If your children use a night mouth guard to prevent teeth grinding during sleep, or a sports mouth guard to protect their teeth and jaw during sports, it’s very important to keep the mouth guard clean!
When it comes to protecting teeth and maintaining good oral health, mouth guards can be an important tool. Taking proper care of the mouth guard mean it can continue doing its job for as long as possible.
If your children use use mouth guards, their daily oral hygiene routine should include mouth guard care and cleaning. To keep your child's mouth guard healthy and clean, follow these steps:
Rinse the mouth guard immediately after wear.
Rinse the mouth guard with warm (not hot) water immediately when your child takes it out of her mouth. This will remove debris and prevent dental plaque from building up on it.
Brush the night guard.
With a designated soft toothbrush and mild antibacterial soap, lightly brush the mouth guard to clean it. Don’t use toothpaste for this, since it is abrasive and could damage the mouthguard.
Deep clean the mouth guard weekly.
Get into the habit of cleaning the mouth guard every week. Use an over the counter denture cleaner, and soak the mouth guard in it with some water. Wait until the cleaner has completely dissolved in the water.
You can do the same thing with hydrogen peroxide and vinegar. Soak the mouth guard in distilled vinegar for 30 minutes, rinse, and the soak it in the hydrogen peroxide for an additional 30 minutes, and then rinse it again thoroughly.
You can also try a combination of mouthwash and water. Use a capful of mouthwash diluted in water (until the mouth guard is fully submerged). Let it soak for 30 minutes.
Place the mouth guard on a clean surface and let it air dry.
After you have cleaned the mouth guard, let it air dry completely before putting it back in its case. This will prevent bacteria from growing in the enclosed conditions of the case. It should take the mouth guard no more than 15-20 minutes to dry.
Always keep your mouth guard in its case when not in use.
You’re less likely to lose or damage the mouth guard if you keep it safely stored in its case.
Keep the case clean.
There’s not much point in carefully cleaning your mouth guard if you don’t also clean the case you store it in! You can keep the mouth guard case clean by washing it every few days with regular dish soap. Avoid putting it in the dishwasher though, as the high temperatures could warp the plastic. Allow the case to dry dry out after washing it to prevent bacteria growth, and replace it with a new one every 6 months to a year.