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Cleaning Dentures, Denture Care CNA Skill

Some patients will not have the mobility to take care of their own dentures, and as such, that responsibility will fall on the CNA. With this in mind, it’s not a surprise that cleaning dentures is a CNA skill that you can be tested on during your skills exam. 

To follow along with this entire mouth care process, please watch this video demonstration. 

CNA denture cleaning skill procedure

The following steps are a foundational guideline for performing denture care as a CNA.

  1. Knock on the patient’s door before entering the room
  2. Greet your patient, introduce yourself, and then explain the task you are about to perform
  3. Close the privacy curtains
  4. Perform hand hygiene (wash hands)
  5. Gather all necessary supplies and set them up on a table covered with a clean towel
  6. Apply your gloves
  7. Bring dentures, toothpaste, and denture brush to the sink area
  8. Fold a paper towel and place it on the sink area. Set the dentures, while still in their case, on top of the sink
  9. Line the sink with paper towels to prevent the dentures from breaking if you happen to drop them
  10. Run cold water and check the temperature using your wrist
  11. Remove the dentures from their case, setting the lid on the paper towel
  12. Hold the dentures in one hand and the case in the other
  13. Rinse the case twice, then fill it with cool water, and set it aside on the counter
  14. Apply a small amount of denture paste and brush all areas thoroughly
  15. Rinse the dentures, place them in the case (filled with cool water) and apply the lid
  16. Rinse the denture brush and return supplies back to their storage location
  17. Remove and discard gloves
  18. Perform hand hygiene and apply new gloves
  19. Gather toothette and fill cup half full with water and place it on the tray table for the patient to drink
  20. Ask the patient for permission to raise the bed to a 60 degree position 
  21. Place a towel over the patient’s chest, rolling it down and away from the patient
  22. Ask the patient if they have any sores or cuts in their mouth. If so, you must notify a nurse before continuing the procedure
  23. Have the patient take a sip of water and spit it into the basin
  24. Put toothpaste on the toothette, use a small amount of water to wet it, pouring it above the basin
  25. Brush the to of the gums first, then the bottoms, working from the outside inward
  26. Once brushing is complete, have the patient rinse their mouth out and spit twice into the basin, making sure to pat the patient dry between each spit
  27. Rinse the basin in the sink
  28. Pat the basin dry with clean paper towel and store with a paper towel barrier
  29. Remove and dispose of gloves, then wash your hands
  30. Put the call light in the patient’s hand and ask them if they would like the head of their bed adjusted

* Please be sure to consult the testing materials provided by the skills test provider in your state to ensure that these steps for how a CNA is to perform the denture care skill are in compliance. The procedure in different states and from different test providers can vary slightly and greatly affect your score.