How To Clean Night Guard?

Last Updated on September 7, 2023 by Marjorie R. Rogers

Cleaning a night guard involves rinsing it with water and scrubbing it with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Night guards should be cleaned regularly to prevent bacteria buildup and prolong their lifespan.

A night guard is a dental device designed to protect teeth from grinding and clenching, also known as bruxism. Wearing a night guard provides relief to people suffering from jaw pain and headaches caused by bruxism. While a night guard is beneficial for maintaining dental health, it needs to be cleaned on a regular basis to avoid bacterial growth and unpleasant odors.

This article will provide you with insights into cleaning a night guard, followed by some useful tips to help you maintain your night guard in top shape. So, let’s dive in and get started.

How To Clean Night Guard?

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Understanding The Importance Of Cleaning Your Night Guard

If you wear a night guard while you sleep, it’s essential to keep it clean for several reasons. Not only does it help prevent bad odors and staining, but proper cleaning also maintains the night guard’s shape and durability. Additionally, dirty night guards can harbor bacteria, leading to possible health issues down the road.

Why A Clean Night Guard Is Essential

Regular cleaning of your night guard is essential for several reasons:

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  • Preventing bad odors and staining: Over time, your night guard can develop unpleasant odors and discoloration from prolonged use. Proper cleaning helps prevent these issues, leaving your night guard smelling fresh and looking clean.
  • Maintaining the night guard’s shape and durability: Cleaning your night guard helps maintain its shape and prolong its lifespan. Without proper cleaning, your night guard can become warped or damaged, which can lead to discomfort or the need for replacement.
  • Stopping bacterial growth and possible health issues: Dirty night guards can harbor bacteria, which can lead to issues such as sore throats, bad breath, and even infections. Proper cleaning helps prevent bacterial growth and reduces the likelihood of these health issues.

Remember, taking the time to clean your night guard each day is crucial to maintaining oral hygiene and keeping your night guard functional in the long run.

Preparing To Clean Your Night Guard

Cleaning your night guard is essential to maintaining its effectiveness and longevity. Proper cleaning involves preparing all the necessary cleaning supplies, taking protective measures for the night guard, and thoroughly removing any residual debris. Here’s how to prepare to clean your night guard.

Gather Necessary Cleaning Supplies

Before starting the cleaning process, it’s essential to ensure that all necessary supplies are on hand. Here are some items you’ll need to clean your night guard effectively:

  • Toothbrush
  • Soap or detergent
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Distilled water

Take Protective Measures For The Night Guard

Protecting your night guard during the cleaning process is essential to prevent any damage that could affect its function. Here’s how:

  • Remove the night guard carefully from your mouth
  • Rinse it with cool water to remove any loose debris
  • Place it on a clean, soft surface while you clean it

Remove Any Residual Debris

Cleaning your night guard requires removing any residual debris that may be left after regular use. Here’s how:

  • Soak the night guard in a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and distilled water for 20-30 minutes.
  • Rinse it thoroughly under cool running water to remove any leftover vinegar solution.
  • Mix a paste of baking soda and water and apply it to the night guard with a toothbrush.
  • Gently brush the night guard to remove any buildup or stains. Be sure to brush gently to avoid scratching the surface.
  • Rinse thoroughly with cool water.
  • Wash with soap or detergent to remove any bacteria build-up.
  • Rinse again with cool water and pat dry with a clean, soft towel.

By following these simple steps to prepare to clean your night guard, you can prolong its lifespan and ensure its continued effectiveness in protecting your teeth and jaw during sleep.

Cleaning Methods

How To Clean Night Guard?

Night guards are a fantastic way to protect your teeth and jaw from grinding while sleeping. However, they need proper care and maintenance to serve you for a long time. If you are unsure about how to clean your night guard, don’t worry; below we have discussed some effective cleaning methods that you can use to keep your night guard fresh and hygienic.

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The Toothbrush Method

Using a toothbrush to clean your night guard is the easiest and most accessible cleaning method. Below we have presented the step-by-step instructions for the toothbrush method:

Step-by-step instructions:

  • Rinse the night guard with lukewarm water to remove any loose debris. Avoid using hot water as it can damage the acrylic material of most guards.
  • Apply some toothpaste to the bristles of your toothbrush and gently brush your night guard. Pay extra attention to the grooves and crevices as they can accumulate bacteria over time.
  • Rinse the night guard thoroughly with water and inspect it to ensure that all debris and residue have been removed.
  • Pat dry your night guard with a clean towel and store it in its container.

How often to use this method:

It is recommended to clean your night guard with a toothbrush daily, or at least each time you wear it.

Best for daily cleaning and maintenance:

The toothbrush method is ideal for daily cleaning and maintenance of your night guard. It is simple, cost-effective, and can remove most bacteria and other particles.

The Vinegar And Baking Soda Method

The vinegar and baking soda method is a more thorough cleaning technique that can remove deep-seated stains, bacteria and odors from your night guard. Below we have presented the step-by-step instructions for this cleaning method:

Step-by-step instructions:

  • Mix equal parts of white vinegar and warm water in a container. Place your night guard in the solution and let it soak for 20-30 minutes.
  • In a separate container, make a paste of baking soda and water.
  • Apply the baking soda paste to your night guard and gently brush it with a soft-bristle toothbrush. Baking soda is a natural abrasive that can remove plaque, bacteria and residue.
  • Rinse the night guard thoroughly with water and inspect it to ensure that all debris and residue have been removed.
  • Finally, dip your night guard in clean water mixed with a small amount of mouthwash to give it a refreshing smell.

Benefits of this cleaning method:

The vinegar and baking soda method can remove tough stains, bacteria and odors from your night guard. It is also a natural and eco-friendly cleaning solution.

When to perform this method:

You can use the vinegar and baking soda method once a week or as needed, if your night guard shows significant staining or foul odor.

Professional Cleaning

When professional cleaning is necessary:

Professional cleaning is necessary if you notice any cracks, discoloration or damage to your night guard. A dentist can professionally clean your night guard and determine if it needs repair or replacement.

Benefits of professional cleaning:

Professional cleaning ensures that your night guard is working efficiently and reduces the risk of developing dental problems. Dentists also use effective cleaning and disinfecting solutions to remove bacteria that can cause bad breath or infections.

Take care of your night guard by using any of the above cleaning methods. These techniques are easy and effective and can help you extend the life of your night guard.

Storage & Maintenance

Keeping your night guard clean is essential to maintain good oral health. Proper storage and maintenance of your night guard can significantly increase its lifespan and prevent bacteria build-up. In this section, we will discuss the importance of proper storage and maintenance of your night guard.

Storing Your Night Guard Properly

Proper storage of your night guard is crucial to maintain its shape and prevent bacteria growth. Here are some tips for storing your night guard properly:

  • Rinse your night guard with cold water after use.
  • Ensure that the night guard is dry before storing it.
  • Keep the night guard in its case when it’s not in use.
  • Store the night guard in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
  • Keep the night guard case clean by washing it with soap and water regularly.

Importance Of Proper Storage

Improper storage can lead to bacterial growth and cause foul odor, which can lead to various dental problems. Here’s the importance of storing your night guard properly:

  • Proper storage can prevent bacteria build-up on the night guard.
  • Keeping the night guard in its case can protect it from dust, debris, and damage.
  • Proper storage can help maintain the shape and effectiveness of the night guard.

Where To Store Your Night Guard

Finding the right place to store your night guard can be crucial in maintaining optimal hygiene. Here are some options for storing your night guard:

  • In a night guard case – the case protects the night guard from environmental damage.
  • Nightstand – keep the night guard in a container or a case inside the nightstand drawer.
  • Bathroom – store the night guard in a container and keep it on the bathroom counter.

Maintaining Your Night Guard

Cleaning your night guard regularly is crucial to prevent bacterial buildup. Here are some tips for maintaining your night guard:

  • Clean the night guard with a mild soap and water solution.
  • Rinse the night guard with cool water before and after use.
  • Avoid using hot water or toothpaste as it can damage or scratch the night guard.
  • If you notice any cracks or damages, replace the night guard immediately.

How Often You Should Clean Your Night Guard

It’s recommended to clean your night guard at least once a day. However, if you’re wearing your night guard regularly, such as every night, you may want to clean it twice a day.

Tips For Maintaining The Night Guard’S Durability

Taking good care of your night guard is essential to maintain its effectiveness and longevity. Here are some tips for maintaining your night guard’s durability:

  • Use a separate toothbrush to clean your night guard.
  • Avoid exposing your night guard to extreme temperatures.
  • Store the night guard in its case when not in use.
  • Avoid dropping or mishandling your night guard.

By following these simple steps for proper storage and maintenance, you can ensure that your night guard remains clean, hygienic, and effective for a long time.

Frequently Asked Questions Of How To Clean Night Guard?

How Do I Clean My Night Guard At Home?

To clean your night guard at home, soak it in a mixture of warm water and mild soap, use a soft-bristled brush to scrub it gently, rinse it thoroughly with water, and leave it to air dry completely.

How Often Should I Clean My Night Guard?

It’s recommended to clean your night guard after each use and soak it in a solution of equal parts water and vinegar once a week.

Can I Use Toothpaste To Clean My Night Guard?

No, do not use toothpaste to clean your night guard. Toothpaste is abrasive and can scratch the surface of the night guard, leading to more bacteria or germs growth on the surface.

How Can I Eliminate The Odor From My Night Guard?

To eliminate the odor from your night guard, you can soak it in a mixture of water and white vinegar, or you can use a specialized nightguard cleaner that you can purchase online or in any dental office.

Can I Sanitize My Night Guard With Alcohol?

It’s not recommended to sanitize your night guard with alcohol because it can damage the material. Instead, use a solution of water and white vinegar or a commercial night guard cleaner to sanitize it.

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Conclusion

Properly cleaning your night guard is an essential step in ensuring that it functions appropriately and maintains its durability. By following the methods discussed in this article, you can achieve optimal hygiene for your night guard. Remember to avoid using harsh chemicals or boiling hot water, as these can damage your guard.

Instead, opt for a mild, non-abrasive toothpaste, or a specialized cleaning solution, along with a soft-bristled brush for a deep clean. Additionally, baking soda and vinegar solutions can be used for an alternative way to clean your guard while keeping it fresh.

Consistency is key, so make sure to clean your night guard daily to prevent the buildup of bacteria and germs. By implementing these cleaning tips, you can enjoy a comfortable, healthy fit from your night guard for years to come.

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