If you used a mouth guard while sleeping or in sports, mouth guard hygiene is critical for your wholesome oral health. We shall discuss the 3 easy steps you can apply for your mouth guard cleaning. Mouth guards have become essential aids for people suffering Bruxism.
Saliva makes the mouth moist and warm, making this combination makes for a good habitation and ideal breeding environment for bacteria, yeast, molds or even other unknown microorganisms.
The bacteria will sit on the mouth lining as well as the teeth as will also, inevitably on the mouth guard. Same as the mouth cleaning is important, so it is to the mouth guards. This helps guard against debris sitting on it as well as avoids unsightly discoloration of the mouth guard. As such, it’s incumbent on anyone using a mouth guard to observe high level hygiene routine just as we do with a toothbrush.
Mouth guard cleaning to keep it bacteria free
It’s rather simple to do this and should be done after every use;
- As you would with brush your teeth, use a non-abrasive toothbrush and paste and gently brush the entire mouth guard then give a thorough rinse. You could also instead, soak it in an antibacterial mouthwash for a few seconds then use clean water to rinse. An antibacterial agent is recommended when a non-alcoholic based mouthwash is used.
- Dry the properly rinsed mouth guard with a piece of dry clean cloth. You could also place it on a clean surface to drain off the water and dry.
- When fully dry, keep it in a clean, dry and well aerated case preferably made from anti-microbial material. This will prevent moist conditions as well as dust and other microorganisms.
It safe to note that, same as the mouth wash, the case should also be always kept clean. It’s recommended that the case is cleaned at least once a month.
Here we highlight some of the alternative cleaners and sanitizing devices that one can explore in ensuring utmost hygiene of the mouth guard.
- Use of Hydrogen Peroxide. This comes highly recommended in removing bacteria and plaque. It’s also considerably inexpensive and readily available even at your nearest pharmacies or even your way home grocery store. It’s used in the same way as the anti-bacterial mouth washes discussed above.
- Denture Cleaning Powders and Tablets; these are non-alcoholic cleaners specifically for mouth guards. Besides cleaning, they sanitize and also remove stains on the guards if any. They are also readily available.
- Thanks to technology, there are Oral Appliances and Devices sanitizers. These use some high tech methods, ultraviolet light and even ozone to sanitize mouth guards. Good thing is they are really cool and easily portable giving you that convenience especially for people on the go. However, the convenience comes at a price though.
Simple mouth guard hygiene principles and cleaning
As stated here earlier, you ought to treat a mouth guard as you would a tooth brush. Principles could form part of personal hygiene practices:
- Strictly no Sharing. Always ensure that only one person uses the mouth guard. To make it easy to differentiate theirs by maybe having differently coloured guards,
- Always clean the guard after every use. There are good solvents for cleaning and sterilizing,
- Keep the clean and dry Mouth guard in a safe and dry case. If in the open, it could gather microorganisms and if in a dump or its dump itself, it avails an environment for molds,
- Check out for need to replace. If it wears out like a tooth brush would too, it’s always good to make arrangements for replacement.
CONCLUSION: If bruxism is affecting your sleep or of those near you and you weren’t sure on how to hygienically maintain anti-teeth grinding devices, now don’t hesitate to get yourself that mouth guard both for smooth uninterrupted sleep and protection of your teeth from wearing of.
Final note is, in mouth guard cleaning, they shouldn’t be boiled or soaked in any of the cleaners for too long.