How to Take Care of Your Mouth Guard

Including Protecting it from Your Dog!

Every night your night guard does its job to protect the health of your teeth from the damage caused by on-going teeth grinding and clenching. And whenever you’re out there playing or recreating, from pick-up basketball games to mountain biking, your sports mouth guard protects your teeth, and your budget, from expensive dental injuries, such as tooth loss.

So, in return for the protection your mouth guards give you, here are a few simple ways you can take care of it, so that it can continue to protect your teeth for as long as possible.

Dogs Love Mouth Guards as Chew Toys

7 Tips to Care for Your Mouth Guard!

  1. Rinse It After You Use It – After you wear your night guard or sports mouth guard, rinse it out in warm (not hot) water as soon as possible, after taking it out of your mouth. This helps to clean away any debris on it, and helps prevent bacteria and plaque from building up on it.
  2. Brush it With a Toothbrush – After rinsing your mouth guard, use a toothbrush to gently scrub away any lingering plaque or saliva. You may use a soft toothpaste as well, if you wish (abrasive toothpaste will scratch the plastic). Then just rinse the mouth guard with water to wash away any of the saliva or toothpaste. * Some people prefer to use a separate toothbrush.
  3. Give It a Good Weekly Cleaning – Get into the habit of cleaning your mouth guard every week. Here are several options: Use a Denture Cleaner – Put your night guard in a bowl of water, add the cleaner and allow it to dissolve completely; Try Vinegar and Hydrogen Peroxide – Soak the night guard in vinegar for at least 30 minutes, rinse with water, and then soak it in hydrogen peroxide for another 30 minutes; Use Mouthwash -Mix mouthwash with water and soak the night guard for 30 minutes.
    * Tip: Besides water, don’t soak your night guard in anything for longer than one hour.
  4. Dry It Out on a Clean Surface – After every rinsing or cleaning, let your mouth guard air dry completely on a clean surface before you store it. It should take about 15-20 minutes to dry. Letting it completely dry before placing it back in its case will help prevent bacteria from growing in the case.
  5. Store It Properly – You’re less likely to lose, misplace or damage your night guard by keeping it stored in its case. Keeping this case in your sleeping area, such as on a nightstand, will also make it easy to access when you’re ready to fall asleep. Note: Some patients prefer storing their nightguards in a glass of cold water. Whichever method you prefer for storing, please do remember to clean the glass or container regularly, as it can become contaminated with germs over time.
  6. Clean the Case – Cleaning your night guard can become a wasted effort if you put a clean night guard into a dirty case. Keep the case clean by hand washing it every few days with regular dishwashing soap or castile soap. After washing, allow the case to dry as to prevent bacteria growth. Note: Don’t clean the case in the dishwasher, as the high temperature can melt the plastic.
  7. Beware of Dogs – Have a dog? If so, keep your mouth guard hidden from your dog, because they LOVE them! They offer your dog an inviting chewy material, and the mouth guards smell like you, because they have the scent of your saliva. So when you store your night guards, and you have a dog, consider putting it somewhere that’s not too easy for them to grab – otherwise you’re likely to find a chewed up case, with remnants of your mouth guard.

Taking care of your mouth guard will also help you maximize its benefits for as long as possible. Unlike store bought night guards, our custom designed guards are acrylic, so they’re tough and typically last for around 5 years.

If you’ve used store bought sports or night guards, and you’re ready to feel the difference, please contact us to learn more about our custom designed sports and night guards. Call us at (425) 957-4700 or reach out to us online!

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