How To Clean Mouth Guard? Five Main Methods | Mewing.coach
Oral Health

How To Clean Mouth Guard? Five Main Methods

Contents

    How to clean mouth guard

    Most people start using a night guard when looking for how to stop grinding teeth at night as it is an effective solution for this problem. However, without good maintenance, mouthguards can cause other issues. The most pervasive of them is poor oral hygiene.

    It can lead to various dental issues, including cavities and gum disease. An unclean mouthguard exacerbates this problem, providing a breeding ground for bacteria that can compromise your oral health.

    This issue, however, is avoidable. Taking care of your mouthguard effectively is vital for maintaining good oral health. There are at least five methods to achieve this, and this article will detail each of them.

    Contents

    What are Mouth Guards?

    Mouthguards were initially popularized for use in sports. Over the years, these dental devices have gained widespread acceptance for their utility in various scenarios protecting teeth and jaw.

    They have been strongly recommended by dental care specialists and dentists for a range of oral health needs. One of the most common use cases is managing bruxism, a condition characterized by unconscious teeth grinding or clenching. Particularly when worn at night, mouthguards are the most effective solution to prevent this unconscious behavior that can lead to a need of cosmetic dentistry or even jaw issues.

    Common Uses of mouthguards Symptoms How Guards Help Most Effective Type
    Bruxism Teeth grinding, jaw pain Prevents tooth wear, alleviates jaw tension Custom-fitted from dental labs
    Sleep Apnea Loud snoring, pauses in breathing Keeps airways open, supports jaw position Custom-fitted, designed for sleep apnea
    Temporomandibular Disorders Jaw pain, headaches Reduces jaw muscle tension, aligns bite Custom-fitted, designed for TMD
    Headaches Recurrent headaches Relieves pressure on jaw and facial muscles Custom-fitted, tension-relief design
    Sports Risk of facial injury Protects teeth and jaw during sports Boil-and-bite or custom-fitted

    A Definitive Dental Guards Types List

    Various brands produce different types of mouthguards, each catering to a specific need or dental condition. Here are the main types of mouthguards.

    • Boil-and-Bite: Made from thermoplastic material, they can be molded at home by boiling them in water and then biting into the softened product with your teeth.
    • Sports/Athletic Guards: Primarily designed for athletes, these guards offer teeth protection during high-contact sports.
    • Stock Guards: These are pre-made and come in generic jaw and teeth sizes. They are the least expensive but also the least effective.
    • Custom-Fitted at a Dentist Office: Made from impressions of your teeth, guard, custom to your teeth, offer the best fit and protection but are generally more expensive.
    • Direct to Customer Custom-Fitted: These are similar to dentist office versions, but the kit is mailed to you for making an impression at home.
    • Sleep Apnea Mouth Guards: These are designed to help treat sleep apnea by shifting the position of your jaw.
    • Snoring Mouth Guards: Aimed at reducing or eliminating snoring, these guards reposition the lower jaw and tongue.
    • Bruxism Mouth Guards: Specifically designed for individuals who grind their teeth, they offer cushioning to reduce wear on teeth.

    While there are many legitimate types of mouth guards, some misconceptions still exist. Often, people mistake retainers and dental splints for night guards. Although they may look similar, their functions differ. Retainers maintain teeth alignment post orthodontic treatment or for cosmetic purposes, and dental splints can be used for a variety of medical conditions but are not designed to function as mouth guards.

    How Mouth Guards Are Made?

    The process of making a mouth guard begins with a dental impression or mold. This step is critical for ensuring that the dental guard fits snugly, providing optimal protection and comfort. That’s why it is important to find the most products to take care of your condition. For example, choose the best mouth guard for sleep apnea.

    In terms of materials, options include Non-compressible thermopolymer, Dental putty, Acrylic plastic, and Ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA). Non-compressible thermopolymers are durable but less comfortable. Dental putty offers a softer option, while Acrylic plastic and EVA provide a balance of comfort and durability. EVA is the most commonly used material, especially in the mid-price range.

    I recommend looking for a mouthguard made from BPA and latex-free materials. Bisphenol A (BPA) and latex can cause allergic reactions and other health issues. In terms of materials, there is no need for luxury. What matters most is that the mouthguard is safe and effective. That’s why direct-to-customer mouthguards can be as good as professional ones made in a dentist’s office.

    Why It is Important to Clean Your Mouthguard?

    Failing to clean your mouthguard regularly can lead to a plethora of problems. Bacteria thrive in the moist environment of a used mouthguard that isn’t clean, and this bacterial buildup can result in various oral infections that require more expensive dental care.

    For example, bacterial growth can lead to conditions like periodontal disease, dry socket, oral thrush, or even staph infections. It’s not just about bad odor or discoloration. The consequences are much more severe, affecting your overall dental care and potentially leading to systemic health issues.

    Additionally, an unclean guard for teeth grinding will not be as effective in preventing this problem as it will cause other problems in your mouth. The same goes for all other use cases of mouthguards.

    How To Clean Mouth Guard Properly

    Dental Paste

    Using toothpaste and a toothbrush is an easy yet effective way to clean your mouthguard. Opt for non-abrasive fluoride toothpaste to minimize potential damage to the material of the guard while you use it as a cleaner.

    1. Choose a non-abrasive fluoride toothpaste to minimize potential damage to your mouthguard.
    2. Apply a small amount of toothpaste to a soft-bristle toothbrush.
    3. Gently scrub the night guard on all sides, focusing on grooves and crevices.
    4. Rinse the mouthguard thoroughly under warm water to remove all toothpaste residue.
    5. Allow the mouthguard dry before storing it.

    Cleanser Solution

    Cleanser solutions are specially formulated dentistry liquids designed to clean and disinfect dental appliances, such as retainers, dental implants, or mouthguards. I recommend using a cleaner that is non-abrasive and free from harsh chemicals to maintain the longevity of your mouthguard.

    1. Prepare a bowl with enough solution to fully submerge the mouthguard.
    2. Place the night guard in the bowl, ensuring it is completely submerged.
    3. Allow the mouthguard to soak for the time specified on the product label, typically around 5 to 10 minutes.
    4. Remove the night guard and rinse it thoroughly with warm water.
    5. Allow the mouthguard to air dry before storing it in its case.

    Mouthwash

    Mouthwash, generally an antiseptic liquid, is used to kill bacteria and freshen your breath. It can also act as a mouthguard cleaner. For cleaning a mouthguard, opt for an alcohol-free mouthwash that also has antibacterial properties to ensure deep cleaning without damaging the material.

    1. Fill a bowl with enough mouthwash to fully submerge the mouthguard.
    2. Place the mouthguard in the bowl and make sure it is fully submerged.
    3. Soak the mouthguard in mouthwash for at least 10 minutes to take care of all bacteria.
    4. Remove and rinse the mouthguard thoroughly under warm water.
    5. Allow it to air dry before storing it in its case.

    Hydrogen Peroxide and Vinegar

    Hydrogen peroxide and vinegar are potent antimicrobials, effective in destroying bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Using them in tandem creates a powerful cleaning solution that can sanitize your mouthguard or mouthpiece effectively. Hydrogen peroxide oxidizes pathogens, breaking down their cell walls, while vinegar, being acidic, creates an environment where bacteria can’t thrive.

    1. Submerge the mouthguard in a bowl of vinegar for 30 minutes.
    2. Remove and rinse the mouthguard.
    3. Next, submerge the mouthguard in a bowl of hydrogen peroxide for 30 minutes.
    4. Remove and rinse the mouthguard clean, this time under warm water.
    5. Allow it to air dry before storing it in its case.

    Baking Soda

    Baking soda is a versatile cleaner and a natural disinfectant, effectively neutralizing a broad range of bacteria and odors. When used in its dry form or as a paste, it provides an effective, non-abrasive way to clean a mouthguard.

    1. Create a paste using baking soda and water.
    2. Apply the paste onto your mouthguard.
    3. Scrub gently with a toothbrush to clean.
    4. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
    5. Rinse thoroughly and let it air dry.

    Proper care of a clean mouthguard is crucial for oral health. Various methods, from using dental paste to soaking in specialized solutions, are effective. Regular cleaning and timely replacement are non-negotiable steps for optimal dental protection.

    How Often You Should Clean Your Mouth Guard?

    You should clean your mouthguard before and after each use. Additionally, dedicate time for a thorough clean at least once a week.

    Neglecting to clean your mouthguard even for a day introduces bacteria and fosters a conducive environment for microbial growth. A week of negligence can lead to a visible layer of plaque and even potential fungal growth. A month without cleaning would severely compromise its structural integrity, making the dental guard practically unusable.

    A short clean before and after use involves rinsing the mouthguard with water, while a weekly thorough clean necessitates soaking it in a dental-approved solution. The latter process aims to eliminate stubborn bacteria and mineral build-up, which a simple rinse cannot achieve.

    Cleaning your mouthguard daily preserves its lifespan. This regular maintenance inhibits the build-up of calcified plaque, prolonging the usability of the appliance. Daily cleaning also neutralizes unpleasant odors emanating from the guard, contributing to overall oral hygiene. Concerning dental and oral care, it minimizes risks of dry sockets and bacterial infections, thereby reducing potential visits to the dentist for complications.

    Failure to regularly clean your mouthguard poses numerous risks. It may contribute to halitosis, commonly known as bad breath, or instigate gum infections. More gravely, an unclean mouthguard can be a breeding ground for bacteria leading to oral thrush or even, in rare cases, blood poisoning. Therefore, a consistent cleaning regimen isn’t just optional, it’s crucial for your dental and oral care.

    When to Replace Your Mouth Guard?

    Recognizing the signs of wear and tear on your Nightguard is crucial. Indications that your mouthguard requires replacement include visible cracks, thinning material, change in fit, discolored patches, and an embedded foul odor that doesn’t dissipate after cleaning.

    Sign After What Time It Occurs How to Spot It Continue Using?
    Visible cracks 6-12 months Close inspection No
    Thinning material 9-15 months Examine texture No
    Change in fit 6-9 months Inconsistent bite alignment No
    Discolored patches 9-12 months Visual assessment No
    Foul odor 3-6 months Persistent smell after cleaning No

    Materials used in mouth guards are subject to fatigue and eventual failure. Over time, saliva, friction, and exposure to bacteria degrade the molecular structure of the material. This breakdown compromises its ability to effectively protect your teeth and gums.

    Different types of mouth guards, such as boil-and-bite, custom-fitted, and stock guards, have their own set of issues. Boil-and-bite guards tend to lose their shape quickly, whereas custom-fitted ones can be costly to replace. Stock mouth guards often offer the least amount of protection due to their generic sizing.

    Consequently, considering a subscription service for mouth guards, like Remi or Cheeky, may be a prudent choice. These services often provide periodic replacements, ensuring that you always have a functional mouthguard at your disposal. This not only guarantees optimal protection but also saves you the effort of monitoring your dental guard for wear and tear.

    Final Words

    Regular cleaning of your mouthguard is vital for your dental health. Failing to clean it can lead to bacterial buildup, contributing to dental infections and even systemic dental health issues. You should clean it before and after each use, and give it a thorough clean at least once a week. Recognize signs of wear and tear to know when replacement is needed.

    Subscription services for mouth guards offer a convenient solution for timely dental appliance replacements. In essence, proper care and timely replacement of your mouthguard are non-negotiable for maintaining good dental and oral health.

    How useful was this post?

    3

    Vote count: 2

    Thank you for rating this post!

    Head of Content, orthodontist, a face yoga instructor with over 20 years of experience.

    Sculpt your face into desired look with mewing. Answer a quick quiz to receive your workout program.

    Take The Quiz
    How To Clean Mouth Guard? Five Main Methods | Mewing.coach
    Oral Health

    How To Clean Mouth Guard? Five Main Methods

    Contents

      How to clean mouth guard

      Most people start using a night guard when looking for how to stop grinding teeth at night as it is an effective solution for this problem. However, without good maintenance, mouthguards can cause other issues. The most pervasive of them is poor oral hygiene.

      It can lead to various dental issues, including cavities and gum disease. An unclean mouthguard exacerbates this problem, providing a breeding ground for bacteria that can compromise your oral health.

      This issue, however, is avoidable. Taking care of your mouthguard effectively is vital for maintaining good oral health. There are at least five methods to achieve this, and this article will detail each of them.

      Contents

      What are Mouth Guards?

      Mouthguards were initially popularized for use in sports. Over the years, these dental devices have gained widespread acceptance for their utility in various scenarios protecting teeth and jaw.

      They have been strongly recommended by dental care specialists and dentists for a range of oral health needs. One of the most common use cases is managing bruxism, a condition characterized by unconscious teeth grinding or clenching. Particularly when worn at night, mouthguards are the most effective solution to prevent this unconscious behavior that can lead to a need of cosmetic dentistry or even jaw issues.

      Common Uses of mouthguards Symptoms How Guards Help Most Effective Type
      Bruxism Teeth grinding, jaw pain Prevents tooth wear, alleviates jaw tension Custom-fitted from dental labs
      Sleep Apnea Loud snoring, pauses in breathing Keeps airways open, supports jaw position Custom-fitted, designed for sleep apnea
      Temporomandibular Disorders Jaw pain, headaches Reduces jaw muscle tension, aligns bite Custom-fitted, designed for TMD
      Headaches Recurrent headaches Relieves pressure on jaw and facial muscles Custom-fitted, tension-relief design
      Sports Risk of facial injury Protects teeth and jaw during sports Boil-and-bite or custom-fitted

      A Definitive Dental Guards Types List

      Various brands produce different types of mouthguards, each catering to a specific need or dental condition. Here are the main types of mouthguards.

      • Boil-and-Bite: Made from thermoplastic material, they can be molded at home by boiling them in water and then biting into the softened product with your teeth.
      • Sports/Athletic Guards: Primarily designed for athletes, these guards offer teeth protection during high-contact sports.
      • Stock Guards: These are pre-made and come in generic jaw and teeth sizes. They are the least expensive but also the least effective.
      • Custom-Fitted at a Dentist Office: Made from impressions of your teeth, guard, custom to your teeth, offer the best fit and protection but are generally more expensive.
      • Direct to Customer Custom-Fitted: These are similar to dentist office versions, but the kit is mailed to you for making an impression at home.
      • Sleep Apnea Mouth Guards: These are designed to help treat sleep apnea by shifting the position of your jaw.
      • Snoring Mouth Guards: Aimed at reducing or eliminating snoring, these guards reposition the lower jaw and tongue.
      • Bruxism Mouth Guards: Specifically designed for individuals who grind their teeth, they offer cushioning to reduce wear on teeth.

      While there are many legitimate types of mouth guards, some misconceptions still exist. Often, people mistake retainers and dental splints for night guards. Although they may look similar, their functions differ. Retainers maintain teeth alignment post orthodontic treatment or for cosmetic purposes, and dental splints can be used for a variety of medical conditions but are not designed to function as mouth guards.

      How Mouth Guards Are Made?

      The process of making a mouth guard begins with a dental impression or mold. This step is critical for ensuring that the dental guard fits snugly, providing optimal protection and comfort. That’s why it is important to find the most products to take care of your condition. For example, choose the best mouth guard for sleep apnea.

      In terms of materials, options include Non-compressible thermopolymer, Dental putty, Acrylic plastic, and Ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA). Non-compressible thermopolymers are durable but less comfortable. Dental putty offers a softer option, while Acrylic plastic and EVA provide a balance of comfort and durability. EVA is the most commonly used material, especially in the mid-price range.

      I recommend looking for a mouthguard made from BPA and latex-free materials. Bisphenol A (BPA) and latex can cause allergic reactions and other health issues. In terms of materials, there is no need for luxury. What matters most is that the mouthguard is safe and effective. That’s why direct-to-customer mouthguards can be as good as professional ones made in a dentist’s office.

      Why It is Important to Clean Your Mouthguard?

      Failing to clean your mouthguard regularly can lead to a plethora of problems. Bacteria thrive in the moist environment of a used mouthguard that isn’t clean, and this bacterial buildup can result in various oral infections that require more expensive dental care.

      For example, bacterial growth can lead to conditions like periodontal disease, dry socket, oral thrush, or even staph infections. It’s not just about bad odor or discoloration. The consequences are much more severe, affecting your overall dental care and potentially leading to systemic health issues.

      Additionally, an unclean guard for teeth grinding will not be as effective in preventing this problem as it will cause other problems in your mouth. The same goes for all other use cases of mouthguards.

      How To Clean Mouth Guard Properly

      Dental Paste

      Using toothpaste and a toothbrush is an easy yet effective way to clean your mouthguard. Opt for non-abrasive fluoride toothpaste to minimize potential damage to the material of the guard while you use it as a cleaner.

      1. Choose a non-abrasive fluoride toothpaste to minimize potential damage to your mouthguard.
      2. Apply a small amount of toothpaste to a soft-bristle toothbrush.
      3. Gently scrub the night guard on all sides, focusing on grooves and crevices.
      4. Rinse the mouthguard thoroughly under warm water to remove all toothpaste residue.
      5. Allow the mouthguard dry before storing it.

      Cleanser Solution

      Cleanser solutions are specially formulated dentistry liquids designed to clean and disinfect dental appliances, such as retainers, dental implants, or mouthguards. I recommend using a cleaner that is non-abrasive and free from harsh chemicals to maintain the longevity of your mouthguard.

      1. Prepare a bowl with enough solution to fully submerge the mouthguard.
      2. Place the night guard in the bowl, ensuring it is completely submerged.
      3. Allow the mouthguard to soak for the time specified on the product label, typically around 5 to 10 minutes.
      4. Remove the night guard and rinse it thoroughly with warm water.
      5. Allow the mouthguard to air dry before storing it in its case.

      Mouthwash

      Mouthwash, generally an antiseptic liquid, is used to kill bacteria and freshen your breath. It can also act as a mouthguard cleaner. For cleaning a mouthguard, opt for an alcohol-free mouthwash that also has antibacterial properties to ensure deep cleaning without damaging the material.

      1. Fill a bowl with enough mouthwash to fully submerge the mouthguard.
      2. Place the mouthguard in the bowl and make sure it is fully submerged.
      3. Soak the mouthguard in mouthwash for at least 10 minutes to take care of all bacteria.
      4. Remove and rinse the mouthguard thoroughly under warm water.
      5. Allow it to air dry before storing it in its case.

      Hydrogen Peroxide and Vinegar

      Hydrogen peroxide and vinegar are potent antimicrobials, effective in destroying bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Using them in tandem creates a powerful cleaning solution that can sanitize your mouthguard or mouthpiece effectively. Hydrogen peroxide oxidizes pathogens, breaking down their cell walls, while vinegar, being acidic, creates an environment where bacteria can’t thrive.

      1. Submerge the mouthguard in a bowl of vinegar for 30 minutes.
      2. Remove and rinse the mouthguard.
      3. Next, submerge the mouthguard in a bowl of hydrogen peroxide for 30 minutes.
      4. Remove and rinse the mouthguard clean, this time under warm water.
      5. Allow it to air dry before storing it in its case.

      Baking Soda

      Baking soda is a versatile cleaner and a natural disinfectant, effectively neutralizing a broad range of bacteria and odors. When used in its dry form or as a paste, it provides an effective, non-abrasive way to clean a mouthguard.

      1. Create a paste using baking soda and water.
      2. Apply the paste onto your mouthguard.
      3. Scrub gently with a toothbrush to clean.
      4. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
      5. Rinse thoroughly and let it air dry.

      Proper care of a clean mouthguard is crucial for oral health. Various methods, from using dental paste to soaking in specialized solutions, are effective. Regular cleaning and timely replacement are non-negotiable steps for optimal dental protection.

      How Often You Should Clean Your Mouth Guard?

      You should clean your mouthguard before and after each use. Additionally, dedicate time for a thorough clean at least once a week.

      Neglecting to clean your mouthguard even for a day introduces bacteria and fosters a conducive environment for microbial growth. A week of negligence can lead to a visible layer of plaque and even potential fungal growth. A month without cleaning would severely compromise its structural integrity, making the dental guard practically unusable.

      A short clean before and after use involves rinsing the mouthguard with water, while a weekly thorough clean necessitates soaking it in a dental-approved solution. The latter process aims to eliminate stubborn bacteria and mineral build-up, which a simple rinse cannot achieve.

      Cleaning your mouthguard daily preserves its lifespan. This regular maintenance inhibits the build-up of calcified plaque, prolonging the usability of the appliance. Daily cleaning also neutralizes unpleasant odors emanating from the guard, contributing to overall oral hygiene. Concerning dental and oral care, it minimizes risks of dry sockets and bacterial infections, thereby reducing potential visits to the dentist for complications.

      Failure to regularly clean your mouthguard poses numerous risks. It may contribute to halitosis, commonly known as bad breath, or instigate gum infections. More gravely, an unclean mouthguard can be a breeding ground for bacteria leading to oral thrush or even, in rare cases, blood poisoning. Therefore, a consistent cleaning regimen isn’t just optional, it’s crucial for your dental and oral care.

      When to Replace Your Mouth Guard?

      Recognizing the signs of wear and tear on your Nightguard is crucial. Indications that your mouthguard requires replacement include visible cracks, thinning material, change in fit, discolored patches, and an embedded foul odor that doesn’t dissipate after cleaning.

      Sign After What Time It Occurs How to Spot It Continue Using?
      Visible cracks 6-12 months Close inspection No
      Thinning material 9-15 months Examine texture No
      Change in fit 6-9 months Inconsistent bite alignment No
      Discolored patches 9-12 months Visual assessment No
      Foul odor 3-6 months Persistent smell after cleaning No

      Materials used in mouth guards are subject to fatigue and eventual failure. Over time, saliva, friction, and exposure to bacteria degrade the molecular structure of the material. This breakdown compromises its ability to effectively protect your teeth and gums.

      Different types of mouth guards, such as boil-and-bite, custom-fitted, and stock guards, have their own set of issues. Boil-and-bite guards tend to lose their shape quickly, whereas custom-fitted ones can be costly to replace. Stock mouth guards often offer the least amount of protection due to their generic sizing.

      Consequently, considering a subscription service for mouth guards, like Remi or Cheeky, may be a prudent choice. These services often provide periodic replacements, ensuring that you always have a functional mouthguard at your disposal. This not only guarantees optimal protection but also saves you the effort of monitoring your dental guard for wear and tear.

      Final Words

      Regular cleaning of your mouthguard is vital for your dental health. Failing to clean it can lead to bacterial buildup, contributing to dental infections and even systemic dental health issues. You should clean it before and after each use, and give it a thorough clean at least once a week. Recognize signs of wear and tear to know when replacement is needed.

      Subscription services for mouth guards offer a convenient solution for timely dental appliance replacements. In essence, proper care and timely replacement of your mouthguard are non-negotiable for maintaining good dental and oral health.

      How useful was this post?

      3

      Vote count: 2

      Thank you for rating this post!

      Head of Content, orthodontist, a face yoga instructor with over 20 years of experience.

      Sculpt your face into desired look with mewing. Answer a quick quiz to receive your workout program.

      Take The Quiz
      How To Clean Mouth Guard? Five Main Methods | Mewing.coach
      Oral Health

      How To Clean Mouth Guard? Five Main Methods

      Contents

        How to clean mouth guard

        Most people start using a night guard when looking for how to stop grinding teeth at night as it is an effective solution for this problem. However, without good maintenance, mouthguards can cause other issues. The most pervasive of them is poor oral hygiene.

        It can lead to various dental issues, including cavities and gum disease. An unclean mouthguard exacerbates this problem, providing a breeding ground for bacteria that can compromise your oral health.

        This issue, however, is avoidable. Taking care of your mouthguard effectively is vital for maintaining good oral health. There are at least five methods to achieve this, and this article will detail each of them.

        Contents

        What are Mouth Guards?

        Mouthguards were initially popularized for use in sports. Over the years, these dental devices have gained widespread acceptance for their utility in various scenarios protecting teeth and jaw.

        They have been strongly recommended by dental care specialists and dentists for a range of oral health needs. One of the most common use cases is managing bruxism, a condition characterized by unconscious teeth grinding or clenching. Particularly when worn at night, mouthguards are the most effective solution to prevent this unconscious behavior that can lead to a need of cosmetic dentistry or even jaw issues.

        Common Uses of mouthguards Symptoms How Guards Help Most Effective Type
        Bruxism Teeth grinding, jaw pain Prevents tooth wear, alleviates jaw tension Custom-fitted from dental labs
        Sleep Apnea Loud snoring, pauses in breathing Keeps airways open, supports jaw position Custom-fitted, designed for sleep apnea
        Temporomandibular Disorders Jaw pain, headaches Reduces jaw muscle tension, aligns bite Custom-fitted, designed for TMD
        Headaches Recurrent headaches Relieves pressure on jaw and facial muscles Custom-fitted, tension-relief design
        Sports Risk of facial injury Protects teeth and jaw during sports Boil-and-bite or custom-fitted

        A Definitive Dental Guards Types List

        Various brands produce different types of mouthguards, each catering to a specific need or dental condition. Here are the main types of mouthguards.

        • Boil-and-Bite: Made from thermoplastic material, they can be molded at home by boiling them in water and then biting into the softened product with your teeth.
        • Sports/Athletic Guards: Primarily designed for athletes, these guards offer teeth protection during high-contact sports.
        • Stock Guards: These are pre-made and come in generic jaw and teeth sizes. They are the least expensive but also the least effective.
        • Custom-Fitted at a Dentist Office: Made from impressions of your teeth, guard, custom to your teeth, offer the best fit and protection but are generally more expensive.
        • Direct to Customer Custom-Fitted: These are similar to dentist office versions, but the kit is mailed to you for making an impression at home.
        • Sleep Apnea Mouth Guards: These are designed to help treat sleep apnea by shifting the position of your jaw.
        • Snoring Mouth Guards: Aimed at reducing or eliminating snoring, these guards reposition the lower jaw and tongue.
        • Bruxism Mouth Guards: Specifically designed for individuals who grind their teeth, they offer cushioning to reduce wear on teeth.

        While there are many legitimate types of mouth guards, some misconceptions still exist. Often, people mistake retainers and dental splints for night guards. Although they may look similar, their functions differ. Retainers maintain teeth alignment post orthodontic treatment or for cosmetic purposes, and dental splints can be used for a variety of medical conditions but are not designed to function as mouth guards.

        How Mouth Guards Are Made?

        The process of making a mouth guard begins with a dental impression or mold. This step is critical for ensuring that the dental guard fits snugly, providing optimal protection and comfort. That’s why it is important to find the most products to take care of your condition. For example, choose the best mouth guard for sleep apnea.

        In terms of materials, options include Non-compressible thermopolymer, Dental putty, Acrylic plastic, and Ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA). Non-compressible thermopolymers are durable but less comfortable. Dental putty offers a softer option, while Acrylic plastic and EVA provide a balance of comfort and durability. EVA is the most commonly used material, especially in the mid-price range.

        I recommend looking for a mouthguard made from BPA and latex-free materials. Bisphenol A (BPA) and latex can cause allergic reactions and other health issues. In terms of materials, there is no need for luxury. What matters most is that the mouthguard is safe and effective. That’s why direct-to-customer mouthguards can be as good as professional ones made in a dentist’s office.

        Why It is Important to Clean Your Mouthguard?

        Failing to clean your mouthguard regularly can lead to a plethora of problems. Bacteria thrive in the moist environment of a used mouthguard that isn’t clean, and this bacterial buildup can result in various oral infections that require more expensive dental care.

        For example, bacterial growth can lead to conditions like periodontal disease, dry socket, oral thrush, or even staph infections. It’s not just about bad odor or discoloration. The consequences are much more severe, affecting your overall dental care and potentially leading to systemic health issues.

        Additionally, an unclean guard for teeth grinding will not be as effective in preventing this problem as it will cause other problems in your mouth. The same goes for all other use cases of mouthguards.

        How To Clean Mouth Guard Properly

        Dental Paste

        Using toothpaste and a toothbrush is an easy yet effective way to clean your mouthguard. Opt for non-abrasive fluoride toothpaste to minimize potential damage to the material of the guard while you use it as a cleaner.

        1. Choose a non-abrasive fluoride toothpaste to minimize potential damage to your mouthguard.
        2. Apply a small amount of toothpaste to a soft-bristle toothbrush.
        3. Gently scrub the night guard on all sides, focusing on grooves and crevices.
        4. Rinse the mouthguard thoroughly under warm water to remove all toothpaste residue.
        5. Allow the mouthguard dry before storing it.

        Cleanser Solution

        Cleanser solutions are specially formulated dentistry liquids designed to clean and disinfect dental appliances, such as retainers, dental implants, or mouthguards. I recommend using a cleaner that is non-abrasive and free from harsh chemicals to maintain the longevity of your mouthguard.

        1. Prepare a bowl with enough solution to fully submerge the mouthguard.
        2. Place the night guard in the bowl, ensuring it is completely submerged.
        3. Allow the mouthguard to soak for the time specified on the product label, typically around 5 to 10 minutes.
        4. Remove the night guard and rinse it thoroughly with warm water.
        5. Allow the mouthguard to air dry before storing it in its case.

        Mouthwash

        Mouthwash, generally an antiseptic liquid, is used to kill bacteria and freshen your breath. It can also act as a mouthguard cleaner. For cleaning a mouthguard, opt for an alcohol-free mouthwash that also has antibacterial properties to ensure deep cleaning without damaging the material.

        1. Fill a bowl with enough mouthwash to fully submerge the mouthguard.
        2. Place the mouthguard in the bowl and make sure it is fully submerged.
        3. Soak the mouthguard in mouthwash for at least 10 minutes to take care of all bacteria.
        4. Remove and rinse the mouthguard thoroughly under warm water.
        5. Allow it to air dry before storing it in its case.

        Hydrogen Peroxide and Vinegar

        Hydrogen peroxide and vinegar are potent antimicrobials, effective in destroying bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Using them in tandem creates a powerful cleaning solution that can sanitize your mouthguard or mouthpiece effectively. Hydrogen peroxide oxidizes pathogens, breaking down their cell walls, while vinegar, being acidic, creates an environment where bacteria can’t thrive.

        1. Submerge the mouthguard in a bowl of vinegar for 30 minutes.
        2. Remove and rinse the mouthguard.
        3. Next, submerge the mouthguard in a bowl of hydrogen peroxide for 30 minutes.
        4. Remove and rinse the mouthguard clean, this time under warm water.
        5. Allow it to air dry before storing it in its case.

        Baking Soda

        Baking soda is a versatile cleaner and a natural disinfectant, effectively neutralizing a broad range of bacteria and odors. When used in its dry form or as a paste, it provides an effective, non-abrasive way to clean a mouthguard.

        1. Create a paste using baking soda and water.
        2. Apply the paste onto your mouthguard.
        3. Scrub gently with a toothbrush to clean.
        4. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
        5. Rinse thoroughly and let it air dry.

        Proper care of a clean mouthguard is crucial for oral health. Various methods, from using dental paste to soaking in specialized solutions, are effective. Regular cleaning and timely replacement are non-negotiable steps for optimal dental protection.

        How Often You Should Clean Your Mouth Guard?

        You should clean your mouthguard before and after each use. Additionally, dedicate time for a thorough clean at least once a week.

        Neglecting to clean your mouthguard even for a day introduces bacteria and fosters a conducive environment for microbial growth. A week of negligence can lead to a visible layer of plaque and even potential fungal growth. A month without cleaning would severely compromise its structural integrity, making the dental guard practically unusable.

        A short clean before and after use involves rinsing the mouthguard with water, while a weekly thorough clean necessitates soaking it in a dental-approved solution. The latter process aims to eliminate stubborn bacteria and mineral build-up, which a simple rinse cannot achieve.

        Cleaning your mouthguard daily preserves its lifespan. This regular maintenance inhibits the build-up of calcified plaque, prolonging the usability of the appliance. Daily cleaning also neutralizes unpleasant odors emanating from the guard, contributing to overall oral hygiene. Concerning dental and oral care, it minimizes risks of dry sockets and bacterial infections, thereby reducing potential visits to the dentist for complications.

        Failure to regularly clean your mouthguard poses numerous risks. It may contribute to halitosis, commonly known as bad breath, or instigate gum infections. More gravely, an unclean mouthguard can be a breeding ground for bacteria leading to oral thrush or even, in rare cases, blood poisoning. Therefore, a consistent cleaning regimen isn’t just optional, it’s crucial for your dental and oral care.

        When to Replace Your Mouth Guard?

        Recognizing the signs of wear and tear on your Nightguard is crucial. Indications that your mouthguard requires replacement include visible cracks, thinning material, change in fit, discolored patches, and an embedded foul odor that doesn’t dissipate after cleaning.

        Sign After What Time It Occurs How to Spot It Continue Using?
        Visible cracks 6-12 months Close inspection No
        Thinning material 9-15 months Examine texture No
        Change in fit 6-9 months Inconsistent bite alignment No
        Discolored patches 9-12 months Visual assessment No
        Foul odor 3-6 months Persistent smell after cleaning No

        Materials used in mouth guards are subject to fatigue and eventual failure. Over time, saliva, friction, and exposure to bacteria degrade the molecular structure of the material. This breakdown compromises its ability to effectively protect your teeth and gums.

        Different types of mouth guards, such as boil-and-bite, custom-fitted, and stock guards, have their own set of issues. Boil-and-bite guards tend to lose their shape quickly, whereas custom-fitted ones can be costly to replace. Stock mouth guards often offer the least amount of protection due to their generic sizing.

        Consequently, considering a subscription service for mouth guards, like Remi or Cheeky, may be a prudent choice. These services often provide periodic replacements, ensuring that you always have a functional mouthguard at your disposal. This not only guarantees optimal protection but also saves you the effort of monitoring your dental guard for wear and tear.

        Final Words

        Regular cleaning of your mouthguard is vital for your dental health. Failing to clean it can lead to bacterial buildup, contributing to dental infections and even systemic dental health issues. You should clean it before and after each use, and give it a thorough clean at least once a week. Recognize signs of wear and tear to know when replacement is needed.

        Subscription services for mouth guards offer a convenient solution for timely dental appliance replacements. In essence, proper care and timely replacement of your mouthguard are non-negotiable for maintaining good dental and oral health.

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