Emergency or Otherwise

Mouth Guard Care

Able Dental - Tuesday, October 13, 2015

You can skate, run, roll and get a concussion or even damage teeth. That’s why we wear a mouth guard when playing contact sports, but after we’ve finished the game, how do you care for your mouth guard?

Common Problems

First let’s discuss what I’ve come to see as common practices. I’ve seen people take out their mouth guards with their dirty hands, place them on their bags or even the ground. We even drink high sugar drinks such as Gatorade and smoothies with mouth guards in. All of these things can spread germs all over mouth guards and causes build up.

Keeping It Clean

Here are a Do’s and Don’ts to keeping your mouth guard clean for both soft and hard mouth guards.

  • DO a thorough brush. Use a soft toothbrush or denture brush with water to clear away plaque and other buildup.
  • DO use a cleaner. Polident has foams and tablets to give your regular cleaning an extra boost. Just follow the directions provided and ensure that you’re using the correct product.
  • DO clean often. If you just finish a practice or a game you should ensure all of your gear is taken care of. Your mouth guard is no exception.
  • DON’T just rinse with water. If you just rinse off your mouth guard with water, the sticky plaque will not come off. This can cause the sticky plaque to transfer back onto your healthy teeth, which can cause cavities and other oral health problems.
  • DON’T use toothpaste while cleaning your mouth guard. Toothpaste has abrasive materials specially meant for teeth. These same components just create tears and holes for bacteria in your mouth guard and damage its structural integrity.
  • DON’T use high alcohol concentration mouthwash or rubbing alcohol. Alcohol can dry out the plastic and other materials causing the mouth guard to become fragile.
  • DON’T use acetone or other household cleaners. Acetone can actually slightly melt the surface of your mouth guard. Household cleaners are meant for your house not your dental appliance.
  • DON’T let your dog clean it. Your dog will likely think it’s their new chew toy and go to town, but if this happens you will need to replace your appliance, as your furry friend will likely damage it.
  • DON’T put it in the dishwasher. This will likely cause the plastic to warp and your appliance may no longer fit correctly. A correct fit is important for your safety.

I hope this helps keep you safe in the field, rink or stadium!

Able Dental Group is accepting new patients. Schedule an appointment to call 403-327-7227 in Lethbridge, and our dental professionals can create a custom-made mouth guard for your sporting needs for just $35 dollars. You can contact us online (Link) with your cleaning questions.