How to Clean Your Mouthguard

Updated November 20, 2023
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Discoloration on a mouthguard is, often, a good sign proper cleaning isn’t happening. It’s not uncommon for people to let saliva sit in the guard, and over time, this can create a yellowing effect. While it’s common, that doesn’t mean it’s good for your oral health. Your dental night guard needs routine maintenance to keep it clear of any germs and debris—and ensure your mouth is healthy, especially overnight.

Why Cleaning Your Mouthguard Is So Important

Keeping your mouthguard clean is essential to minimizing bacteria and germs. Your body has a high level of good bacteria present, including some in your mouth—expose your mouthguard to these elements and it becomes a breeding ground for any other bacteria in the area. This worsens if there are foot particles – even those you cannot see – present.

That, though, is just the beginning. Poor maintenance also cuts the life expectancy of your mouthguard considerably. This can lead to frequent replacements—and frequent replacement costs.

Steps to Cleaning Your Mouthguard

By following a basic cleaning and maintenance routine, you’ll be able to preserve your mouthguard—and your oral health—over time. Here’s where to start:

#1. Get Your Mouthguard Clean First

You shouldn’t use most kinds of toothpaste to clean your mouthguard—most toothpastes contain ingredients that are too harsh. However, you can use baking soda and water or an organic toothpaste to brush the mouthguard itself. Aim to do this daily after you take it out of your mouth. You also want to wash out your mouthguard case at this time.

There are several ways you can keep your mouthguard clean. You can also:

  • Soak it in an antiseptic mouthwash for a few minutes.
  • Brush it with a mild toothpaste. One that doesn’t contain harsh chemicals can be helpful.
  • You can use mild soap and warm water to wash it off.
  • Other products can help, including hydrogen peroxide and vinegar.

Always know what the manufacturer recommends, too. In some cases, the material of the mouthguard may discolor or become damaged if you use some types of cleaners.

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#2. Keep It Dry

Moisture encourages bacteria build-up. You can reduce this risk by simply keeping it dry. After you wash it, dry it off thoroughly. Use a soft cloth.

#3. Store It in a Hard Case

After you dry it completely, place it back into your case. Your case helps minimize the amount of contact it has with debris or materials in the air.

#4. Replace It When There Is Damage

If you notice significant yellowing or there are black spots on your mouthguard, don’t use it. This can indicate significant damage. The black spots can also be mold spores. Putting this into your mouth is dangerous. You may be able to clean these off depending on how severe it is. However, it is best to contact your dental care provider to make sure this is still safe to use.

Why It Matters

Your mouthguard is there to protect your teeth and improve your smile. If it’s damaged or discolored, it cannot work properly, exposing your teeth to increased risks, especially if there’s a lot of bacteria buildup. Simple cleaning methods like this work well to minimize all of those risks.

Ready for a new mouthguard? Schedule a consultation with SOS Braces today.

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