Whether your children use a night mouth guard to prevent teeth grinding during sleep, or a sports mouth guard to protect their teeth and jaw when playing sports, it’s very important to keep the mouth guard clean!
Mouth guards are an important tool in protecting teeth and general oral health. Caring for the mouth guard properly allows it to continue doing its job for as long as possible.
For children who use mouth guards, the daily oral hygiene routine should include mouth guard care and cleaning. To keep your child's mouth guard healthy and clean, follow the steps below.
Rinse the mouth guard immediately after wear.
You should rinse your mouth guard with warm (not hot) water immediately upon taking it out of your mouth. This will remove debris and prevent dental plaque from building up on it.
Brush the night guard.
With a designated toothbrush and some mild, antibacterial soap, lightly brush your mouth guard to clean it. Don’t use toothpaste for this. Toothpaste is abrasive and could damage the mouthguard.
Deep clean your mouth guard weekly.
Get into the habit of cleaning your mouth guard every week. You can use an over the counter denture cleaner, and soak your mouth guard in it with some water. Wait until the cleaner has completely dissolved in the water.
You can do the same thing with a mixture of 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.
Finally, you can use 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've cleaned your mouth guard, let it dry out completely before returning it to its case. This will prevent bacteria from growing. Your mouth guard will be dry within 15-20 minutes.
Always keep your mouth guard in its case when not in use.
You’re less likely to lose or damage your 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 storage case. You can keep your mouth guard case clean by washing it every few days with regular dishwashing detergent. Don’t actually put it in the dishwasher though, as the high temperatures could warp the plastic. Allow the case to dry completely after you wash it to prevent bacteria growth, and replace your case every 6 months to a year.