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Tips For Cleaning Your Sports Mouthguard

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Sports mouthguards are recommended for a range of sports, and should be worn for practice and games to protect the mouth and prevent any kind of oral injury.

4 Ways To Keep Your Mouthguard Fresh

While mouthguards can safeguard your teeth and smile, especially when taking part in contact sports, such as ice hockey, boxing, football and lacrosse, among others, and also non-contact sports like gymnastics, they can also be potentially dangerous if not kept clean.

These guards can be a breeding spot for dangerous bacteria that cause cavities, periodontitis, and possibly tooth loss. So, it is important that you keep your sports mouthguard clean by following these tips:

  1. Scrub Your Mouthguard
  2. At the very minimum, you should always rinse your mouth guard using cool water after wearing it. Also, take this time to scrub your guard with a small toothbrush, such as a child’s toothbrush. Alternatively, you can scrub it using a regular toothbrush, your finger, a Q-tip or the corner of your towel. You may also clean it with toothpaste.

  3. Give It Time To Dry Out
  4. After rinsing and scrubbing your guard, allow it to dry out completely before storing. Failure to do this can cause the dampness to attract bacteria.

  5. Soak It In A Solution
  6. In addition to cleaning and scrubbing, regularly soaking your guard in the right solution can help keep it clean and fresh. Athletic guards are typically made from extremely durable plastics that are also impervious to liquids, so you can use a range of soaking solutions, including:

    • Commercial cleansers – there are different types of products used for cleaning orthodontic appliances and dentures.
    • Homemade cleaners – you can prepare a simple bleach solution by mixing one part household bleach with 10 parts water for disinfecting and deodorizing your mouthguard. Alternatively, you can prepare a vinegar-based solution using equal parts of white vinegar and water to soak your mouthguard in. This will help to remove hard deposits like dental tartar from your appliance.

    But to be on the safe side, you may ask your dentist to recommend a suitable soaking solution for your dental appliance.

  7. Safe Storage
  8. When the guard is not in use, place it in a firm, perforated case. This kind of container allows air circulation and prevents damage. Also, keep your mouthguard away from sources of high temperatures, like direct sunlight, hot water or hot surfaces, as the heat can distort your device.

Conclusion
Keep in mind that your mouthguard, like any other dental appliance, will wear with time. Signs of wear include a looser fit and holes, which often mean that it is time to replace your dental appliance.


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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.