Mouth guards are among the greatest innovations in athletic safety equipment. They help protect against tooth fractures and soft tissue injuries, such as biting your tongue. But how do you keep your custom athletic mouth guard in good condition game after game? Just follow these tips.
Store Your Athletic Mouth Guard Safely
After a big game, don’t simply toss your mouth guard into your helmet, face mask, or sports bag. Outside of its storage case, a mouth guard could easily become lost or damaged. To prevent having to buy a replacement, follow this rule: any time your mouth guard isn’t protecting your teeth during a sporting event, store it in the carrying case your dentist gave you.
The case should close tightly and feature vents to allow airflow. Store the case in a cool, dry place outside your athletic bag to discourage bacteria and mold growth on your mouth guard, as well as to prevent high heat and humidity from distorting the soft plastic.
Clean Your Custom Athletic Mouth Guard Properly
While mouth guards are perfect for protecting your teeth from injury, they have a dangerous potential side effect: the bacteria that grow on them could make you sick with strep throat or another infection. To prevent this, simply make sure you clean your custom athletic mouth guard properly.
Once the game ends and you’re off the field, take your mouth guard out right away. Rinse it quickly under a water fountain or with your water bottle. Then, store it in its case as described above.
When you get home, take the case out of your sports bag and head into the bathroom. Run the mouth guard and storage case under cool water and lather up a little liquid hand soap. Avoid hot water, which can distort the plastic mouth guard and prevent it from fitting properly. Also, avoid denture cleaner and toothpaste because these products are abrasive and may damage your mouth guard after repeated use.
Once clean, dry the case thoroughly and put the mouth guard back inside for safe keeping. Finally, take two minutes to brush your teeth. This helps remove harmful bacteria that may have transferred to your mouth from wearing the mouth guard.
Avoid Chewing on the Mouth Guard While Wearing It
Anytime you have something in your mouth, the natural instinct is to chew, especially during nail-biting moments of an exciting game. Unfortunately, if you chew on your mouth guard, you drastically shorten its lifespan by creating little holes in it. In addition to deteriorating the plastic, these tiny holes allow bacteria to thrive, which increases the chance of your mouth guard making you sick.
To avoid the cost of frequent replacements, take the mouth guard out anytime you’re sitting on the sidelines. Keep it with you to avoid loss or damage, and be sure to put it back in your mouth before the coach sends you back onto the field.
Replace Your Custom Athletic Mouth Guard Periodically
Once your mouth guard shows visible signs of deterioration, visit Dr. Evanson to have it replaced. If you had a custom mouth guard in the first place, we should still have your mold on file, which allows us to produce a replacement without the need to take another impression of your teeth.
Have a Custom Mouth Guard Made at Evanson DDS
If you don’t already have a mouth guard to protect your teeth while playing contact sports, visit our office to have a custom one made. For more advice about using or caring for your mouth guard, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Evanson, please call our Parker office today at (720) 409-0008.Leave a reply →