Night guards are invaluable to protect teeth fro harsh effects of grinding and/or clenching. If you or your dentist suspects that you grind or clench your teeth, a night guard may be recommended in order to prevent future damage.
Once you get a custom night guard, it’s important to have a daily routine to clean it after use. Follow these instructions for cleaning your custom night guard, and it should stay in great shape for years to come!
Rinse it with warm water once removed from your mouth. This will remove debris and loosen plaque that is stuck to the night guard.
After rinsing, give your custom night guard a light brushing with your toothbrush. Some people prefer using a separate one, but using the same toothbrush you use to brush your teeth daily will do just fine.
Warning: Do NOT use toothpaste to the brush. Toothpaste may be abrasive, causing scratches that can trap bacteria, and also wearing your night guard out more quickly.
It’s important to allow your custom night guard to dry completely before storing it as to prevent rapid bacterial growth. Choose a clean, flat surface to allow your night guard to dry. Typically it should dry within 15-30 minutes.
When you are not wearing your custom guard it is important that you keep it stored in a case. Many people store their custom night guard in their bathroom, but over time the steam and humidity in the bathroom can cause the night guard to warp. We recommend that you keep the night guard stored in your bedroom or on your nightstand instead.
It's good to deep clean your night guard as least once a week by using an over-the-counter denture cleaner. This requires placing your night guard in a glass, cup or bowl with water and to allow the dissolve the cleaner in water with your night guard in it.
Another way is to use a mixture of vinegar and hydrogen peroxide. Soak your night guard in distilled white vinegar for at least 30 minutes. After soaking, rinse well with a bowl with water. Afterwards, soak the night guard in hydrogen peroxide for at least 30 more minutes. Once finished, rinse with water and allow the night guard to dry completely.
Lastly, you may also deep clean your custom night guard by mixing mouthwash and water. Pour a capful of mouthwash into a glass, cup or bowl and add water until the night guard can be fully submerged in the mixed solution. Let your guard soak for 30 minutes, rinse off well, and allow it to dry completely on a clean flat surface.
Warning: Do NOT leave your night guard soaking in anything for longer than an hour. Extended time in liquid can damage your night guard.
Cleaning your night guard can be a wasted effort if you put your clean night guard in a dirty case! Hand wash your case every few days with regular dishwashing detergent. Avoid placing your case in the dishwasher since the high temperature washing may melt or warp the plastic. After washing, allow your case to dry as to prevent any bacteria growth. Plastic night guard cases wear out with time, so we try to replace your case every 6-12 months, or as needed.