You may suffer from a condition such as sleep apnea or bruxism. Wearing a night guard for teeth can reduce or even eliminate your symptoms if that’s the case.
There’s no doubt that a night guard can offer many benefits. So, if you get one, caring for it properly is essential for maintaining its effectiveness. Check out some helpful tips on maintaining your night guard so you can get the most out of it.
1. Rinse it First Thing In the Morning
Good oral hygiene habits are important for establishing good overall health. And it just so happens that a night mouth guard is a great tool to help protect your teeth. But you must care for it when you’re not wearing it.
One of the most important ways to care for it is by rinsing it when you get up. So, first thing in the morning, rinse it with cold water. This helps remove any saliva or other particles that may have accumulated while sleeping.
Afterward, clean the mouth guard with a soft toothbrush and toothpaste (more on this next). This will remove any plaque and food particles. Finally, rinse it again with cold water to remove any residue.
2. Brush it With a Toothbrush and Toothpaste
Another step in caring for your night guard is to brush it with a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste. This will help to remove any bacteria that are attached itself to it during the night. Be sure to use a toothbrush specifically designed for cleaning night guards. If you use a regular toothbrush, it can be too abrasive and cause damage.
After brushing, soak the night guard in a denture or retainer cleaner. This will keep it fresh and clean. After soaking, rinse it with warm water to ensure no residue is left behind.
3. Air Dry it in a Sanitized Area
After cleaning your night guard, allow it to air dry in a clean spot after each use. Make sure to choose an area that is not damp. It should also be away from dust, dirt, and other debris. Finally, allow the mouth guard to dry completely before putting it in its storage case.
In addition, keeping the area you air dry your mouth guard free from germs is essential. To do this, clean the area in your home regularly with a damp cloth and mild detergent. This will prevent the buildup of bacteria that can result in bad breath and other oral health issues.
By following these steps, you can ensure your night mouth guard remains in excellent condition.
4. Store it in the Right Case
You may wonder what container you should store your night guard in. Get a hard, airtight container with a lid to protect it from dust and dirt. When you buy your night guard, it should come with a container. If it doesn’t, consult with the company, you purchased it from. Or, ask your dentist if there’s a particular case they recommend.
5. Deep Clean it Weekly
A deep clean of your night guard will ensure it lasts a long time without you needing to replace it.
To deep clean it once a week, follow these steps:
- First, remove it from your mouth and rinse it in lukewarm water.
- Next, gently scrub the night guard gently using a soft-bristled toothbrush and a non-abrasive cleanser.
- Rinse it with lukewarm water after scrubbing.
- After scrubbing, soak it in a denture-cleaning solution for 15 minutes.
- After soaking it, rinse it with lukewarm water and dry it with a clean, soft cloth.
- Lastly, store the night guard in a safe, clean place.
Follow these steps to care for your night guard, and it should last for a long time.
6. Check It Regularly
Finally, inspecting the mouth guard regularly for any signs of discoloration, odor, or damage is crucial. If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to replace the mouth guard right away. This ensures it continues to protect your teeth while you sleep.
How to Remove Calcium Buildup
If you find calcium buildup on your night guard, there’s a way to remove it.
Follow these steps to get rid of any calcium buildup:
- First, soak it overnight in either white vinegar or a denture-cleaning solution.
- In the morning, use a soft-bristled toothbrush to scrub it gently.
- Next, use an old toothbrush and baking soda to help remove any more stubborn deposits.
- A cotton swab can also help get into the crevices and remove any remaining residues.
- After removing the calcium deposits, rinse it thoroughly with warm running water.
- Then, allow it to air dry.
7. Know When to Replace It
Even if you follow all these tips to maintain your night guard, you will need to replace it eventually. You should follow some general guidelines to ensure you care for your teeth.
Replace your night mouth guard every 3-4 years or as often as your dentist recommends. With regular use, night mouthguards can wear down over time. With too much wear, likely, it will no longer offer the same level of protection. Therefore, it’s essential to get a new night mouth guard as soon as your dentist recommends it.
Another tip is to bring your night mouth guard to regular dental check-ups. That way, your dentist can inspect it for any signs of damage. They can also advise on keeping your night mouth guard in good condition.
By following these tips, you can ensure that your night mouth guard remains in excellent condition. Having a night guard protecting your teeth and gums contributes to good oral health, so don’t take care of it lightly. Instead, focus on keeping it in good condition and germ-free; your mouth will thank you!