Dentures consist of a removable plate with one or more artificial teeth attached, with metal clasps at the ends that attach to the patient's existing teeth. Most people need new dentures every three years, as mouths change over time, and denture wearers may find themselves with used dentures collecting dust in their homes. However, by sending those dentures to a recycling program in Japan, you can contribute to a worthwhile cause and help others receive the dentures they desperately need.
Clean and disinfect your dentures. This can be done by pouring boiling water over them. Although dental solution can be used to clean the dentures, it doesn't always kill all the bacteria and fungi that can grow on dentures. If you prefer not to pour boiling water, you can carefully place your dentures into a pot of water and bring it to a boil, and then turn off the heat and wait for the water to cool to remove the dentures. Alternatively, you can soak your dentures in a solution that is equal parts hydrogen peroxide and water for thirty minutes, then rinse and let dry completely.
Wrap the dentures in tissue paper, bubble wrap or other cushioning packing material.
Place the well-wrapped dentures into a padded envelope.
Determine the cost of shipping via the United States Postal Service website. Alternatively, you can go to the post office and have it determine the cost of postage for you.
Address the package to: Japan Dentures Recycling Association, 350-8799 Kawagoe Post Office Stop, Japan.
Mail the package. You can purchase and print postage from the USPS website, and mail the package directly from your home, or you can take the package to your local post office and have it do so.
Items you will need
Tissue paper or packing material
This is the only organization that recycles dentures as of the time of this writing. The foundation strips the metal clasps from the dentures and sells the metal as a way to fund the production of more dentures for those who need it.
There are other organizations that may take dentures as a donation, even if they do not explicitly state that they do. Look for organizations in your area that recycle scrap metal, and contact them to see if they are willing to take your dentures for the metal parts on them.
The Japan Dentures Recycling Foundation is a nonprofit affiliated with UNICEF. It also accepts monetary donations.
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