5.21 Skills Checklist: Denture Care

  1. Gather Supplies: Gloves, denture brush, denture toothpaste if available, dentures, denture cup, denture cleansing tablet if desired, emesis/oral basin, oral swab, cup of water, clothing protector (towel), barrier (paper towel), sink liner (paper towel or washcloth), and linen bag or hamper. See Figure 5.26[1] at the end of this checklist for an image of an oral swab.
  2. Routine Pre-Procedure Steps:
    • Knock on the resident’s door.
    • Perform hand hygiene.
    • Maintain respectful, courteous, and professional communication at all times.
    • Introduce yourself and identify the resident.
    • Provide for privacy.
    • Explain the procedure to the resident.
  3. Procedure Steps:
    • Put on gloves.
    • Place all supplies on a barrier.
    • Place a clothing protector on the resident.
    • Line the sink with a washcloth or paper towel.
    • Remove dentures from the cup or remove them from the resident’s mouth and place them in the denture cup or emesis basin.
    • Handle the dentures carefully to avoid damage or contamination.
    • Wet the denture brush and apply denture toothpaste if available. Water alone is acceptable to clean dentures if toothpaste is not available.
    • Thoroughly brush the inner, outer, and chewing surfaces of each denture.
    • Rinse the dentures using clean, cool water and place them on a clean barrier or in an emesis basin.
    • Rinse the denture cup.
    • Place the dentures in a rinsed cup.
    • Wet an oral swab and gently clean all surfaces of the resident’s gums and tongue.
    • Allow the resident to rinse and spit into the emesis basin.
    • Place the dentures in the resident’s mouth if desired.
    • Wipe the resident’s mouth and remove the clothing protector, placing it in an appropriate container.
    • In the evening, place the dentures in the denture cup and add cool, clean water to the denture cup to cover the dentures.
    • Put a denture cleansing tablet in the cup, if desired.
    • Rinse the equipment (denture brush and emesis basin).
    • Return the equipment to storage.
    • Discard the protective lining in an appropriate container.
    • Remove the gloves, turning them inside out.
  4. Post-Procedure Steps:
    • Perform hand hygiene.
    • Check for resident comfort and ask if anything else is needed.
    • Ensure the bed is low and locked. Check the brakes.
    • Place the call light or signaling device within reach of the resident.
    • Open the door and privacy curtain.
    • Perform hand hygiene.
    • Document and report any oral issues or changes noted with the resident.
Photo showing an oral swab still inside unopened packaging
Figure 5.26 Oral Swab

View a YouTube video[2] of an instructor demonstrating denture care:


  1. "Oral Swab" by Landon Cerny is licensed under CC BY 4.0
  2. Chippewa Valley Technical College. (2022, December 3). Denture Care. [Video]. YouTube. Video licensed under CC BY 4.0https://youtu.be/kDWlh3lRGnk


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Nursing Assistant Copyright © by Chippewa Valley Technical College is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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