the cleanest dentures of your life.