Bite guards are one of the best ways to help save your smile from some of life’s hard knocks. Whether you have a night guard for bruxism or a sports mouth guard (or both!), and whether it’s over-the-counter or a custom-made one, you can get the most out of it by taking good care of it. Here are some tips for caring for your night guard or mouth guard:
- Rinse your bite guard or mouth guard well with cool water before and after use. It’s a great idea brush it with a toothbrush and toothpaste and rinse daily.
- Never use hot water on your bite guard, it can soften the plastic and cause it to warp and no longer fit properly.
- Store your bite guard in its case if it has one, or a clean well-ventilated container that is sturdy enough to protect it. The cases they come with are designed to protect but also provide air circulation. Do not store a bite guard or mouth guard in an enclosed place while damp. A damp bite guard, even if clean, can be susceptible to bacterial growth if kept damp and not allowed to dry.
- Clean your bite guard case about once a week. The case can be washed with soap and hot water. Dry it with a clean cloth or paper towel or allow it to air dry completely before placing your bite guard inside.
- Do not store your bite guard in a hot place (such as in your luggage in the trunk of a car, or in your checked baggage on a plane during summer time). The car interior or carry-on baggage are better options for transporting your bite guard. Also, some bathrooms can get hot and steamy, so a nightstand is thought to be safer place to keep a night guard. Sports mouth guards should not be stored outdoors or in a very hot garage or car.
- If you want, you can soak your bite guard in antiseptic mouthwash about once a week (or as often as you like) to disinfect it and give it a nice minty-freshness.
- Inspect your bite guard frequently for any damage or wear and tear. You can also bring it to your dental appointment for your dental provider to look over for you.
Wearing a night guard and sports mouth guard helps to maintain the health and beauty of your smile. Make taking great care of your mouth guard a part of your regular brushing and flossing routine to get the most out of your investment in your smile!