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Tips on How to Properly Clean Your Mouthguard

Tips on How to Properly Clean Your Mouthguard

If you play contact sports at a competitive level or suffer from involuntary teeth grinding (bruxism), a custom mouthguard or night guard can be your best friend. 

Mouthguards do get dirty, though. Trapped in your mouth for hours on end, they are a prime receptacle for bacteria to accumulate. Regularly cleaning your mouthguard is necessary to ensure proper dental hygiene and prevent infections or bad breath from occurring. 

Keep reading to learn how to properly maintain your mouthguard!

Our dentists at Marlborough Dental Centre have a long history of commissioning custom mouthguards and nightguards for our Calgary clients. An impression of your teeth is all it takes to create a guard that can reliably protect your teeth and smile for months and years to come. 

Why You Should Clean Your Mouthguard

Cleaning your mouthguard should be part of your dental hygiene routine. The human mouth is a breeding ground for bacteria, and wearing a mouthguard can lead to serious health problems if it is not regularly cleaned. Complications include infections, gum diseases, and bad breath. Some patients have even had mold grow on their mouthguard! 

5 Ways To Clean Your Mouthguard 

Luckily, cleaning your mouthguard is easy. Chances are you will always have something in your home to sanitize your mouthguard with. 

Here is how you clean your mouthguard:

Toothbrush and toothpaste: You can brush your mouthguard every day the same way as you brush your teeth. Begin by rinsing your mouthguard in cool water and then gently brush the device before letting it dry. 

Soft bristle toothbrushes and nonabrasive toothpaste are the preferred options; too harsh of a brush can wear down the mouthguard over time. Using a toothbrush just for this purpose is good practice in order to avoid cross-contamination with your personal toothbrush. 

While straightforward and effective, brushing is generally not sufficient by itself to keep your mouthguard at its cleanest. 

Soap and water: A tried and true combination, daily rinses with soap is a great way to maintain your mouthguard’s cleanliness. Both antibacterial and dish soaps do a fine job of removing bacteria from your apparatus. For a deeper clean, you can even use a toothbrush in the process. 

Like the toothbrush and toothpaste technique, soap and water should be used in conjunction with other cleaning methods for optimal results. 

Mouthwash: Thanks to its antimicrobial properties, a mouthwash can be a convenient and effective alternative for cleaning your mouthguard. Most patients dilute a capful of mouthwash in a glass of water and soak their mouthguard in it for 10 to 30 minutes. Not only will the mouthguard be mostly free of germs, it will also feel fresh in your mouth. 

Make sure your mouthwash is alcohol-free, as brands containing alcohol may stain or damage your mouthguard. 

Hydrogen peroxide: Hydrogen peroxide is one of the better natural cleaning methods for your mouthguard. Soak your mouthguard in a cup full of hydrogen peroxide and let it sit for several hours. This antiseptic solution particularly excels at removing stains from your device. 

Understandably, some patients shy away from this method as it takes a long time to disinfect and leaves a lingering aftertaste on the mouthguard. 

Dental sanitizing devices: These portable, battery-powered tools use sonic or ultraviolet light to clean your mouthguard in a matter of minutes. Some claim to kill up to 99.9% of the bacteria on the mouthguard. Dental sanitizing devices can be a great investment if you plan to keep your mouthguard for an extended period of time. 

Cleaning Your Mouthguard Is Easy 

Whether you wear a sports mouthguard to protect your teeth from physical contact or a custom nightguard to manage your bruxism, keeping your device bacteria-free is easier than you think. Brushing, rinsing with soap and water, and soaking in mouthwash are all tried-and-true methods that dentists recommend. You can even explore hydrogen peroxide and dental sanitizing devices for an even deeper clean.  

Dental hygiene is important at Marlborough Dental Centre. Our NE Calgary dentists care about keeping your gums free from infections and diseases. Not only do we offer high-quality, custom-fit mouthguards for our patients, we also provide comprehensive support一cleaning and readjustment included一for your device. Call us at 403-248-2066 or fill out our online contact form for an expert’s take on your mouthguard. 


Q: Which cleaning method is the optimal for my mouthguard?
A: This depends on what your mouthguard is made of: natural rubber, acrylic resins, polyurethane, or otherwise. Ask your dentist for professional advice. 

Q: Can I use an over-the-counter mouthguard instead?
A: OTC mouthguards are not custom-made to fit your teeth and jaw. They do not provide sufficient protection and should not be used as substitutes for custom, dentist-approved mouthguards. 

Q: How long do mouthguards last?
A: Custom mouthguards are significantly more durable than over-the-counter mouthguards. With proper care, your mouthguard can last several years.

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