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How to Clean Your Mouth Guard

Many adults and children need mouth guards. The most common reasons are contact sports and bruxism (teeth grinding) during the night.

Your mouth is filled with bacteria. This is why mouth guard discoloration is so common.

Cleaning your mouth guard frequently:

  • prevents discoloration
  • prevents bacterial growth
  • keeps your mouth healthy
  • makes your mouth guard last longer

Here's how to care for your mouth guard properly:

Step-by-Step Instructions to Clean Your Mouthguard

1. Rinsing and Cleaning

The best time to clean your mouth guard is immediately after you take it out.

First, rinse it with lukewarm or cool water. Then rub a tiny bit of dish soap (preferably fragrance free) all over your mouth guard. Rinse it again with warm water.

Some night guards are made of a thermoplastic material that will warp if the water is TOO warm. Dentists recommend using to use lukewarm water or cool water.

Never use hot water to clean your mouth guard.

To keep your mouth guard case clean, wash it every few days with normal dish soap (preferably fragrance free).

2. Brush 

The second step is to brush your mouth guard gently with a soft toothbrush and paste.

Do not use abrasive toothpaste. All whitening toothpastes are abrasive.

Many people prefer to use a separate paste for their teeth and mouth guards. Fresh’n Brite Denture Cleaning Paste is a great choice.

Do not put your mouth guard in the dishwasher to clean instead of brushing it. This will completely ruin the guard.

3. Soak

The next step is to soak your mouth guard. You can do this with a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water, or denture cleaning tablets and water.

If you are using a hydrogen peroxide solution, use a 10:1 blend of water/hydrogen peroxide. Soak your mouth guard for 10-20 minutes. Be sure to rinse it thoroughly before wearing it again.

Efferdent Denture Cleanser is an affordable, safe product that you can use in place of hydrogen peroxide.

4. Dry

Once your mouth guard is done soaking, wash your hands with antibacterial soap and remove it from the solution. Allow it to air dry on a hard surface until it is completely dry.

5. Store

Finally, place your mouth guard back into the case. Both the mouth guard and case should be completely dry before closing. Some cases offer additional sanitation features.

6. Overnight Soaking

Make a habit of doing a deep clean on your mouth guard 1-4 times a month. To do this, rinse and brush your mouthguard. Then use a deep cleaning solution to soak your guard overnight.

You can also do this in the morning if you wear your mouth guard every night. Efferdent Overnight Denture Cleanser is one of the most highly recommended products for this type of clean.

Best Denture Cleaners for Mouth Guards

An over-the-counter denture cleaner is a great option for cleaning your mouth guard. These products sanitize and remove stains.

Some of the best denture cleaning products that are American Dental Association approved for cleaning your mouth guard include:

Efferdent Denture Cleanser Tablets

Efferdent Denture Cleanser

Efferdent Overnight Denture Cleanser Tablets

Efferdent DentEfferdent Overnight Denture Cleanser

Fresh n Brite Denture Cleaning Paste

Fresh’n Brite Denture Cleaning Paste

Can I soak my mouth guard in mouthwash?

Dentists recommend soaking your mouth guard in mouthwash for about 10 minutes. Brush your mouth guard before soaking. This not only kills germs and halts bacteria growth, but it also makes it taste great for the next use. The downside of soaking your mouth guard with mouthwash is that it might discolor it. 

If you choose this option, make sure to use alcohol-free mouthwash as alcohol has a drying effect on the material and can lead to cracks.

Can I clean my mouth guard with a toothbrush/toothpaste?

Brushing your mouth guard is a great way to keep it clean and prevent it from staining. Use a toothbrush and toothpaste and brush the mouth guard just as you would your teeth. It’s best to use non-abrasive toothpaste and a soft-bristle brush for cleaning.

How do I remove yellow stains from my mouth guard?

Unfortunately, it’s difficult to remove discoloration from mouth guards. Harsh chemicals are one of the only effective methods for doing so, but this shortens your guard's life. Some people don’t want to risk ingesting harsh chemicals, too. You are better off preventing staining in the first place.

The best method to help prevent stains is to soak your mouth guard for 10 minutes in a baking soda and water solution. Vinegar, bleach, and hydrogen peroxide solutions are also effective for preventing stains.

How often should I clean my mouth guard?

Dental professionals recommend you clean your mouth guard after each use. This includes brushing and rinsing. Soaking only needs to be done once a week. 

Last updated on April 22, 2022
3 Sources Cited
Last updated on April 22, 2022
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
  1. “ADA Seal of Acceptance: Denture Cleanser.” Www.Ada.Org, www.ada.org/en/science-research/ada-seal-of-acceptance/ada-seal-products/product-category?category=Denture+Cleanser. Accessed 31 Aug. 2020.
  2. “Shopping List of All Products with the ADA Seal of Acceptance.” Ada.Org, 2019, www.ada.org/en/science-research/ada-seal-of-acceptance/ada-seal-shopping-list.
  3. “Mouthguards Prevent Dental Injuries - Association.” Www.Mouthhealthy.Org, www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/m/mouthguards.
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