Why is There a Calcium Buildup on My Night Guard?

After wearing a night guard for an extended period of time, you may notice white spots begin to emerge on the surface. While this is common, calcium buildup on a night guard is also a sign that you may need to clean your night guard more regularly.

When you first start wearing a night guard, it’s easier to remember to keep it clean and stored properly, because the device is still so new that it’s almost surprising every time you wear or interact with it. But as time goes on, and wearing a night guard becomes more routine, it becomes such a normal part of your routine that it blends into the background and it becomes easy to forget that the night guard is even around. This is usually the point that wearers begin to become more relaxed with the cleaning and care for their night guard, perhaps forgetting to clean between uses, or storing it outside of its proper provided case. And that’s when the white spots start to appear.

White Spots Indicate Calcium Buildup on a Night Guard

Calcium deposits appear as crusty, hard white spots on the interior surface of a night guard, and can be alarming if you’ve never encountered them before. These spots are formed by the naturally occurring bacteria in your mouth, as every time the night guard is inserted into your mouth, some of the bacteria transfer to the night guard. These bacteria then combine with your saliva, plaque, and tartar, and begin to form these hard, calcified spots on the surface of the night guard. If they are left on their own, these calcium spots can become so large that it actually becomes difficult to get a night guard to sit properly within your mouth. Because of this, it’s important to take care of calcium deposits as soon as they start to form, before it becomes difficult to properly use your night guard.

Combatting Calcium Buildup: How to Clean a Night Guard

The first step to taking care of calcium deposits is to make sure they don’t have a chance to get larger, or form again. It’s important that you brush your teeth regularly, with toothpaste, to remove the food particles left behind after eating and to curb the growth of bacteria in your mouth. Flossing also helps, as it removes any bacteria buildup or food that finds small areas within your mouth to slip underneath the toothbrush during brushing.

Additionally, it’s also important that you take proper care of your night guard, cleaning it regularly and making sure that it’s dry and stored properly when not in use.

To take care of deposits that have already formed on the night guard, you should try to remove the buildup first before trying to replace the night guard, as it could take care of the issue and save some money.

Create a mixture of one cup of vinegar to three cups of water, to partially dilute the vinegar. Then, submerge the night guard into the vinegar solution for 10–30 minutes, depending on the amount of calcium buildup. After removing the night guard from the vinegar solution, scrub the night guard vigorously with a soft-bristled toothbrush to remove the calcium buildup, and rinse the night guard in cool water. Let the night guard fully air dry before using it once again.

Unfortunately, if the calcium deposits persist, or are preventing you from using the night guard properly (as mentioned above), the night guard will likely need to be replaced. Continuing to use a night guard that has extensive calcium buildup can damage both the retainer and your teeth, as the fit with the device will not be the same, and the deposits themselves become magnets for bacteria, which can cause serious health risks for your oral hygiene.

Replacing a Night Guard

If your night guard has become unusable from too much calcium buildup, or if you’d just prefer a fresh start, consider a custom nightguard from Dental Lab Direct. Conveniently available online to be ordered right from your desktop or mobile browser, Dental Lab Direct supplies an impression kit free via mail so you can simply and easy create and mail-in a custom impression without needing to schedule an appointment through a dentist’s office. Once Dental Lab Direct receives the impression, our state-of-the-art lab can fabricate your custom mouthguard in three weeks, to be shipped out to you directly — quickly, easily, and hassle-free.

With a unique, form-fitting contour and comfortable, long-lasting material, you’re able to use a night guard to protect your teeth, reclaim your sleep, and feel more confident in your smile.

Visit Dental Lab Direct’s website for more details on the different mouthguard types available, or contact a representative for more information today!

Why Choose a Custom Mouth Guard?

Whether for issues such as nighttime teeth grinding, or for protection during recreational activities such as sports, choosing to wear a custom night guard or mouth guard is a smart decision to preserve oral health and maintain a confident smile. But with such a wide array of available options on the market, choosing which type of mouth guard to explore can be a difficult decision.

Why Get a Mouth Guard?

Continued grinding of teeth at night will both wear away the enamel on a patient’s teeth, while also opening up the potential for greater infections and bacteria from the open wounds caused by bruxism. These infections will not only cause issues in a patient’s mouth, but can spread throughout their system, causing major health issues in their respiratory, circulatory, or otorhinolaryngology systems. Custom mouth guards offer a solution to reduce the strain on a patient’s mouth, benefitting their overall health.

Mouth guards can also provide relief from headaches, jaw clenching, and restore restful sleep, in addition to reducing jaw, head, and neck pain, and gum recession. Athletic mouth guards will safeguard a patient’s teeth while participating in high-impact sports, as well as secure the jaw and neck from taking undue damage from direct hits to the mouth.

As patients conduct research on the differing types of guards, they will find that the choice drills down to two major options — custom-made mouth guards, or store-bought mouth guards. And while many may believe there are few differences between the two, choosing a custom mouth guard can provide several benefits over choosing to go the over-the-counter, store bought route.

Cost and Quality of a Custom Mouth Guard vs. Over the Counter

The initial cost comparison between a store-bought mouth guard and a custom mouth guard will show that the store-bought option is cheaper, especially when compared to a custom mouth guard made through a dentist.

But the way an over-the-counter mouth guard is able to be priced at much lower costs is due primarily to the type of material the guard is made of, and the general one-size-fits-most way they are molded and manufactured. The store-bought mouth guards are made of thinner plastics that have a higher potential for cracking when put under strain — such as when someone is grinding their teeth in the night, or receives an unexpected knock to the mouth during a football or basketball game. Additionally, the boil-and-bit molding method used to craft these guards is not particularly accurate. This can leave gaps between the teeth and guard, causing greater risks and offering less support than what a custom mouth guard would.

Custom mouth guards are more expensive because they are crafted of higher-durability, medical-grade materials. Professionals take a precise mold of a patient’s mouth and bite, and cast a mold based off this impression. From there, the mouth guard is able to be manufactured to more precisely fit the unique shape of each patient’s mouth, fitting more comfortably and protecting the patient’s teeth more effectively.

Furthermore, investing in a custom-made mouth guard is investing a product that will last longer. The higher-grade materials are more likely to hold up to frequent use, regular cleanings, and longer application in general. Store-bought counterparts, on the other hand, are more likely to need to be replaced regularly, lasting a few months to a year at most.

A Dentist Quality Custom Mouth Guard at an Affordable Price

The cost of a custom mouth guard doesn’t need to break the bank. Dental Lab Direct was founded for the precise purpose of providing patients with quality, medical-grade, hypoallergenic dental appliance products at more cost-effective prices. This is possible because Dental Lab Direct works with experienced dental professionals, but is able to mold and manufacture their dental appliances without the costly overhead of a dedicated dental practice.

Additionally, Dental Lab Direct still provides the customized impressions and individualized mouth guards that a dentist would, versus the mass-produced and lower grade appliances available over-the-counter from standard pharmacies and retail locations. And they’re able to provide custom dental appliances without patients needing to leave their home. Dental Lab Direct ships their impression kits directly to patient’s doors with clear, step-by-step instructions, patients return their impressions via mail for Dental Lab Direct to create the unique mold of patients’ teeth and bite placement, and Dental Lab Direct sends the completed custom mouth guard or other dental appliance directly back the patient.

Overall, this makes the entire experience of ordering, sizing, wearing, and using a custom mouth guard not only easier than over-the-counter options, but a much better investment, as it lasts longer and is made with a higher quality.

Dental Lab Direct provides products that are unique and custom-built with individual patient needs in mind. Contact us today for more information about our services.