We at Advantage Dentistry in Kenmore are glad to see that so many of our patients wear night guards to protect themselves from tooth grinding. Besides sparing their teeth, they’re also reducing their likelihood of getting aches in their heads, necks, and shoulders. However, like dentures and athletic mouthguards, night guards can become hazardous if they are not cleaned properly.
A night guard will accumulate bacteria and fungus if it is not regularly brushed. Like teeth, it should be cleaned each morning with a soft-bristled toothbrush, although it is a good idea to have a separate toothbrush for the task. Night guards do not produce their own protective membrane and can be scratched by toothpaste minerals, so do not use toothpaste with extra fluoridation. A night guard should be dried before being put into its protective case for the day, but the case should also be washed regularly and dried. Soap and water are usually enough, but there are more specialized products. It is also important to always fully brush and floss the teeth before putting a night guard back in and to not leave it in a place where it may be warped by heat.