The Best Way to Clean Your Mouthguard
In everyday life, and during competitive sports play, there are so many reasons why teeth end up loose, broken or dislodged. Accidents are sometimes inevitable, but not in every case. While a knocked-out tooth may seem like an initiation rite among some athletes, a quality mouthguard can protect your teeth and eliminate much pain and expense. A sports guard is as important as any other gear.
Protect Your Teeth
Keep your mouthguard clean to help protect your teeth from harmful bacteria that accumulate with repeated use. All those carb-laden meals, post-celebrations, and communal bottles of sugary Gatorade create an environment for oral bacteria to thrive. Research has shown that use of a soiled mouthguard not only boosts the risk of infection, it can also be partly responsible for exercise-induced asthma. In addition, used, unclean mouthguards, collected by sports players were not just contaminated with bacteria, they were also riddled with mold and yeast.
Mouthguard Cleaning Tips
Take proper care of your mouthguard and keep it squeaky clean:
- Use an Antibacterial Solution: It isn’t good enough to just rinse your mouthguard with plain water. It is better to do a quick cleanse with a disinfectant agent before and after use.
- Deep-Clean Your Mouthguard at Least Once a Month: There are mixed reviews in the medical community as to whether it is wise to clean a mouthguard with a toothbrush and toothpaste. The consensus is that toothpaste will kill germs, but some believe that scrubbing with bristles will damage the construction over time. This will become problematic because the metal and plastic are designed to hold the device in place. To avoid ruining the piece, use an effervescent denture cleaner instead. It will get into the cracks and crevices and kill any bacteria.
- Clean Your Case: Maintaining a clean mouthguard is only part of the job. You also need to disinfect the case, where germs will flourish if left unclean. If you neglect the home base, bacteria and other germs will transfer back and forth to the mouthguard. Fortunately, it is easier to clean your case. It can be brushed and handled more aggressively. But, a squirt of the antibacterial solution will suffice at providing a sterile rest place for your mouthguard.
- Replace Your Mouthguard, When Needed: Some sports players bond with their long-serving athletic gear. They develop a soft spot for certain items they have used for quite some time. However, there comes a point when a mouthguard may have too many cracks or has collected so much bacteria it simply much be discarded. Don’t hesitate to replace your mouthguard if it causes you discomfort if it cuts into your gums or cheeks.
By utilizing these helpful tips, you will keep your sports guard clean and your mouth safe and healthy, so you can focus more on improving your game.