How to Maintain Your Mouthguard This New Year

How to Maintain Your Mouthguard This New Year

Dec 01, 2020

A mouthguard, also called a nightguard, refers to a removable oral device that covers your teeth for various reasons. Mouthguards at Seattle Sound Dental serve to separate the upper jaw teeth from the lower jaw to prevent grinding and injuries from impacts.

There are different reasons people wear mouthguards. These oral devices are recommended for people who grind or clench their teeth; a condition called sleep bruxism.

Mouthguards are also used as a management device for temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.

Others wear mouthguards during sports like boxing, football, rugby, hockey, and other high impact sports where the possibility of a mouth injury are high. Mouthguards act as a cushion for teeth against dental injuries while playing sports.

Because mouthguards are worn in the mouth, you must keep them clean. This is to prevent the bacteria in your mouth from building up inside your mouthguard. If left uncleaned, bacteria build-up can increase the risk of infection and even cause bad breath.

Read below to find out the different ways in which you can clean your mouthguard from home.


Many types of mouthwash come with anti-microbial properties, which makes them ideal for cleaning your mouthguard. To avoid damaging your mouthguard, the Seattle dentist advises on the use of alcohol-free mouthwashes.

Below is the procedure:

  • First, rinse the mouthguard in cool water
  • Pour the mouthwash into a cup, like half a cup
  • Dilute it with water to fill the cup; until it’s enough to clean your mouthguard
  • Soak the mouthguard for around 30 minutes
  • Remove then rinse in cool water
  • Leave the mouthguard to dry


When using toothpaste to clean your mouthguard, use the non-abrasive type, and ensure you use a soft bristle toothbrush. It’s advisable to separate one toothbrush for this purpose. It helps avoid bacterial cross-contamination.

Hard toothbrushes and abrasive toothpaste can potentially damage your mouthguard. Below are the steps.

  • Rinse the mouth guard in warm water
  • Apply little toothpaste to your toothbrush
  • Brush the mouthguard with gentle care
  • Rinse the toothpaste in cool water
  • Leave the mouthguard to dry

Soap and Water

Soap and water is the next option to use. So you don’t damage your mouthguard, we advise using soap with mild to no alcohol content. Examples of such soaps include antibacterial soap, castile soap, and dish soap.

This method will also require the use of a toothbrush. Follow the steps below.

  • Rinse the mouthguard in moderately cool water
  • Apply some soap on your mouthguard
  • Rub the mouthguard using the toothbrush until its soapy
  • Rinse it to extrude all soda
  • Leave it to dry

Baking Soda

You might wonder why baking soda is on this list as a washing agent. Baking soda has superior debris removal properties and is efficient in removing foul odors.

Here is a common technique used to clean mouthguards using baking soda:

  • Combine baking soda and water in equal proportions inside a small bowl till a paste is formed
  • Dip a toothbrush (separate from the one you use to brush) into the toothpaste and gently brush the mouthguard
  • Rinse the mouthguard to remove the baking soda remains
  • Leave it to dry

Hydrogen Peroxide and Vinegar

Both of these ingredients are used to wash mouthguard if you want to achieve a deeper clean. The Seattle dentist recommends it because they’re inexpensive and natural, and they offer superb results.

Here is how you do it:

  • Rinse your custom-made mouthguard in cool water
  • Next, you place it in a clean glass and add the vinegar until it covers the mouthguard for 30 minutes
  • Remove, then rinse the device in cool water. Rinse the glass as well.
  • Return the mouthguard into the glass and add hydrogen peroxide till it’s covered. Retain it for 30 minutes
  • Remove it and use cool water to rinse
  • Leave the mouthguard to dry

Should I consider Mouthguard Material?

Mouthguards are mostly made of silicone and plastics. Custom-made mouthguards are strong yet soft to make the wear comfortable. The material, however, depends on the use of your mouthguard. Common materials include:

  • Silicone – It’s a soft rubber material used for mild and irregular bruxism.
  • Ethylene-vinyl Acetate (EVA) – It’s a thermoplastic material primarily used for Boil and bite mouthguards. It can be used for average to severe bruxism and athletes.
  • Acrylic – It’s a hard plastic used to make custom made mouthguards best for athletes.

Generally, you can use similar cleaning supplies and methods for all types of materials. You need to be careful with a thermoplastic mouthguard, though, as it can warp if placed in hot water.

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