Since April is National Facial Protection Month, you’ve probably already reviewed the importance of wearing helmets and mouth guards for sports and other physical activities. And since many of our patients are already using sports mouth guards, let’s check in to make sure you are caring for yours properly. Here are the guidelines for taking care of your mouth guard:
-Clean your mouth guard after each use. If possible, scrub it gently with a toothbrush and toothpaste or a tiny bit of very mild soap. If you are not able to wash it that thoroughly right away, at least give it a good thorough rinsing with cold water. Avoid hot water though, as heat can warp it.
-Do not leave your mouth guard in the sun, since, as stated above, heat can warp the plastic. Don’t store it in the trunk of the car (or any place hot) along with the rest of your sporting equipment. Don’t store it in the glove box or in direct sunlight.
-Store your mouth guard in an appropriate container. You want a hard well-ventilated container. A hard sturdy container will help to protect it from physical harm, while ventilation holes or vents will allow it to dry out thoroughly between uses. Most sports guards come with this type of container, and you should be able to find one at your local drugstore if it wasn’t included.
-Soaking your mouth guard in Listerine (or a good antiseptic mouthwash of any brand) on occasion can help to clean and disinfect it and remove stains and odors.
-Frequently inspect your mouth guard for wear and tear. Look for rips, tears, and holes that may affect the fit or the ability to protect your teeth and surrounding tissue.
Is your mouth guard, old, ill-fitting, warped, interfering with your ability to breath, or otherwise uncomfortable? It may be time for a replacement! Contact our office for more information on getting a new custom-fitted mouthguard. We’d love to help you keep your teeth safe while you play!