Cleaning & Caring for Your Mouth Guard from Home after Every Use
Mouthguards or nightguards are removable devices to cover the teeth. You can have a teeth guard for use at night when sleeping as a nightguard two separate your top teeth from the bottom teeth. It helps to reduce teeth grinding and clenching resulting from a condition called sleep bruxism.
Mouthguards are also beneficial to manage TMJ issues, and many people wear them when involved in playing contracts costs like football, hockey, and boxing. When used in sporting activities, custom mouthguards can minimize the risk of dental injuries.
The dentist in Tacoma works with a sleep medicine specialist to provide custom-made mouthguards to people affected by the problem of sleep apnea and are regularly snoring at night. Although seeming inconsequential, sleep apnea affects five percent of the American population and reduces their quality of sleep and that of their bed partners.
Mouthguards, whether used for sporting activities or medical conditions, are worn in the mouth. Therefore it is essential to keep them clean at all times. Cleanliness is important because the bacteria in your mouth can build up on your mouthguard. When you leave the device, uncleaned bacteria multiply, causing infections like cavities in your mouth and halitosis.
This article provides information on how you can clean your mouthguard at home and recognize signs when it is time to get a replacement.
How to Clean Your Mouth Guard at Home?
Cleaning your mouthguard at home shouldn’t challenge you. You can use the following methods for cleaning your mouthguard.
Clean your mouthguard with toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. You will do well to keep a separate toothbrush for cleaning the mouth guard to prevent cross-contamination of bacteria. Ensure that you avoid hard-bristled toothbrushes and abrasive toothpaste that can damage your device.
You can rinse the mouth guard in cold water and apply a tiny amount of toothpaste to the toothbrush. Gently brush the mouth guard before rinsing off the toothpaste and allowing the mouth guard to dry.
Soap and Water
Soap and water is another option you can use to clean the mouth guard. Ensure that you use a mild, alcohol-free soap to prevent damages to your dental device. Keep your toothbrush handy when cleaning using this method.
Use cool water to rinse it with and apply some soap to it. Use the toothbrush on the mouth guard it until it is soapy. Rinse the device to remove all the suds before leaving it to dry.
Are Chemicals Beneficial for Cleaning Mouthguards?
If you think your dental appliance needs a deep clean, you can try over-the-counter non-abrasive denture cleansers on them. Denture cleansers are safe for the mouth guard if used according to the product’s instructions. Just ensure you don’t soak the mouth guard in the cleaner for too long because your dental device can sustain damages.
How Frequently Should You Clean Your Mouth Guard?
Mouthguards are better cleaned after every use. You can use toothpaste, soap, and water, mouth wash, or baking soda for cleaning. More powerful cleansers are excellent if you want to deep clean the appliance, which you must indulge in at least once a month. The deep cleaning methods are appropriate with over-the-counter products, denture cleansers, and other similar products.
Caring for Your Mouth Guard after Cleaning Them
Besides cleaning your mouthguard, it helps to follow the tips mentioned below to care for your dental appliance.
- Clean your mouthguard only after it is entirely dry. This method helps to minimize bacterial growth.
- Use a durable vented container to store the mouthguard when not in use. The vents ensure the appliance remains dry.
- The storage container needs cleaning every few days but not a deep clean.
- Avoid exposing your dental appliance to hot water, air, or harsh sunlight. High temperatures can warp the device to make it less effective.
- Brush and floss your teeth before wearing your mouthguard and never share the dental appliance with anyone.
- Your mouth guard needs dental exams just as you do. Take them to the dentist in Tacoma for a deep clean.
When Must You Replace Your Mouth Guard?
Replacing your mouthguard depends on several factors, including the material the appliance is made from, the frequency of use, and how well it is cared for. A custom-made mouthguard lasts for approximately five years. However, if you use it frequently, you may need replacements yearly. Suppose you use over-the-counter mouthguards available in sports goods stores and drug stores. In that case, these appliances need replacements every few months as they are not as durable as customized dental appliances.