Senior woman with blonde hair smiling, portraying questions about denture adhesives

Denture adhesives are creams, powders, strips, or pastes used to help a denture stay firmly in place. Adhesives can help dentures fit more securely, but not everyone needs them. Still, adhesives are not a substitute for poor-fitting dentures. You can choose from dozens of adhesive brands. How do you know which brand to choose? Is adhesive necessary? We will answer five frequently asked questions about denture adhesives.

1. How Do Denture Adhesives Work?

Denture adhesives work by forming a seal between the denture base and your gums. Your saliva helps the bond create suction to secure the denture.

Apply denture adhesive cream with these easy steps:

  • Clean and dry your denture.
  • Rinse your mouth to ensure it is moist.
  • Apply short, spaced strips of adhesive in the denture base.
  • Put the denture in your mouth, bite down, and hold it in place for ten seconds for a secure hold.

Instructions for adhesive powders, strips, or pastes vary.

2. Why Do I Need Denture Adhesives?

You may need denture adhesive to keep your denture securely in place. According to the May 2021 Journal of Dentistry article on dental adhesives, you may notice improvements in the following by using adhesives:

  • Retention (ability to keep the denture in place)
  • Bite force
  • Chewing

3. Which Brands of Denture Adhesives Hold Best?

One way to find quality denture adhesive brands is through the American Dental Association (ADA). Check the ADA website for denture adhesives with the ADA Seal of Approval. Also, ask your dentist for recommendations. Beware that many adhesive brands contain zinc, and according to the Food and Drug Administration, overuse of zinc dental adhesives can leave excessive amounts of zinc in your body.

4. How Long Do Denture Adhesives Last?

Denture adhesives last twelve to sixteen hours. Avoid using too much or too little of the product to help it last. Several factors can affect how long the bond lasts, which we will discuss next.

5. Why Doesn’t Your Denture Adhesive Last?

Your denture adhesive may not last due to several factors you can discuss with your dentist. The factors may include:

  • Quality of the adhesive – The quality of denture adhesives varies, so you may need to try another brand or ask your dentist for a recommendation.
  • Using too much or too little adhesive – Follow instructions carefully to ensure you prepare your denture for adhesive and apply the right amount. Some patients take pictures of the denture base to compare how much adhesive they have used and what works best.
  • Your jawbone volume – Your bone shrinks when all your teeth are missing, and you will need periodic denture relining or a new denture.
  • Denture fit – Adhesive may not work if your denture does not fit well.

Discover an Alternative to Denture Adhesives

Dental implants are an alternative to denture adhesives. Despite using adhesives, some patients experience dentures that lift, loosen, or fall out. An implant dentist can surgically place two to six dental implants in your jawbone and snap or screw the denture onto the implants. Implant-supported or implant-retained dentures have these benefits:

  • Dental implant screws stimulate your jawbone, preventing bone shrinkage and premature facial sagging.
  • Dentures that snap or screw onto dental implants do not need adhesive.
  • Stabilizing your dentures with implants is a long-term solution for improving denture function, such as eating or speaking.
  • You can eat whatever you want and socialize without discomfort or embarrassment.


Small amounts of denture adhesive can keep your denture in place and improve its function. Ask your dentist or check the American Dental Association’s website for dental adhesive recommendations. Dental implants are a long-lasting alternative to adhesives to stabilize your dentures and help them look and function more like natural teeth.

Request an Implant Denture Consultation

If you live near Vancouver, Washington, Dr. Mo Saleh is a diplomate of the International Dental Implant Association and the International Congress of Oral Implantologists. His advanced implant training will help you make an informed choice about implant dentures. Dr. Saleh makes dental implants affordable while adhering to a strict process to ensure you get a healthy, natural-looking outcome. Call Vista Dental today or request a consultation on our website.

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