Remember that a moist place like your mouth that has an unlimited supply of food particles is a haven for bacteria. Cleaning the mouth guard prevents bacterial colonies from forming and mold from building up.
And it just takes a few minutes anyway.
5 Things You Should Do to Keep Your Night Guard Clean
Rinsing after use
Make it a habit to rinse the mouth guard every morning with warm water. This helps dislodge any rogue food particles and plaque that might be stuck on to it.
Brush It Like You Brush Your Teeth
While you are brushing your teeth in the morning, give your mouth guard some light brushing. You don’t need to use a separate toothbrush for this. Just use your regular toothbrush and brush it gently. Don’t use toothpaste because it can be abrasive and erode the soft plastic on the mouth guard.
Air Dry It
After you rinse and brush your mouth guard, allow it to air dry completely. A wet mouth guard is more likely to attract bacteria. Keep it on a clean, washed cloth and let it dry. It should be dry completely in 10-15 minutes.
Store It In a Case
During travel, during the day or some of the days when you are not wearing the nti mouth guard, store it in a dedicated storage case. Never store it in your bathroom. The excessive moisture in the bathroom will cause it to warp prematurely. Store it in a case in your bedroom. Makes it easier to grab it every night.
Deep Cleaning It
Deep cleaning the mouth guard weekly prolongs its lifespan and prevents any hidden debris or dust from sneaking into your mouth. You can do this in multiple ways. The easiest is to use any OTC denture cleaner. Just add a few drops of the cleaner into a glass of water and submerge the mouth guard in it for a few minutes.
Some DIY guys use a combination of hydrogen peroxide and vinegar to clean their mouth guard. It’s equally effective but a little time-consuming. It involves soaking the mouth guard in white vinegar and hydrogen peroxide separately for 30 minutes each. You will have to rinse the mouth guard with water and allow it to dry completely before you use it again though.
VIDEO: How to Clean Night Guard
Video credit: Gary Michaelson