If you or your child is using a mouthguard, nightguard or retainer, you might have been left wondering the best possible way to maintain them. These are just like any other dental equipment and needs proper cleaning and hygiene routine to stay effective. Mouthguard essentially is any kind of protective layer over your teeth that prevents damage to it, just like a mouthguard a hockey player or a boxer would wear during their games. A nightguard or retainers are part of your dental procedure which also requires proper safeguard measures to retain its effectiveness.
Keeping one’s mouthguard clean is crucial for the health and hygiene of your teeth. It can also drastically reduce any harm that could be caused due to bacteria or dirt accumulation.
Especially, mouthguards that are used during sports matches are exposed to a great number of bacteria and germs from the surroundings. Apart from the natural germs and bacteria that our mouth contains, any pre-game meals and shared bottles of energy drinks can worsen the situation further. Even your nightguard and retainer are exposed to the residue left behind over your teeth which contains saliva and food.
Therefore, cleaning one’s mouthguard, nightguard or retainer is quintessential for a healthy dental routine. After every use, they need to be properly cleaned and maintained in order to achieve the desired result. Keep reading to discover a few suggestions that might help you to keep your mouthguard, nightguard or retainers as clean as possible:
- Cleaning Solution: Simply cleaning your mouthguard with running water will not quite fulfill the purpose of cleansing. It is advised to use an antibacterial solution that can give you a long-lasting germ-free experience. However, retainers and nightguards can be cleaned with water after each use with an occasional cleaning with an antibacterial solution. The purpose of using an antibacterial agent is to make sure that no germs or bacteria are stuck in the dental equipment. Make sure that you follow a quick cleaning regime before and after use and your nightguard will remain clean and fresh and last longer.
- Deep cleanse your mouthguard once a month:Apart from the routine cleaning procedure, your mouthguard needs to go through a deep cleaning process at least once a month. While some may advise you to use a toothbrush along with some toothpaste over your mouthguard for a thorough clean-up. The only drawback of this practice is that, although the toothpaste will kill all the germs that it might come in contact with, the brushing motion will break the plastic and metal layer that keeps the mouthguard well protected. This is why some people from the health community might advise you to use denture cleaner to be certain that your mouthguard remains spick and span. These efficient cleaners can reach out to places that normal cleaning cannot and will give you the satisfaction that your mouthguard is spotless. It would be a wise choice to follow this method if your mouthguard has a natural tendency to develop cracks or holes where bacteria might get accumulated. Even your nightguard and retainer need to be deep cleaned once a month to ensure they don’t give out any foul odor or become a breeding spot for germs.
- Case Cleaning:Your mouthguard spends most of its time left inside a case when it is not sitting in your mouth. The case can easily transfer a large number of bacteria on to the mouthguard if left without proper sanitation. Cleaning the mouthguard is only half the battle won whereas making sure that your mouthguard’s case is well maintained is a battle yet to be fought. Lucky for you, the cases can be thoroughly brushed and cleaned as hard as you want to make sure it is well kept. Also using deep cleanser such as a denture cleaner can be super convenient for your mouthguard’s case. When it comes to retainers or nightguards, their cases must also be thoroughly cleaned in order to maintain a sleek dental routine. The guard case should have enough ventilation so that the equipment has some breathing space.
- Easily Replaceable:There’s no point getting attached to your mouthguard as some players tend to grow fond of the gear that they have used for a long time. There comes a point when mouthguards just become a carrier of bacteria and they need to be discarded. Any such equipment that goes through excessive usage and high exposure to germs and bacteria need to be replaced or discarded at regular intervals. Some signs can help you determine whether you need a mouth card replacement or not. Once you notice cracks that are large enough to injure your mouth, it is safe to say that you need a quick replacement in order to stay away from any spread of infection.
- What you shouldn’t do: While following the hygiene routine as mentioned above, you also need to take care of some of the don’ts of keeping your nightguard Do not soak your guard overnight as that can cause heavy damage to the equipment. Using alcohol or alcohol-based cleaning agents is also a big red flag when it comes to your mouthguard. Avoid putting it in a dishwasher or using hand sanitizer or bleach to clean your mouthguard. If you stay away from such practices, you can effectively keep your mouthguard clean and retain all of its capabilities.
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