· By Dr. Heff
How to Care for Your Dental Appliances
Using Night Guards
Night guards are a valuable tool when it comes to protecting your teeth from the harsh effects of grinding or clenching. To be effective, the guard needs to be cared for properly so that it can continue protecting the teeth for as long as possible. It is important to consider the daily oral health routine to include cleaning the night guard appliance, after all, it will sit on the teeth and gums all night when there is reduced protective effects of saliva.
Night guards and appliances can be made of different materials and aftercare is specific to the supplier but I will cover some general rules in this blog.
General Tips from American Dental Association (ADA):
1) Rinse immediately after wearing
2) Each time you wear your night guard you should rinse it with warm water as soon as you remove it from your mouth. This will remove debris and loosen any plaque that is stuck to the night guard.
3) Brush the night guard with a soft toothbrush, and it is recommended to not use toothpaste on the brush as toothpaste can be abrasive, it may scratch the night guard and cause it to wear out more quickly. Dish soap or Castile soap is a good non-abrasive daily cleanser for a guard.
4) Lay the appliance on a clean surface and allow it to dry completely before storing it so as to prevent bacterial growth. Typically it should dry within 15-30 minutes.
5) When you are not wearing your night guard it is important to keep it stored in a case. Many people store their night guard in their bathroom, but over time the steam and humidity in the bathroom can cause the night guard to warp so keeping the night guard stored in the bedroom or on your nightstand might be better but aware of extreme heat or colds.
6) Be aware that pets love new chew toys, please keep your night guards safely out of reach of your pets.
7) Don’t ever leave your night guard soaking in anything for longer than one hour. Extended time in liquid can damage the material your night guard is made out of. Also, don’t soak in any liquid containing alcohol – that includes Listerine.
8) Cleaning your night guard can become a wasted effort if you put a clean night guard into a dirty case. Keep the case clean by hand washing it every few days with regular dishwashing soap or castile soap. Avoid placing the case in the dishwasher as the high temperature may melt or warp the plastic. After washing, allow the case to dry to prevent bacteria growth.
Remember, you can still use Dr. Heff's throughout the night even if you are wearing a night guard, provided it is comfortable and safe.
Dr Heff's Remarkable Mints contain natural ingredients and are caffeine-free and sugar-free. One of the main ingredients is green tea extract that is decaffeinated as this helps to protect the collagen that make up your teeth and is also antibacterial. Since Dr Heff’s Remarkable Mints contain de-caffeinated green tea you will get the benefits but will not harm your sleep even if you need to use a mint in the night to help with dry mouth or to help sooth a cough.
They are ideal for people that suffer from dry mouth as they help to stimulate saliva and the mint leaves the mouth feeling fresh and clean. They are scientifically tested by international dental schools, recommended by dentists and endorsed by Toothfriendly International.
I hope this is helpful.
All the best,
Dr. Mike Heffernan