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How to Clean a Mouth Guard

by
author image Erica Roth
Erica Roth has been a writer since 2007. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and was a college reference librarian for eight years. Roth earned a Bachelor of Arts in French literature from Brandeis University and Master of Library Science from Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science. Her articles appear on various websites.
How to Clean a Mouth Guard
How to Clean a Mouth Guard Photo Credit Michael Gann/Demand Media

A mouth guard is a piece of moldable plastic used to protect your teeth when you play contact sports. The American Dental Association (ADA) states that while this type of guard is beneficial to athletes who engage in hockey, football and boxing, people who participate in more solitary sports, including gymnastics, can also gain dental protection from the device. Mouth guards are susceptible to bacterial growth and should be cleaned on a regular basis to prevent irritation and infection in your mouth.

Step 1

How to Clean a Mouth Guard
Photo Credit Michael Gann/Demand Media

Use a regular toothbrush and toothpaste to clean your mouth guard after you have finished wearing it for the day. Rinse in cool water, making sure all of the crevices are free of toothpaste.

Step 2

How to Clean a Mouth Guard
Photo Credit Michael Gann/Demand Media

Clean your mouth guard more thoroughly with a mild soap and cool water. Hot water can cause moldable mouth guards to alter their shape or break down, notes the ADA. If you do not have soap handy, rinse the device in plain cool water before wearing it. If you regularly brush your mouth guard, washing with soap does not need to be done every day, but on a more limited basis (according to frequency of use).

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Step 3

How to Clean a Mouth Guard
Photo Credit Michael Gann/Demand Media

Rinse your mouth guard in mouthwash before putting it away. The same type of germ-killing mouthwash you use to rinse your mouth also provides antibacterial benefits to your mouth guard.

Step 4

How to Clean a Mouth Guard
Photo Credit Michael Gann/Demand Media

Place your mouth guard in a container or case that has ventilation holes, as air circulation reduces the likelihood of bacterial growth. You can also pat the mouth guard dry with a soft cloth or let it air dry before putting it away.

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References

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