Dentures accumulate food and plaque and need to be cleaned. Brush thoroughly to loosen food debris and reduce odours. Denture cleaning solutions do not replace the need to brush. Brush twice daily using warm water and mild soap or denture paste. Brush over a sink partially filled with water and lined with a washcloth to prevent breakage in the event the denture is accidentally dropped. Do not use toothpaste as it can scratch the denture, and never use bleach to clean or soak dentures as it can dis-color and weaken them. When not wearing dentures or at night, soak them in water or a denture cleaning solution to prevent drying. After soaking, rinse dentures in warm water. Denture cleansers may be toxic if ingested. They should not be gargled or swallowed. Proper care of dentures can extend their life and contribute to a healthy mouth. The average life span of dentures is five to seven years. Dentures may need to be relined or replaced as the mouth changes with age.