If you are one of the 30% of adults who grind their teeth, wearing a nightguard can help to minimize pain and protect your teeth. Taking care of your nightguard will extend the life of your appliance and safeguard your teeth. Your daily oral health routine should include cleaning your night guard. Follow these instructions for cleaning your night guard and it should stay in great shape for years to come!
Rinse immediately after wearing: Each time you wear your night guard you should rinse it with cool water as soon as you remove it from your mouth. This will remove debris and loosen any plaque that is stuck to the night guard.
Brush the night guard with your toothbrush: After rinsing, give your night guard a light brushing with your normal toothbrush. Some people prefer using a separate toothbrush just for their night guard, but it’s okay if you want to use the toothbrush you use to brush your teeth daily.
Note: You don’t need to apply toothpaste to the brush. It is abrasive and may scratch your night guard and cause it to wear out more quickly. Dish soap is a good non-abrasive daily cleanser for your guard.
Lay your night guard on a clean surface and allow it to dry: It’s important to allow your night guard to dry completely before storing it, as to prevent rapid bacterial growth. Choose a clean, flat surface to allow your night guard to dry. Typically, it should dry within 15-30 minutes.
Always store your night guard in a case: When you are not wearing your night guard it is important that you keep it stored in a case. Be careful not to store your night guard anywhere subject to extreme hot or cold temperatures. Be aware that pets love new chew toys, so please keep your night guards safely out of reach of your pets.
Bring your night guard to your hygiene appointments: As part of your dental cleaning appointment at Peace Street Dental, we will provide an ultrasonic deep cleaning for your nightguard each time you come in to our office in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Deep clean your night guard monthly: Make a habit of deep cleaning your night guard as least once a month. Use an over-the-counter nonabrasive denture cleaner that is safe for nightguards. Simply place your night guard in a glass or bowl with water and allow the cleaner to dissolve completely into the water.
Tip: Don’t leave your night guard soaking in anything for longer than 15 minutes. Extended time in liquid can damage the material your night guard is made from. Also, don’t soak in any liquid containing alcohol – that includes Listerine.
Keep your case clean: Cleaning your night guard can become a wasted effort if you put a clean night guard into a dirty case. Keep the case clean by hand washing it every few days with regular dishwashing soap or castile soap. Avoid placing the case in the dishwasher as the high temperature may melt or warp the plastic. After washing, allow the case to dry as to prevent bacteria growth.
How long should my night guard last?
Night guards will have varying durability depending on several factors. A night guard will have an average lifespan of 5 years, but depending upon the level of wear, it can need replacement in just 1 year.
Call our office in Raleigh, North Carolina to talk more with our team and Dr. Griffith about any questions you may have for your nightguard care.