How to Clean Mouth Guard and Other Sports Tips
You know it is important to have a sports mouth guard, but do you know the best way to care for it? Would you like tips on how to clean mouth guard? Dr. D was recently interviewed on the care and cleaning of sports mouth guards–check out this video for more tips:
How to Care for Your Sports Mouth Guard
During normal use, mouth guards easily become contaminated with germs, including mold, bacteria, strep, and staph. Here are some simple tips to care for your mouth guard and avoid running into problems:
Store it in a case when not in use
This will prolong its useful life while preventing your mouth guard from getting banged up. And especially if you carry yours to and from practice in a gym bag, the case will also prevent it from getting dirtied by running shoes or other items sharing the space.
Use the right kind of storage container
You should use something that’s perforated to allow for air circulation, and firm enough to prevent damage to the mouth guard. After cleaning, it’s best to avoid closing the case until the mouth guard (and case!) is dry.
Clean after every use
Cleaning your mouth guard doesn’t have to take long or be a hassle. Keeping it simple is best.
On the days you wear it, use your toothbrush and toothpaste to give it a good scrub when you brush your teeth before bedtime. Rinse it thoroughly with cool water when you’re done and let it air dry. You can take this opportunity to give your case a quick clean, too.
Avoid the use of hot water for cleaning or rinsing since that could change the shape of your mouth guard. Similarly, exposure to high temperatures from other sources — such as direct sunlight — can also lead to changes in shape.
For best results, use Dentsply Sirona Retainer Brite Cleaning Tablets daily. Simply drop one tablet into warm (not hot!) water and place your mouth guard into the solution. Allow the blue to dissipate (about 15-20 minutes) then remove your mouth guard and rinse it under running water. No scrubbing necessary!
Deep clean at least once a week
To get rid of germs, you should deep clean your mouth guard at least once a week. The easiest way to do this is to put it in a bowl and cover it with an antibacterial solution such as Listerine mouth rinse.
Change your mouth guard every season
Unfortunately, your mouth guard won’t last forever. Expect to buy a new one at the start of every season to ensure the best fit and hygiene. Pressure from your teeth, plus alternating between being wet and dry, all contribute to wearing it down over time. One thing you can do to help it last longer is to avoid chewing it — the pressure might cause warping or breakage if you’re not careful.
If your mouth guard develops any tears or holes, you’ll need to replace it sooner than you may have expected. Another cause for early replacement is a significant change in fit — this may cause it to feel loose, or irritate your gums and teeth.
Proper care of your sports mouth guard is important
As you can see, caring for your mouth guard doesn’t have to be difficult, especially if you incorporate its upkeep into your usual tooth care routine. You likely already have all the supplies you need: toothpaste, toothbrush, and mouth rinse. Since your mouth guard is an important part of protecting your teeth when you’re participating in sports, ensure you get the maximum benefits from it by taking great care of it.