Anything that comes into contact with saliva and bacteria has a way of developing layers of gunk and grime. Even if you diligently brush your night guard, mouth guard or retainer using a toothbrush and toothpaste every day, you’ll find that eventually plaque or odors still develop on your oral appliances. You need the help of a night guard cleaner to kill harmful bacteria and remove foul odors from your oral devices.
In this article, we’ll be covering the most effective night guard cleaner that will eliminate bacteria and odors and prevent them from developing in the first place.
Overview of the Best Night Guard Cleaner
There are various products and methods for you to utilize to clean your night guard. You can use tablets and powders, dental sanitizing devices as well as natural products. We will go over the pros and cons of each below, as well as the top products within each category.
Denture Cleaner Tablets
One of the most popular methods to clean your night guard and ensure it lasts for many years is to use cleaning tablets and powders. You probably have heard about these products, as they have been around for years and are often referred to as denture cleaning tablets.
Brand Name Denture Cleaners
The most well-known brand name denture cleaners on the market today are Efferdent and Polident. You can find these products in nearly every drug store. If you are purchasing online, we recommend Dental Duty and M3 Naturals denture tablets. They are ideal for many people since they are inexpensive, easy to use, and provide great results.
Furthermore, these tablets can help prevent plaque buildup or stains or in some cases remove stains or hardened plaque. They will also leave your mouth guard smelling fresh and clean.
One con of using denture cleaners is that the taste can eventually soak into the mouth guard. This all depends on the material used in the night guard, as some are more absorbent than others. Another con is that some users have reported that these tablets can sometimes be ineffective at removing stains.
Retainer Brite Tablets
Similar to the denture cleaners mentioned above, Retainer Brite Tablets are quite effective as well. Here’s how it works. First, you dissolve a tablet in a container of water. Next, you soak your night guard in this antibacterial solution for 10-15 minutes to eliminate bacteria and odors. Once you take your retainer out, you should expect any odors to be replaced by a cool, minty taste.
There Retainer Brite Tablets have some cons as well. First, people report that it is ineffective at removing existing stains. The cost can also be an issue, as they are more expensive than the denture cleaners covered above, and has similar results. A few users report that they suffered an allergic reaction to this product, so if you have any allergies you should try another product.
Dental Sanitizing Devices
What is a dental sanitizing device, you might ask? There are a few of these products on the market, and they can clean your night guard using ozone, ultraviolet light, and more. They require batteries to operate and can clean your mouth guard in minutes. However, they are more expensive than tablets or powders.
iSonic F3900 Ultrasonic Denture Cleaner
We feel that the iSonic Ultrasonic denture cleaner provides unbeatable price to performance ratio. It can clean retainers, mouth guards, night guards, dentures, Invisalign, and more. You won’t have to manually brush your oral appliance anymore. Just put it into the iSonic F3900 and push a single button. Within 5 minutes, the cleaning procedure will be done and it will automatically shut off.
To use, just add tap water into the device for daily use. You can optionally add denture cleaners or powders to enhance the cleaning potential and remove plaque buildup and stains, but this step is not mandatory. The iSonic is very quiet, and is large enough to fit even the biggest night guards.
One complaint that users have with this product is that it does not have a removable basket. As a result, whenever you want to change the water, you will have to unplug the device, drain it over the sink, and put it under the faucet to fill it up.
Dazzlepro Clean Case UV Dental Sanitizer
This is a cleaning device that uses ultraviolet light to sanitize, deodorize, and cleanse your night guard. Within its chamber, you don’t have to use any tablets, powders, or solutions. Using its UV light, it claims it can eliminate 99.9% of all bacteria from your retainer. Furthermore, you do not need a power outlet as it is completely battered powered requiring two AA batteries and is highly portable.
Operating it is extremely easy. All you need to do is press a button and it shines its UV light to clean your mouth guard. Not only is it a cleaning device, but it also doubles as a case for your mouth guard. The Dazzlepro is also very affordable, and it can clean your mouth guard in as little as 10 minutes for a thorough clean.
One con is that some users reported a burnt smell and taste on their retainer after using it for some time.
Best Natural Night Guard Cleaner
For those who believe that using chemicals may potentially be harmful, here are some natural methods you can use to clean your dental appliances.
We have written a guide on using baking soda as a denture cleaner, however we’ll give you the cliff notes here.
Baking soda can balance the pH levels in the mouth which causes the oral microbiome to shift to one that bacteria cannot thrive in. The higher pH values of baking soda also has antibacterial properties and will disinfect your retainer. You can also eliminate foul odors on your mouth guard and prevent harmful bacteria from growing.
To use, submerge your mouth guard in a bowl of distilled water, and add a teaspoon of baking powder before mixing thoroughly. Keep your night guard or retainer submerged in this solution whenever you are not wearing it.
Many people who have moved on from cleaning tablets often miss the fresh, “clean” smell that it left on their night guard. Good news, you can get a similar fresh smell using castile soap. Just add 1-2 squirts of castile soap into the water you are soaking your mouth guard in.
Since castile soap is primarily made from coconut oil and olive oil, this means you can avoid relying on chemicals to eliminate bacteria and odors. The essential oils contained in castile soap have an antibacterial effect, which can sometimes even harm the “good” bacteria in your mouth. So before putting the night guard in your mouth, be sure to thoroughly rinse it.
In addition to using baking soda or castile soap, some dentists recommend to soak your night guard in vinegar at least once a week. This will keep your oral appliance disinfected and clean. Just be sure to rinse thoroughly afterwards. Users who have tried this report that eventually the smell and taste of vinegar seeps into their night guard.
Why you should properly clean your night guard, mouth guard, or retainer using a night guard cleaner.
Numerous studies on this topic have been done, and the results are shocking. Similar to doorknobs or cellphones, a dental mouth guard is a breeding ground for viruses, bacteria, and fungi. As such, if you fail to properly clean your oral appliances using a night guard cleaner, you are at increased risk of tooth decay, gum recession, gingivitis, staph infections, bacterial infections, and lesions in the mouth.
If these bacteria are allowed to grow, then they can even impact your lungs and heart. You do not want to find yourself in this predicament, especially if you can easily prevent it by following the methods and products outlined in this article.