If you often grind or clench your teeth while you sleep, you may already have a night guard made to protect your teeth. If you don’t have one, our staff at Mill Valley Dental strongly recommends that you buy one. It’s easy to clean your new night guard, and you only need a few simple things.
So, How to clean night guards? You should rinse your night guard with warm water as soon as you take it out of your mouth in the morning. After you rinse, use a toothbrush to gently scrub away any plaque or saliva that is still on your teeth. You can also use soft toothpaste if you want to (abrasive toothpaste will scratch the plastic).
After you clean your night guard, you should let it dry completely before putting it back in its clean case. If you keep your night guard in a damp, humid place, bacteria will grow there.
You should really clean your night guard at least once a week. You can choose from a number of ways, such as:
To clean dentures with a cleaner, you can buy over-the-counter, put your night guard in a bowl of water, add the cleaner, and let it dissolve completely.
Vinegar and hydrogen peroxide: Soak the night guard for at least 30 minutes in vinegar, rinse it with water, and then soak it for another 30 minutes in hydrogen peroxide.
Mouthwash: Mix mouthwash with water and let the night guard soak for 30 minutes.
Can I use chemicals to clean my mouthguard?
Try an over-the-counter (OTC) nonabrasive denture cleaner if you think your mouthguard needs a deeper clean.
Most over-the-counter denture cleaners have the chemical bleach sodium hypochlorite in them. If you use the product the way it says to, it’s safe for you and your mouthguard.
It’s important to know that some over-the-counter cleaners have fragrances and colors that are made in a lab. If you are sensitive to smells or worried about what’s in these cleaners, they might not be the best choice for you.
Don’t let the mouthguard soak in the cleaner for too long. This can hurt your mouthguard or make it less effective.
Here’s how most over-the-counter (OTC) chemical cleaners are used.
- Get your mouthguard wet.
- Small packets of tablets and powders are used to clean with chemicals. When the cleaner is put into water, it will dissolve.
- Most cleaners need to be used in these ways:
- Pour warm water into a clean glass.
- Put the pill or powder in.
- Put your mouthpiece in the solution.
- Soak for 5 to 10 minutes, or as long as it says on the package.
- Use cool water to rinse.
- The mouthguard needs to dry.
Does it matter what the mouthguard is made of?
The majority of mouthguards are made of plastic or silicone. The mouthguard is made of strong but soft materials, which makes it more comfortable to wear.
The best material for a mouthguard depends on what it will be used for. Some common materials are:
- Silicone. This is a soft rubber that is usually used for mild or infrequent teeth grinding.
- Ethylene-vinyl acetate is a chemical compound (EVA). This thermoplastic is used to make mouthguards that you put in hot water and then bite down on. It gets hard and takes the shape of your teeth. It can be used for moderate to severe teeth grinding or for athletes who are still growing.
- Acrylic. This is a hard plastic that is used to make custom mouthguards for athletes, which are usually the best choice.
Most of the time, all kinds of materials can be cleaned with the same supplies and methods. Using hot water to clean a thermoplastic mouthguard, on the other hand, can cause it to bend.