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Most Effective Methods For Cleaning Your Mouthguard

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Whether you wear your mouthguard to protect your teeth during sports activities, or to protect them from the damaging effects of night grinding and clenching, it is essential that you take good care of the dental appliance so it stays clean and odour-free, and is always ready for use.

How To Properly Clean Your Mouthguard

Generally, your mouthguard should be cleaned as part of your daily oral care routine, or as frequently as you use it for sports. Here are a few tips for cleaning your appliance:

  1. Rinse immediately after wearing

    At the very minimum, you should always rinse the appliance with warm water the instant you take it out of your mouth. This simple step will loosen any plaque and remove any debris stuck to the guard.

  2. Scrub it with your toothbrush

    Ideally, you should use a soft, kid’s toothbrush for the job. But if one is not available, you can use your regular toothbrush to give the guard a light scrubbing. Other tools for the job include the corner of a towel, a Q-tip, or even your finger.

    You can use a small amount of toothpaste to help clean the guard but remember not to be too rough as this could damage the guard.

  3. Soak it in a cleaning solution routinely

    In addition to scrubbing your mouthguard, you should perform deep cleaning at least once a week to keep it clean and fresh. There are three ways to accomplish this:

    • Using an over-the-counter cleaner as directed. Usually, you will need to dissolve the cleaner in a bowl of water, and then insert your mouthguard for the recommended time.
    • Using a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and vinegar. First, soak the guard in distilled white vinegar for a minimum of 30 minutes. Remove and rinse both the guard and bowl using clean water. Then, soak the guard this time in hydrogen peroxide for a similar amount of time. When finished, rinse the bowl and guard, and allow it to dry completely before storing.
    • Using a mixture of water and mouthwash. Pour one capful of the mouthwash into a bowl and dilute with clean water so the guard is completely submerged in the solution. Allow it to soak for about 30 minutes, and then rinse and dry before storage.

    When cleaning or deep cleaning your mouthguard, you should never leave it soaking in any kind of solution or cleaner for more than one hour, as this can damage the material.

Final Note

After cleaning your mouthguard, lay it on a clean surface and allow it to dry completely before storing. This step should take about 15 to 30 minutes, but it is critical for preventing rapid bacterial growth.

Store the mouthguard in its case when you are not wearing it. Of course, you should also keep the case clean by washing it at least once a week with regular dishwashing detergent.


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Dr. Stacey Stein
A graduate from the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Toronto, Dr. Stacy Stein provides personalized care to each patient by explaining the risks and benefits of different treatment options in an honest way, and involves patients in their own care. With a focus on preventative, paediatrics, restorative, prosthodontics, and endodontics, she loves working with patients of all ages.