Besides protecting your teeth, mouthguards also play a vital role in maintaining good oral health. If you have gone through orthodontic treatment, your dentist will surely recommend wearing a mouthguard. Wearing a mouthguard is necessary because it allows teeth to stay in their original and improved position. If you do not wear a mouthguard, your teeth will shift back to the wrong position and may appear crooked again.
If your dentist has made it compulsory to wear a mouthguard, this article is worth reading for you. Here we will share seven tips on taking proper care of your mouthguard and ensuring that it does not get damaged.
How to Take Care of Your Mouthguard?
Here are seven essential tips that you can adopt to take care of your grinding mouthguard.
1. Wash the Mouthguard
Once you wear your mouthguard, rinse it with Luke-warm water immediately. Doing this will remove the debris and minimize the chances of dental plaque formation on the mouthguard.
2. Brush Your Mouthguard
Using a designated soft toothbrush and a mild antibacterial soap, brush your mouthguard to clean it. Avoid using toothpaste for the mouthguard because it is abrasive and may damage the guard.
3. Thoroughly Clean Your Mouthguard Weekly
Develop a habit of cleaning your mouthguard every week. You can use an over-the-counter denture cleaner for this purpose. Soak the mouthguard in some water containing an over-the-counter denture cleaner. Make sure the cleaner has thoroughly dissolved in water.
The same procedure can be done for hydrogen peroxide and vinegar. Soak the mouthguard in distilled vinegar for about 30 minutes. Rinse it and then soak it in hydrogen peroxide for additional 30 minutes and then finally rinse it again thoroughly.
Apart from these, you can also try a combination of mouthwash and water. Take a capful of mouthwash, dilute it in water and let it soak for 20-30 minutes.
4. Allow the Mouthguard to Dry
Once you have cleaned the mouthguard, allow it to air dry completely before placing it back in its case. By doing this, you are preventing the growth of bacteria when the mouthguard is in an enclosed case. A mouthguard usually dries in less than 20 minutes.
5. Store the Mouthguard Properly
Keeping the nightguard clean is one thing; however, storing it appropriately is another. It is imperative to store the nightguard when you are not wearing it. Some dentists recommend keeping the mouthguards in plastic containers, while others suggest keeping them in a glass of cold water.
No matter which method you choose for storing, it is essential to clean the container regularly because it gets contaminated with germs over time.
6. Avoid Placing Mouthguard in Mouthwash
Do not store your mouthguard in mouthwash because a mouthwash often contains alcohol which can drastically shorten the product’s lifespan. Also, make sure you are not exposing the mouthguard to direct sunlight or high temperatures because heat can change the shape of your mouthguard, and the appliance may no longer fit appropriately. Sporting Smiles dental lab provides guidelines on storing the mouthguard.
7. Keep the Case Clean
There is no benefit to keeping your mouthguard clean if you do not take proper care of the mouthguard case. Make sure the mouthguard case is as clean as possible. You can keep the case clean by washing it with regular dish soap every few days.
However, avoid putting the mouthguard case in a dishwasher because high temperatures can warp the plastic. Allow the case to dry after washing so that you can prevent bacteria growth. Also, it is advised to replace the case every six months.
8. Replacing the Mouthguard
Mouthguards usually last for a few weeks to months. If you are a heavy grinder, the nightguards get damaged very quickly. If you see holes in your nightguard or observe large cracks, it’s time for a replacement. These factors indicate that you need to get a new mouthguard.