How to Keep Your Mouth Guard Clean Posted on 7/30/2017 by Sundberg Office If you have sleep apnea or temporal mandibular joint syndrome your dentist may give you a mouth guard to wear at night. You may also be given a night guard if you clench or grind your teeth at night. Mouth guards help to protect your teeth from fractures from clenching and wearing away the enamel on your teeth from grinding. It also keeps the surfaces of our teeth intact. Though they protect your teeth, it is extremely important to keep the mouth guard clean so you can clean up the bacteria from your mouth that ends up on the mouth guard.
What Are the Best Methods to Clean a Mouth Guard?
When you get up in the morning after wearing your mouth guard be sure that as soon as you take it off you give it a good rinse. This rinsing will remove any debris that may have built up on your mouth guard during the night. It also will loosen any plaque that may have attached to your mouth guard. Once you have rinsed your mouth guard, you should lightly brush the guard with your toothbrush. This will remove the plaque and debris that was loosened when you rinsed. Do not use toothpaste to clean your mouth guard because many toothpastes contain abrasives that could scratch the night guard. This could cause it to wear out more quickly. Once you have done this put your mouth guard on a clean surface to dry. Bacteria builds up quickly if you store it in its case when it is not dry. It should be completely dry within 15 – 30 minutes. Once a week you should deep clean your mouth guard. You can do this two different ways. You can buy an over-the-counter denture cleaner and place your mouth guard in a glass or a bowl that contains the cleaner or you can soak the guard in distilled white vinegar for 30 minutes then rinse the guard and soak it in hydrogen peroxide for 30 more minutes. Once rinsed, let it dry completely and place in in its case. If you have any questions, or if you would like to learn more, please call us today at (503) 546-9079.