Properly maintaining, cleaning, and caring for mouthguards is important to help prevent infection and the spread of disease. This helps keep your teeth and gums healthy.
For the healthiest results, consider these recommendations:
- Brush and floss your teeth before wearing your mouthguard.
- Do not chew on your mouthguard, since this can distort its shape.
- Never throw the mouthguard in with dirty, sweaty gear.
- After each use, wash your mouthguard with soap and cool – not hot – water.
- Before storing, soak your mouthguard in mouthwash.
- Keep your mouth guard in a well-ventilated, plastic storage box when not in use.
- Avoid bending your mouthguard.
- Heat can damage a mouthguard; don’t leave it in direct sunlight or in a closed vehicle.
- Do not handle or wear someone else’s mouthguard; never share your own.
- Do not try to change the fit of your mouthguard yourself; have your dentist adjust it.
- Call your dentist if you experience any of the following warning signs of wearing a contaminated mouthguard: difficulty breathing, wheezing, diarrhea and nausea to the point of vomiting.
How long mouthguards last depends on their construction and use. Stock and mouth-formed guards typically wear out after several months of repeated, hard use. Custom-fitted guards generally last a year or more.
Check the condition of the mouthguard before each use, especially if you have a tendency to chew on it. It is a good idea to bring your mouthguard with you to your regular dental examinations for periodic evaluations.