A mouthguard that can assist you with grinding, can treat TMJ, and can protect your teeth and mouth while you play sports like soccer, field hockey, and boxing.
Since you may wear a mouthguard often, if not cleaned regularly, bacteria can multiply and cause oral infections diseases or odors, so it is important to keep your mouthguard clean to prevent because bacteria can build up in your mouth. We have listed the possible results of not cleaning your mouthguard. Bacteria buildup Bad taste and/or odor Mold and mildew Plaque buildup Discoloration or discoloration of guards Reduced life expectancy of guards.
So, read on for a tutorial on how to clean your guards as listed by our experts. Our experts recommend some daily maintenance and a weekly deep cleaning to keep your night guards in top condition and thus protect your teeth for as long as possible.
How to clean your mouthguard
For a quick and easy daily cleaning, the general method is simply to brush your mouthguard thoroughly with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Make sure to brush all sides and angles, not just the parts that touch your teeth. Be gentle when cleaning your mouthguard to avoid scratching or damaging it. Below we describe a few ways to clean your mouthguard at home.
How to clean your mouthguard at home
1. Use toothpaste and a toothbrush
You can use a soft bristle toothbrush and a non-abrasive toothpaste to clean your mouthguard. It is best to keep a separate toothbrush for this purpose to avoid cross-contamination of bacteria. Avoid using hard brushes and abrasive toothpastes as they can damage your mouthguard.
The following are ways to clean your mouthguard with a toothbrush. First, you rinse the mouthguard with cool water and apply a small amount of toothpaste to the toothbrush. Then gently brush the mouthguard, making sure to get every angle and every side, then rinse off the toothpaste with water and let the mouthguard dry.
2. Use soap and water
Use soap and water, using a mild soap that is alcohol-free to avoid damaging your mouthguard. Examples of mild soaps are: antibacterial soap, olive soap, dishwashing detergent You will also need to continue using your toothbrush the first way. To clean your mouthguard with soap, the general procedure is First, rinse your mouthguard with cool water and then apply a small amount of soap to your mouthguard. Gently brush the mouthguard with your toothbrush, making sure to get a full brush until the soap lather is spread throughout the mouthguard. Then rinse the mouthguard with water to remove any foam and finally allow the mouthguard to dry.
3. Use mouthwash to clean
Mouthwash has antibacterial properties that make it ideal for cleaning mouthwash. Use a mouthwash that does not contain alcohol to avoid damage. The usual steps are as follows. First mix the mouthwash with cold water. Add a sip of mouthwash to a clean glass. Dilute with water until there is enough liquid in the glass to cover the mouthguard. Allow the mouthwash to soak for 30-40 minutes. Then remove and rinse with cold water. Finally allow the mouthguard to dry.
4. Use baking soda to clean your mouthguard
Baking soda is an alkaline liquid that removes debris and reduces unpleasant odors. The following are common steps for using baking soda. First, in a clean bowl, mix equal parts baking soda and water together to make a paste. Then dip your toothbrush into it. Gently brush the mouthguard. Rinse the mouthwash with cool water. Finally let the mouthguard dry.
5. Clean with hydrogen peroxide and vinegar
For a deeper cleaning, use hydrogen peroxide and vinegar. Both ingredients are inexpensive and natural. To clean your mouthguard in this way, proceed as follows. Rinse the mouthguard with cool water, then place it in a clean glass with enough vinegar to cover the mouthguard. Soak for 30-40 minutes. Then remove the mouthguard and rinse with cold water. Rinse the glass as well. Then put the mouthguard back in the glass and add hydrogen peroxide until it is covered. Let the mouthguard sit in the hydrogen peroxide for 30-40 minutes. Finally, remove and rinse the mouthguard with water and allow the mouthguard to dry.
6. Clean the mouthguard with a professional chemical cleaner
If your retainer needs a deeper cleaning, remember to use an over-the-counter (OTC) non-abrasive denture cleaner. This is because OTC denture cleaners contain sodium hypochlorite (a chemical bleaching agent). It is safe for your mouth and your mouthguard when used according to the product’s instructions. However, if you are sensitive to fragrances or are concerned about these ingredients, chemical cleaners may not be the best choice because OTC cleaners may contain synthetic fragrances and artificial dyes.
General steps for cleaning with chemical cleaners:
- Open small packages of tablets and powders and add warm water to a clean glass.
- Add the tablets or powder.
- Place your mouth guard in the solution.
- Soak for 5 to 10 minutes (or according to package instructions, some cleaners can also be used by brushing instead of soaking).
- Then rinse with cold water and finally allow the mouthguard to dry.
These are 6 ways on how to clean your mouthguard.
Cleaning your child’s mouthguard
If your child is using a mouthguard, then it is even more important that you clean the mouthguard and wash it after each use. For your child’s mouthguard to be healthy and clean, you can follow these steps.
1. Rinse the mouthguard immediately after use
As soon as your child takes the mouthguard out of his mouth, rinse it with warm water, remember, not hot water. This will remove debris and prevent plaque from building up on it.
2. Choose one of the 6 methods above
Our experts still recommend that you try not to use toothpaste, many of which are abrasive and can damage the mouthguard.
Deep clean the mouth guard weekly
You need to get into the habit of deep cleaning your mouthguard once a week. You can use a professional mouthguard cleaner and dip the mouthguard in water. Wait for the cleaner to completely dissolve in the water. However, please set a timer and do not over-soak your night guard as this will affect the life of the guard.
Our expert tip: Do not let your guard soak in anything for more than one hour. Longer time Soaking your guard in liquids can damage your guard material. Also, do not immerse in any liquid especially containing alcohol – including Listerine.
When you are not wearing your night guard, allow it to air dry completely before putting it back in its case after cleaning it. This will prevent bacteria from growing in the airtight case. The mouthguard should take no more than 15-20 minutes to dry. Be sure to store it in the case.
Many people will keep it in the bathroom, but over time, the steam and humidity in the bathroom will cause it to warp. We recommend that you store it in your bedroom or on your bedside table.
Remember not to place it in any temperature that is subject to extreme heat or cold below. Please also note that pets love new chew toys, so please keep your mouth guard out of reach of your pet.
How often to change the mouth guard box
If you don’t clean the box in which you store them, there’s not much point in cleaning your mouthguard, no matter how carefully you do it! That’s why you must keep the mouth guard box clean every day. But don’t throw it into hot water or a high-temperature sterilizer, because the heat may warp the plastic. Let the case dry out after cleaning the box to prevent bacteria growth, and generally replace it with a new case every 6 months to a year.
How often to replace the teeth guard
In fact, the life of a mouthguard depends on many factors, including: the mouthguard material (Common materials include: Silicone, Ethylene-vinyl acetate, Acrylic), the number of uses, how much maintenance (cleaning and storage), on average, the mouthguard use can last about 5 years. However, if you use it regularly, it may need to be replaced once a year. OTC mouthguards may need to be replaced every few months. This is because they are not as durable as the custom versions.
You should consider replacing and purchasing a new mouthguard when you notice the following signs with your mouthguard.
- there are cracks.
- have holes.
- become loose.
- become thinner in thickness.
- Deformed shape
- causing discomfort to the teeth or gums when worn.
- unpleasant odor even after cleaning.
- the color has changed.
- All these can be your daily checklist for dental care.
Good mouth guard materials, good cleaning methods, and good storage places can help you use your mouth guard in a more hygienic and healthy way. We hope that our expert advice can provide valuable input to you.