Night guards, mouth guards, and retainers are all very helpful oral appliances, but they seem to get a bad rap. Many people find them annoying to deal with, and as such, they fail to properly take care of them. This leads to damaged and dirty devices which cost a lot to replace. Not to mention you probably won’t want to wear them anymore.
So how can you protect your mouth guard from getting damaged or dirty in the first place? It is not that hard to care for your dental appliances if you follow the steps outlined in this article.
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Can I Clean My Night Guard with Denture Cleaner?
The answer is yes! You can clean your night guard with denture cleaner. Denture cleaners are a great way to give your night guard a deep clean without wearing the appliance down. They are gentle and effective, so you do not have to worry about reducing the life span of your oral appliance. However, there are many other ways you can clean your mouth guard, and we recommend you read the rest of this article to learn about them.
Clean with an antibacterial solution
Some people think that simply rinsing their night guard or retainer with hot water is sufficient to clean their oral appliance. Though this is better than nothing, it is not enough. You should at least use an antibacterial soap to ensure it is germ-free and clean. Of course, you should rinse thoroughly afterwards or else you will taste the soap the next time you wear your night guard.
Perform deep cleaning at least once monthly
In addition to daily cleaning using an antibacterial solution, you should also deep clean your night guard at least once every 30 days. If you normally clean your mouth guard by scrubbing it with a toothbrush with toothpaste, be aware that over time this can eventually wear down the plastic and decrease the integrity of your night guard.
Mentioned earlier, an effective and gentler way to clean is to use denture cleaner. Simply submerge your mouth guard in warm water and dissolve the denture cleaning tablet in it. Once completely dissolved, let your retainer or mouth guard soak in this solution for 15 minutes. The fizzy, bubbling quality of this solution is more effective at cleaning narrow crevices where bacteria love to grow.
Clean your case
All of us are guilty of putting our night guard or retainers back in their case without properly cleaning it. Even if we remember to clean our night guards, we rarely remember to clean our mouth guard case, where any bacteria from before still resides and are growing. No matter how clean your dental appliances are, if you store them in a dirty case then it is as if you did not clean them at all. So grab an old toothbrush, get some antibacterial soap and get scrubbing!
Replace damaged night guards
Despite your best efforts, as time goes by things can get damaged even if you took great care of it. By taking good care of it you simply prolonged its life, but at some point you will probably have to replace your old night guard. Be wary of any cracks since they can cut the inside of your mouth. If bacteria enter the wound, then you can get an infection.
To recap, you should clean your mouth guard or retainer using an antibacterial soap every day. At least once a month you should perform a deep clean, and you can clean your night guard with denture cleaner. Don’t forget to clean your case, as a lot of bacteria can be found there as well. Lastly, eventually you will have to replace your mouth guard if it is cracked.