Family Dentistry

How do I clean an occulsal guard?

Occlusal guards are customized mouth guards, commonly called night guards, because you wear them during sleep. The team at Family Dentistry of Royal Oak often recommends these as a non-invasive option for treating patients who experience several conditions associated with teeth grinding and jaw clenching. For example, if you grind your teeth at night, you may suffer from bruxism or a temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).

However, these appliances require maintenance because you wear them so often and for so long.

Tips for Cleaning Your Mouthguard in Royal Oak, MI

Night guards are especially important to clean because your mouth becomes parched while you sleep. Bacteria find this environment exceptionally hospitable, so their growth increases at night. Your occlusal guards are made of a softer polymer for comfort, making them porous. If not cleaned regularly, they can retain bacteria, contributing to gum disease and tooth infections.

We recommend the following steps to maintain your night guard:

  • Thoroughly brush it with a toothbrush like your teeth.
  • Rinse your occlusal guard with cool water.
  • Avoid hot water, which may deform its shape.
  • If recommended by your dentist, soak it in a cleaning solution.
  • Store your mouth guard in a vented container so it dries completely and safely.

We also recommend regular dental visits so we can check your mouth guard for wear and fit. Don’t hesitate to replace an ill-fitting or compromised night guard. If you want to learn more, we encourage our office for a consultation.

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