If you grind your teeth at night, you’ll probably need a nightguard.
A nightguard is a device that fits over your teeth and protects them during the night. If you grind your teeth in the night, the nightguard will prevent any damage, such as premature wear, sensitivity and fractures. In this way, they can save you from costly dental work in the future.
But how do you take care of a nightguard? The good news is that it’s not hard. All you need to do is clean it properly every day. In this post, we’ll tell you how to clean a nightguard.
How to clean a nightguard
Cleaning a nightguard is very simple and shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes.
First, give the mouth guard a quick rinse. This will remove any debris or loose plaque.
Then, brush the nightguard with a toothbrush as if you’re brushing your teeth. It’s easy! Note that you shouldn’t use toothpaste however as toothpaste is abrasive and can damage the night guard.
Once you’re done, leave the night guard out to dry for 15-30 minutes. This is important because bacteria could grow on the mouth guard otherwise.
And there you go: one freshly-cleaned nightguard!
At least once a month, you should give your night guard a deep clean. There are two ways to do this.
The first way is to use a denture-cleaning tablet. Even though these tablets are designed for cleaning dentures, they work great for cleaning night guards too.
To use a denture-cleaning tablet, drop one tablet into warm water. Then, put the night guard in the water – there should be enough water to cover the night guard. The solution will change colour as it cleans. After five minutes, remove the night guard and rinse it thoroughly. There’s no need to do this every day though – just once a month will do.
The second way to deep clean a night guard is with a mixture of vinegar and hydrogen peroxide.
First, soak the night guard in distilled white vinegar for 30 minutes. Then, soak the night guard in hydrogen peroxide for 30 more minutes. Once finished, rinse with night guard with water and allow it to dry completely.
How to store a nightguard
We’ve covered cleaning a nightguard, but how do you store it once it’s clean?
The best way to store it is in a plastic container. This will protect the guard from dust and bacteria.
Do remember to clean the glass or container regularly, as it can become contaminated with germs over time. Also, remember that the mouth guard should be dry before you store it in a container.
Some people say to keep your night guard in mouthwash, but this is a bad idea because the alcohol in mouthwash can drastically shorten the lifespan of your appliance.
Also, take care not to expose your nightguard to high temperatures – don’t leave it on a radiator for example or in direct sunlight. Heat can change the shape of your nightguard and it might no longer fit properly.
Taking care of a nightguard isn’t difficult – just brush it every day with a toothbrush, leave it to dry and then store it in its container.
If you need more advice, then don’t hesitate to make an appointment with one of our dentists!