A custom night guard is worn daily and like any personal care item, it requires regular cleaning to prevent damage to the appliance and growth of bacteria. Proper care and maintenance of your custom night guard will keep it in good shape for a long time, saving you time and money.
When your night guard isn't in use, it should be kept in its case. Because high temperatures can cause the material to distort, you should store your night guard in a cool, dry location. Although many people store their guards in the bathroom, the heat and steam can cause the material to warp, requiring you to purchase a new guard. Your nightstand is likely a better place to keep your guard.
Your case is one of the most important tools you have to keep your night guard in good shape. The durable exterior will prevent damage to the guard, even if it is knocked off the stand or counter, and will keep dust and other contaminants from settling onto the guard throughout the day. Containers for night guards are also designed to provide proper air circulation, which will prevent the guard from deteriorating or becoming mildewed.
In the morning, following each use, rinse the night guard well with cool water. About once a week, you should give your guard a more thorough cleaning with a toothbrush and toothpaste and mouthwash. Be sure to rinse the guard well with cool water to remove any traces of the toothpaste or mouthwash. Dry the night guard thoroughly before placing it in its container. This will prevent bacterial growth.
It's just as important to care for your night guard's storage case. Placing a clean night guard into a case that hasn't been cleaned in quite some time will contaminate the night guard and could lead to illness or an oral infection. When you do your once weekly scrubbing of the night guard, wash the case out well with soap and hot water. Rinse it and allow it to dry before you place your night guard into it.
When you do your weekly cleaning, check your night guard for any damage, include rips and tears or a breakdown of the material. Night guards are made to be durable, but over time, the grinding will take its toll. The good news is that the damage is being done to the night guard, which can be replaced, instead of your teeth.
Take your custom night guard with you to your regular dental checkups so your dentist can also give it a more thorough examination and make sure that it is working well. Your dentist can also give you additional advice on caring for your night guard.
If you find any damage on your night guard, it's time to purchase a new one. Don't use a damaged night guard. Depending on the extent of the damage, it's possible for small pieces to dislodge, which could cause injury.