The mouth guards are an important piece of equipment for athletes and individuals who grind their teeth at night. Over time, however, they can become dirty and filled with bacteria. Regular cleaning is crucial to maintain the hygienic and proper function of the mouth guard. Here are some effective ways to clean your mouth guard:
If you don’t know much about night guards (aka mouth guard), please read the following post too:
Why You Should Clean Your Mouth guard?
Maintaining a clean and hygienic mouthguard is essential for protecting your oral health. Here are a few reasons why you should clean your mouthguard on a regular basis:
- Prevent bacteria and plaque build-up: Just like your teeth, your mouthguard can accumulate plaque and bacteria over time. If not cleaned properly, these harmful microorganisms can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath.
- Improve the fit and comfort of the mouthguard: A dirty mouthguard can cause discomfort and may not fit as well as a clean one. Cleaning it regularly will help to maintain the shape of the mouthguard and ensure that it fits comfortably in your mouth.
- Extending the life of the mouthguard: A dirty, smelly mouthguard is not only uncomfortable, but it can also cause the material to degrade faster. Regular cleaning helps to prolong the life of your mouthguard.
- Avoiding the spread of germs: A dirty mouthguard can harbor germs and bacteria that can be transferred to others. Cleaning your mouthguard regularly helps to prevent the spread of germs.
How to clean a mouth guard daily
According to American Dental Association you can clean a mouth guard with toothpaste, just follow these steps:
1. Rinse the mouthguard thoroughly with cool water to remove any debris or saliva.
2. Squeeze a pea-sized amount of toothpaste onto the mouthguard and use a toothbrush to scrub all surfaces.
3. Rinse the mouthguard thoroughly with cool water to remove any toothpaste residue.
4. Dry the mouthguard thoroughly with a clean towel or let it air dry.
5. Store the mouthguard in a clean, dry place.
It is important to use a mild toothpaste, as some toothpastes contain abrasive ingredients that can damage the mouthguard. It is also important to clean your mouthguard regularly, as bacteria can build up on the surface and cause odor, discoloration, and potential health problems.
Note: It’s always recommended to check the manufacturer’s instructions, as some mouthguard materials may not be compatible with toothpaste, and can be damaged with its use.
With regular cleaning and proper care, your mouth guard can last for years and continue to provide the protection you need.
How to clean mouth guard naturally
Luckily, there are several natural ways to clean your mouth guard and ensure it stays hygienic for your next use.
■ Soak in vinegar and water
Mix a solution of equal parts water and white vinegar and soak your mouth guard for about an hour. The acidity of the vinegar helps to break down any bacteria or plaque that may have built up on the surface of the mouth guard.
■ Use hydrogen peroxide
Create a solution of equal parts water and hydrogen peroxide and soak your mouth guard for about 15 minutes. Hydrogen peroxide is a natural disinfectant that can kill bacteria and remove stains.
■ Clean with baking soda
Make a paste with baking soda and water, and use a toothbrush to scrub the surface of the mouth guard. Baking soda is a natural abrasive that can remove dirt and stains.
■ Use essential oils
Add a few drops of tea tree oil or peppermint oil to a bowl of warm water and soak your mouth guard for 15-20 minutes. Both oils have natural antimicrobial properties that can kill bacteria and freshen the smell of your mouth guard.
After using any of the above methods, rinse your mouth guard thoroughly with water to remove any remaining cleaning solution and bacteria.
■ Clean brush and floss your teeth before wearing the guard.
■ If your night guard is torn you have to go to your dentist in order to make a new one.