How to Keep False Teeth in the Mouth

Updated April 17, 2017

Worrying about whether your dentures are secure while you chew or speak can be a real concern, especially for new denture wearers. Using a denture adhesive -- also known as a denture adherent -- can give you confidence your dentures will stay firmly in place. These products are available over-the-counter in the form of creams, powders or strips that are applied to clean dentures before they are placed in the mouth. Your dentist may recommend using an adhesive if your saliva glands produce inadequate saliva to hold your dentures in place. Denture adhesives are used as a temporary measure to provide added grip for well-fitting dentures -- they are not intended as an alternative to getting old, ill-fitting dentures realigned or replaced.

Select a denture adhesive that is right for you. Experiment with different varieties and brands until you find one that works best for you.

Rinse your dentures to remove loose food particles.

Apply a small amount of denture cleanser to a moist denture cleaning brush, or soft-bristled toothbrush, and scrub every surface gently to remove food and plaque.

Dry your dentures using a clean flannel or hand towel. Skip this step if using a powder denture adhesive that requires a damp surface for application.

Apply three or four dabs of denture cream, the size of a pencil eraser, evenly around the inside surface of the upper denture, not too close to the edge. If using powder or strips, apply the smallest amount advised by the manufacturer.

Apply three or four dabs of cream, also the size of a pencil eraser, evenly around the inside surface of your lower denture.

Rinse your mouth with clear water.

Press your dentures into place inside your mouth. Hold firmly and bite down for a few seconds to secure.


Start by using a very small amount of denture adhesive and increase the amount if you feel it's necessary. If adhesive oozes out of the denture after you bite down on it, you have applied too much and should reduce the amount. Application directions vary from adhesive to adhesive. For example, some should be applied once a day, in the morning, while others can be applied multiple times throughout the day. So be sure to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer of your particular product.


Consult your dentist before using a denture adhesive or if your dentures begin to feel loose or uncomfortable. Use denture adhesives that carry the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval to guarantee the product's safety and effectiveness.

Things You'll Need

  • Denture cleaning brush (or soft-bristled toothbrush)
  • Denture cleanser
  • Denture adhesive
  • Clean flannel or towel
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About the Author

Based in London, Lisa Green has been writing entertainment and women’s lifestyle articles since 2004. She has contributed to the MyVillage and Glam networks and is the former editor of Entertainmentwise. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from De Montfort University and a City & Guilds journalism certificate from the City of Bristol College.