If you play contact sports like football, soccer, basketball or hockey, you’ll definitely want to wear a mouthguard. This smile-shaped piece of plastic protects your teeth, so in the chaos of the game, you don’t end up with chipped, cracked, or knocked-out teeth. How do you care for your mouthguard so it stays as clean as possible and lasts a while? Here are the best tips:
Brush Mouthguard with Toothpaste
A lot of people just run water over their mouthguard and call it a day. However, you need to use toothpaste and a toothbrush on a regular basis. Brushing your mouthguard removes bacteria, just like brushing your teeth does. After brushing, rinse the mouthguard with cool water. You don’t want to use hot water, since this can warp the plastic.
Store in a Vented Container
For storage, you want to keep your mouthguard in its container and let it dry. The container should have vents, so the mouthguard can dry. Moisture encourages bacteria growth. Clean the container on a regular basis, too.
Don’t Chew on the Mouthguard
When you’re using your mouthguard, try to avoid chewing on it. This can warp the shape, so it won’t fit well in your mouth. Additionally, your teeth can create little rips and tears in the plastic which are perfect spots for bacteria growth.
Know When to Replace Your Mouthguard
Mouthguards aren’t meant to last forever. Over time, they wear out and get cracks that bacteria love to hide in. A worn-out mouthguard not only isn’t doing its job protecting your teeth, but it can also hurt your gums. Check your mouthguard for damage, and plan on replacing it every couple of years. If it’s loose or worn down a lot before then, you should replace it sooner.
Bring Your Mouthguard to Your Dental Appointments
Here at Shaenfield Pediatric Dentistry, we can let you know if your mouthguard needs to be replaced and give you more helpful tips on how to keep it clean. To keep your overall oral health in top shape, visit our San Antonio dental team at least twice a year for cleanings and exams.