Night guards are valuable tools that protect your precious teeth from chronic teeth clenching and grinding. This problem, faced by several dental patients, can be resolved by using customized dental night guards. Your dentist will recommend a night guard if you have the habit of clenching or grinding while sleeping.
However, your everyday oral care routine must include proper cleaning of your night guard. The following instructions will help you keep the night guard in clean and great shape:
Rinse instantly after wearing
Every time you use your night guard, rinse it thoroughly with lukewarm water the moment you take it out of your mouth and this process will clean all the debris and also loosen plaque that may have stuck to it.
Clean your night guards with a toothbrush
Once you have completely rinsed the night guard, take a normal toothbrush and brush it very lightly. You can keep a spare toothbrush solely for your night guard or you can simply use the regular toothbrush that you use daily.
Important tip – Make sure you do not apply any toothpaste on your brush because toothpaste is abrasive and may affect the longevity of your night guard.
Place the night guard in a clean and dry surface and let it dry
It is important to let your night guard dry itself completely before you store it. This will avoid the growth of bacteria. Find a clean, dry, and flat surface and place the guard there to dry completely. It should take around 15 minutes to dry.
Always keep the night guards in a secure place
Once you have dried your night guard, store it in a secure case. Keep the guard away from humidity and steam in your bathroom. It is advisable to place the night guard case on the nightstand or in the bedroom.
Weekly deep cleaning
Deep clean the guard once every week. You can use either a solution of cleaner and water, a solution of hydrogen peroxide and vinegar, or a solution of water and mouthwash. Pour either of the solutions in a bowl or glass and place the night guard in it.
After soaking for at least 30 minutes, wash it thoroughly with water and allow the guard to dry.
Important Tip – Do not ever soak your night guard for more than an hour. The material may wear out and damage your night guard.
Keep night guard case clean
All the efforts you put in cleaning the night guard goes to waste if you do not keep the case clean. Handwash the case with dishwashing soap and dry it completely to avoid bacterial growth. Replace the case every year if needed to protect your night guard from dirt or bacterial growth.
Taking extensive care of your night guard may seem overwhelming at first but once you develop the habit of cleaning it regularly, it becomes an easy routine. It is always recommended to carry your night guard while visiting your dentist for your regular hygiene appointments. This will allow your dentist to check your night guards for any damage and whether you need to get a new one. You may also have it professionally cleaned by them.