Dentistry
Cosmetic
Product Reviews
Updated on January 25, 2023
4 min read

How to Clean Your Mouth Guard

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Mouthguards are often used for contact sports and bruxism (teeth grinding) while sleeping. The mouth is home to over 700 species of microbes.7 This includes bacteria and fungus. 

Since you wear mouthguards in your mouth, they are prone to bacteria buildup. Cleaning your mouthguard properly will:

  • Prevent discoloration
  • Make your mouthguard last longer
  • Prevent bacterial growth
bamboo toothbrush and dental bleaching system whitening accelerator flat lay

Here are several ways to care for your mouth guard properly:

1. Clean with Warm Water and Soap

Wash your mouth guard immediately after you take it out. Some night guards are made of a thermoplastic material, which warps if the water is too warm.

Dentists recommend using lukewarm or cold water before using a tiny bit of fragrance-free dish soap. Clean your mouth guard thoroughly with the soap and rinse it again.

Do this every time you finish using your mouth guard. Do not put your mouth guard in the dishwasher, as this will ruin the appliance completely.

2. Use a Soft Toothbrush and Gentle Toothpaste

Aside from dish soap, you can also clean your mouth guard using a toothbrush and denture cleaning toothpaste. Gently brush your mouth guard with denture toothpaste and rinse thoroughly.

Avoid whitening toothpaste because it can be too abrasive. Fresh’n Brite Denture Cleaning Paste is a good option for cleaning mouth guards.

3. Soak Your Mouth Guard Once a Week

Soaking your mouth guard once a week is a good way to prevent bacteria buildup. This gives your mouth guard a deep clean.

You can use 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 and hydrogen peroxide. Soak your mouth guard for 10 to 20 minutes or overnight for a deeper clean.

Be sure to rinse it thoroughly before wearing it again. Efferdent Denture Cleanser or Efferdent Overnight Denture Cleanser is an affordable, safe product that you can use in place of hydrogen peroxide.

4. Dry and Store Properly After Every Wash

Every time you finish washing or soaking your mouth guard, let it dry completely. You can do this by leaving it in its case with the lid open.

Once the mouth guard is completely dry, keep it safe in its case. The case should also be dry before closing.

Best Denture Cleaners for Mouth Guards

If you don’t want to use dish soap, denture toothpaste, or hydrogen peroxide, an over-the-counter denture cleaner is a great alternative for cleaning your mouth guard.

These products sanitize and remove stains. Some of the best denture cleaning products have the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval. This means these products have been scientifically evaluated and approved by independent experts.

These products include:

Efferdent Denture Cleanser

Efferdent Denture Cleanser

Efferdent Overnight Denture Cleanser

Efferdent Overnight Denture Cleanser

Freshn Brite Denture Cleaning Paste

Fresh’n Brite Denture Cleaning Paste

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I soak my mouth guard in mouthwash?

Dentists recommend soaking your mouth guard in mouthwash for about 10 minutes after brushing it. This kills germs, halts bacteria growth, and freshens the mouth guard for next use. 

Soaking your mouth guard in mouthwash might discolor it. If you do this, 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?

Yes, you can clean your mouth guard with a toothbrush and denture-cleaning toothpaste. It’s a great way to keep it clean and prevent it from staining. Use a soft toothbrush and toothpaste specifically for dentures.

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, but this shortens your guard's life.
There is also the risk of ingesting harsh chemicals. You are better off preventing staining in the first place.

The best method to 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 in 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.

What is the white stuff on my mouth guard?

Your mouth guard may get white stains if you’re not cleaning it properly and regularly. These white stains are a buildup of dried saliva, plaque, and tartar.

Last updated on January 25, 2023
7 Sources Cited
Last updated on January 25, 2023
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.” American Dental Association, 2020.
  2. Shopping List of All Products with the ADA Seal of Acceptance.” American Dental Association, 2019.
  3. Mouthguards.” Mouth Healthy, American Dental Association.
  4. Mańka-Malara, et al. “The effect of decontamination procedures on elastic polymeric materials used in dental mouthguards fabrication.” Acta of Bioengineering and Biomechanics, 2019.
  5. Tanabe, et al. “Antibacterial effect of a disinfectant spray for sports mouthguards on Streptococcus sobrinus.” Dental Research Journal, 2019.
  6. Mouthguard Use and Care.” The Canadian Dental Hygienists Association.
  7. Mouth Microbes: The Helpful and the Harmful.” NIH News in Health, 2019.
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