For a variety of sports you may take part in on a regular basis, from basketball and football to mixed martial arts or other combat sports, the use of a mouthguard is a simple practice that will protect your teeth, tongue and jaw area. For those who wear such a mouthguard often, one of the most important regular tasks will be cleaning the mouthguard to ensure it's sanitary and healthy for all your needs.
At Damage Control Mouthguards, not only do we offer a wide range of mouthguards, including custom design-your-own options for many sports, we also offer expertise and assistance to all our clients on the proper care of their mouthguards. What are some tips we tend to provide in terms of cleaning and sanitizing your mouthguard between activity? This two-part blog series will go over several.
Develop a Routine
Perhaps the single most common and important tip we offer our clients when it comes to cleaning their mouthguards: Get into a regular routine here. For some, this will mean cleaning the mouthguard every morning, following the use of it during the day. For others, this will mean cleaning it after every session of activity.
Figure out what works best for you and your specific needs in terms of mouthguard usage, then develop a routine that makes sense to get into with regard to cleaning the mouthguard.
You have a few different cleaning methods available to you for your mouthguard, including:
- Soap and water: You can soak your mouthguard in a mixture of warm water and soap, the latter of which will help break up plaque as well as clear away any potential bacteria from around the mouthguard. The key here is to make sure you rinse it thoroughly afterward with running water, since soap does tend to leave a residue behind that can be problematic for future usage if it's not rinsed properly.
- Toothbrush: You can also scrub your mouthguard with a toothbrush to get it clean, again using warm water and soap for best results. The key here is to make sure you have enough of the soapy mixture on the brush so that the bristles are wet but not dry when in contact with the inner surface of the mouthguard. This ensures that any plaque is broken down and cleared away.
- Mouthwash: Sometimes mouthguards will also be treated with a type of antibacterial coating, either by the company that manufactured it or by you if you applied it yourself. Use any mouthwash solution to clean your guard thoroughly, making sure that the entire surface area gets covered in the liquid mixture for at least thirty seconds.
- Mouthguard cleaners: Finally, there are also specific products out there which can be used to clean mouthguards, usually in liquid form. If you have one available and it's been proven effective for your situation, then by all means go ahead and use it.