If you grind your teeth at night, then you’ll probably need to wear a nightguard. These plastic appliances fit over your teeth and protect them when you grind your teeth during the night. They’re an excellent way to prevent any damage done to your teeth by grinding, such as premature wear, sensitivity and fractures. They can also save you from needing extensive dental work in the future.
it’s not hard to take care of a nightguard – all you have to do is clean and store it properly. In this post, we’ll tell you all you need to know about how to keep a nightguard clean.
How to clean a nightguard
Cleaning a nightguard is very simple and shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes. In fact, it’s just like brushing your teeth: all you have to do is brush the nightguard with a toothbrush and some toothpaste – simple! And afterwards, just rinse the guard under water to remove the toothpaste. Hey presto, you have a freshly-cleaned nightguard.
If you want to give your appliance a deeper clean, then try using a denture-cleaning tablet. There’s no need to do this every day though – just once a week will do.
How to store a nightguard
Cleaning a nightguard is simple enough, but how do you store it during the day when you’re not using it? Some dentists recommend keeping nightguards in a plastic container, because this way, the container will protect the guard from dust and bacteria. Other dentists recommend keeping nightguards in a glass of cold water. Whichever method you prefer, do remember to clean the glass or container regularly, as it can become contaminated with germs over time.
Avoid storing your night guard in mouthwash, however, as mouthwash often contains alcohol, which is an ingredient that can drastically shorten the lifespan of your appliance. Also take care not to expose your nightguard to high temperatures, such as a radiator or direct sunlight. Heat can change the shape of your nightguard and the appliance might no longer fit properly.
When to replace a nightguard
Nothing lasts forever, including nightguards. If your nightguard has holes or large cracks in it, then it’s time for a replacement.
How long do nightguards last? Nightguards typically last a few months, but sometimes they only last a few weeks, especially if you’re a heavy grinder. If you find that your nightguard is breaking regularly, then ask your dentist if you’re a good candidate for an acrylic one. Acrylic nightguards are very tough and can last for up to five years.
We hope that you’re now more confident about taking care of your nightguard. If you need more advice, then don’t hesitate to make an appointment with one of our dentists.