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.