One of the best ways to combat teeth grinding is to wear a night guard. So cleaning the night guards is very important.
The article includes:
Why Clean Your Night Guard?
How often to clean night guard?
Easy cleaning solution for lazy people
Deep cleaning once a week
It is best to avoid
Why Clean Your Night Guard?
While you sleep, plaque, bacteria and other debris can build up on top of the night guard overnight. Cleaning it will prevent it from discoloring and will remove any plaque or bacteria from the surface of your night guards or from areas that touch your teeth.
If not cleaned promptly, those dreaded yellow stains and white spots can form over time. Once stains form, they are difficult or impossible to remove, so preventing them from happening in the first place is your best bet.
The yellow stains that appear on night guards are caused by bacteria that are naturally present in saliva.
How to clean night guard?
Clean your night guard is important. Keeping it clean and disinfecting it from time to time will prevent it from harboring bacteria, prevent odors and ensure it lasts as long as possible. It should stay in good condition for years to come!
Here are the steps for cleaning the night guard:
1 Immediately after removing the night guard from your mouth each morning, rinse the night guard with warm water to remove any debris or saliva.
2 After rinsing, use a soft toothbrush to gently wipe away any remaining plaque or saliva. If you prefer, you can also apply a small amount of non-abrasive toothpaste to a soft-bristled toothbrush (abrasive toothpaste can scratch plastic).
Dish soap or castile soap is a good non-abrasive daily cleaner for your night guard.
3 Gently brush the night guard, being careful not to scrub hard as this can damage the material.
4 Rinse the night guard thoroughly with warm water.
5 Place your night guard on a clean surface and allow it to dry completely. It should usually dry within 15-30 minutes. It is important to prevent rapid bacterial growth, as bacteria and mold thrive in a humid environment.
6 Always store the night guard in its case
When you are not wearing your dental night guard, always store it in a case. It protects the night mouth guard from pets that might chew on it. Don't laugh, it happens. Pets love new chew toys. Keep the night mouth guard safely out of your pet's reach.
7 Hand wash the case every few days with regular dish soap or olive soap to keep the case clean.
Avoid putting the case in the dishwasher as the heat may melt or deform the plastic.
Easy cleaning solution for lazy people:
In the beginning, most people tend to keep their mouth guards properly and clean and store them well every day. As time goes on, some of us become more casual and less diligent each day.
In any case, please at least make sure that: every morning, when you remove your night guard, you at least rinse it with water and shake it dry before putting it back in the case to air dry during the day.
Note: Do not store your night guard anywhere in extremely hot or cold temperatures.
Leaving the night guard in a humid place will promote the growth of bacteria.
How often to clean the night guards?
Routine cleaning once a day.
Deep cleaning should be done at least once a week.
Deep clean once a week
You can choose from a variety of methods to deep clean, including the naturally clean methods:
You can soak your mouth guard in a solution of equal parts water and white vinegar or equal parts water and hydrogen peroxide for about 15-20 minutes once a week.
Hydrogen peroxide is easy to find in drug stores and most grocery stores and is inexpensive. It can be used for a variety of household purposes and is a good choice.
- Over-the-counter denture cleaner:
Place your night guard in a bowl of water, then add the cleaner and allow it to dissolve completely, your night guard can soak in the denture cleaner for up to 20 minutes
- Mouthwash (non-alcoholic):
Mix mouthwash with water and soak your night guard for 30 minutes.
When finished, rinse with water and allow the night guard to dry completely。
If you really can't use all of these options, you can use a mild dishwashing liquid and water, although it may not taste good and should be rinsed well.
It is best to avoid the following:
1 Abrasive toothpaste/cleaner
Toothpaste is great for cleaning teeth, gums and tongue. It usually contains abrasive ingredients that scrub away plaque, food debris and other debris. It is this abrasiveness that makes it not a good choice to clean a night guard.
The abrasive nature of toothpaste can scratch the surface of your night guard, causing bacteria and fungus to adhere.
Avoid any abrasive cleaners such as bleach or baking soda as they can damage the night guard.
2 High temperature: Dishwasher/boiling water
The water in the dishwasher is hot enough to damage the plastic or other material of the night guard, which may be misshapen. The heat of the water will kill germs and other bacteria, but it may also damage the equipment itself.
Also be careful not to expose your night guard to high temperatures, such as radiators or direct sunlight. The heat will change the shape of your night guard, and the device may no longer fit.
3 Liquids containing alcohol
Also, don't immerse yourself in any liquids that contain alcohol - including Listerine. Most mouthwashes contain alcohol, and this ingredient can significantly shorten the life of your device.
Pro Tip: Never let your night guard soak in anything for more than an hour. Prolonged immersion in liquids can damage the material of your night guard.
If your doctor recommends you use Night guard, it is very important to clean or keep your night guard clean as you need to use it every day. Please follow the cleaning instructions and cleaners above to clean your night guard, which will keep your health and teeth healthy.
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Q1: Do poorly cleaned dental appliances pose a risk to healthy teeth? (partials, bridges, retainers and night guards)
A: How could a cesspool of germs, bacteria and other nasty stuff, in a dark,moist and warm environment be bad?
A dental horror film in the making!
Q2: Have you ever gotten sick from not cleaning your night guard everyday but using it nonetheless?
A: I have not but it is a bad idea to at least not rinse it out at least.