It’s no secret that clear custom night guard provide a cushioning effect between your teeth, preventing them from causing harm. They are designed to address a wide range of concerns, including chipped teeth, TMJ disorders, sleep problems, and other issues caused by teeth clenching and grinding. However, to ensure that your night guard remains effective and hygienic, it's essential to learn how to clean and maintain it properly.
This blog provides some expert tips on night guard maintenance.
Why Clean and Maintain Your Night Guard?
Neglecting the cleaning and maintenance of your night guard can lead to a range of problems, both in terms of hygiene and effectiveness. Here are some compelling reasons to keep your night guard in pristine condition.
A poorly maintained night guard can become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. Placing it in your mouth without proper cleaning can lead to oral infections and bad breath.
Over time, night guards can accumulate stains, plaque, and bacteria, which diminish their effectiveness in protecting your teeth from grinding and clenching. This can result in dental damage and discomfort.
Regular cleaning and maintenance can significantly extend the lifespan of your night guard, saving you money in the long run.
A clean night guard is more comfortable to wear, promoting better sleep quality and overall oral health.
Cleaning Your Night Guard
Proper cleaning is the foundation of night guard maintenance. Here's how to clean your night guard effectively.
Rinse Immediately After Use
As soon as you wake up, rinse your night guard with cool or lukewarm water. This step helps remove any saliva, food particles, or debris that may have accumulated on the guard during the night.
Use a soft-bristle toothbrush and mild, non-abrasive toothpaste to brush your night guard. Be sure to brush all surfaces, including the inside, where it comes into contact with your teeth. Brushing helps remove stains and plaque.
Soak in an Antibacterial Solution
Soaking your night guard in an antibacterial solution at least once a week is essential. You can use a commercial denture or retainer cleaner or make a homemade solution by mixing equal parts of white vinegar and water. This helps to kill bacteria and keep your night guard odor-free.
Avoid Hot Water
Never use hot water to clean your night guard. It can cause the plastic to deform, rendering the guard ineffective and uncomfortable.
After cleaning, make sure to let your night guard air dry. Avoid using a hairdryer or placing it in direct sunlight, as excessive heat can warp the material. Store it in a clean, dry container to prevent contamination.
Maintaining Your Night Guard
Cleaning is just one aspect of night guard care. Here are some essential tips to maintain its effectiveness and hygiene.
Regularly Inspect for Damage
Examine your night guard regularly for any signs of wear and tear. Look for cracks, chips, or loose areas. If you notice any damage, contact your dental technician to get it repaired or replaced promptly.
Keep It in a Protective Case
When you're not wearing your night guard, always store it in a protective case. This prevents it from accumulating dust and protects it from accidental damage or pets that might be tempted to chew on it.
Handle with Clean Hands
Before touching your night guard, ensure that your hands are clean. Bacteria from your hands can transfer to the guard, so thoroughly washing them is essential to maintaining their hygiene.
Avoid Chewing or Biting
Never chew on your night guard or use it as a substitute for chewing gum or hard candy. Doing so can lead to cracks or deformation.
Don't Share Your Night Guard
Sharing a night guard is unhygienic and increases the risk of spreading oral bacteria and infections. Each person should have their own personalized night guard.
Troubleshooting Common Night Guard Issues
Here are some common issues night guard users may encounter and how to deal with them.
If your night guard develops a bad odor, soak it in a solution of equal parts water and white vinegar for about 30 minutes. Then, brush and rinse it thoroughly.
To remove stains, try gently brushing your night guard with baking soda and water, or using a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water. Avoid using abrasive cleaning agents that may scratch the surface.
If your night guard causes discomfort or pain, consult your dental technician. They may need to adjust or replace the guard to ensure a proper fit.
Over time, the clear or transparent appearance of your night guard may fade. While this doesn't affect its functionality, if you're concerned about aesthetics, consult your dental technician for professional cleaning and polishing.
Incorporating effective night guard maintenance into your daily routine is paramount to safeguarding your oral health and ensuring a restful night's sleep. To experience the ultimate in comfort and protection, explore custom-made night guards by Clear Comforts Night Guards. With options to suit your specific needs, our custom dental guards offer unparalleled fit and quality.