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Dentists suggest solutions to clean dentures, zap bacteria

Better clean those dentures! MRSA could be lurking

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CINCINNATI -- Here's an icky thought for the 20 million Americans who wear dentures: there's a good chance your false teeth are covered with thin layers of sticky bacteria known as biofilms. 

And some of those biofilms may be nasty bacteria such as MRSA, which can cause serious, hard-to-treat infections.

A recent study in the Journal of the American Dental Association recommends two simple solutions that seem to work: 

1. Zap your dentures in the microwave for three minutes, or:

2. Soak them in a solution of 2 percent chlorhexadine gluconate, a germicidal mouthwash, for 10 minutes.

* Putting dentures in the microwave or submerging them in the 2 percent chlorhexadine gluconate is a good disinfectant step. But, dentures that contain metal should not go in the microwave and the harsh chemical rinse may be too strong for daily use, according to Victoria A. Vickers, a San Antonio prosthodontist, a dentist who specializes in the repair and replacement of teeth.

For tips on cleansing dentures from the American Dental Association, click here or go to .

For tips on how to clean dentures from the Mayo Clinic, click here or go to .

Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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