You’ve purchased a custom-fitting mouthguard for your upcoming athletic season. You’re already going to take the field or court with premium protection compared to boil-and-bite guards and you’ll look just like the pros with a crystal-clear guard. Unfortunately, your mouth is constantly producing a thin film of bacteria that forms around the bottom of your teeth called plaque. Plaque is the starter of all oral problems, and it can start to turn your mouthguard into a bacteria breeding ground. How do you remove plaque from a mouthguard? We’ll show you!
Don’t Eat Before Putting It On
It’s important to understand what plaque is and how it forms around your teeth. Preventing plaque from forming is the best way to remove plaque from a mouthguard with a proactive approach. If you look in the mirror and closely examine your teeth, you’ll likely spot plaque. It’s a pale yellow that typically forms around the bottom of your teeth. Without proper brushing or cleaning of your teeth, plaque can form within four hours of brushing your teeth according to dentalcare.com. When you don’t remove plaque it can harden and cause bad breath. Aside from properly taking care of your teeth by brushing them, make sure you aren’t actively bringing food particles into your mouthguard. Athletes are encouraged to fuel up before games or practices to help keep their energy up as their body burns it up. If you do eat before a game or practice, brush your teeth or floss before popping your mouthguard on. This decreases the likelihood of food particles depositing into your mouthguard which can grow into bacteria and plaque combined with your saliva.
Your saliva is filled with mineral deposits from your body. When you wear a mouthguard, the saliva will have nowhere to go and coat your mouthguard. The best practice to remove plaque from a mouthguard is to give it a cleansing after you remove it. When you get home from practice or a game, run your mouthguard under warm water and use a soft-bristle toothbrush to gently scrub it. You may use anti-bacterial hand soap to remove the plaque from the mouthguard but make sure it’s alcohol-free or it can dry out the material that the mouthguard is made from. This is your best prevention from plaque forming in your mouthguard and will remove plaque from a mouthguard.
Keep it dry and safe
The third big step in avoiding plaque from forming is keeping your mouthguard in a clean, dry, and safe storage case. Sporting Smiles delivers all mouthguards with a clean and protective storage case. Keep your mouthguard in there to protect it from bacteria on your sink, nightstand, or gym bag which will surely be full of lurking bacteria to find a new home. Make sure after gently scrubbing your mouthguard to air dry it by shaking it to remove any moisture. Your mouthguard is most protected when dry, and clean in a storage case.
Scheduled Deep Cleaning
Athletic seasons can last over three months and with practice and games, your mouthguard will spend a lot of time in your mouth. As mentioned previously, plaque will be deposited into your mouthguard regardless of how careful you are. Keeping your mouthguard in a clean storage case, making sure you don’t eat before putting it on, and giving it a gentle scrubbing with anti-bacterial soap will all help to remove plaque from a mouthguard but the best way to keep your mouthguard super clean and plaque-free is to give it a deep cleaning.
Sporting Smiles recommends giving your athletic mouthguard a deep cleaning once a week. There are various ways to clean dental products and if you’d like the complete list, please refer to our highly-regarded dental cleaning blog. For a mouthguard, we recommend two different ways to remove plaque.
Castile Soap is a great natural way to clean your mouthguard. It’s 100 percent natural and is an excellent way to remove plaque from a mouthguard. Fill up a glass of warm water halfway and use liquid castile soap and squirt two generous pours into the water. Submerge your mouthguard in the mixture and stir it gently. Let your mouthguard soak for 10-15 minutes. After the time is up, dip a soft-bristled toothbrush into the mixture and pull out your mouthguard. Scrub your mouthguard and you’ll see the soap foam up. After two minutes of scrubbing, wash your mouthguard off under warm running water. This method is great for removing plaque from a mouthguard.
If you prefer a chemical method, you can purchase Retainer Brite or FreshGuard. These two tablets provide a big defense against plaque in your mouthguard. Take a tablet and plop it into a glass that’s filled with warm water. The water will begin to turn a blue color and bubble at the top. Place your mouthguard into the mixture and let it soak for 10 minutes. After the time is up remove your mouthguard and wash it off under warm water.
Removing plaque from a mouthguard is easy when you are proactive. Remember not to eat right before wearing it, brush your teeth regularly, store your mouthguard in a clean, dry, storage case, and give it a simple cleaning after practice or games. Once a week be sure to give it a more in-depth cleaning with the two methods we’ve discussed. Following these steps will help remove plaque from a mouthguard!
Sometimes mouthguards are just too dirty or overgrown with bacteria to wear. When this happens order from Sporting Smiles and we’ll create a custom fit and custom look mouthguard for your season! Our mouthguards offer much better protection and defense compared to boil-and-bite guards or over-the-counter options. Take a look at our mouthguard library and order your free impression kit today!