Night time teeth grinding can seriously damage a person’s enamel and cause them a lot of jaw pain. We at Southern Cross Dental in Colorado Springs are pleased to see patients with bruxism using night guards to protect themselves, but night guards need to be cleaned properly. Otherwise, they could become a source of halitosis and covered in bacterial build-up.
In the morning, a wearer should brush the night guard after removing it. As with anything dental-related, only a soft-bristled toothbrush should be used. Although soaking a night guard in soap and water or a cleaning solution will eliminate some bacteria, most manufacturers still recommend daily brushings. But fluoridated toothpaste is unnecessary and should be avoided; the minerals in it could scratch the night guard’s plastic, giving bacteria a hiding place.
While dentures should be kept wet at all times, night guards need to be patted dry and put in a clean, ventilated case. (Washing the case every day is also a good idea.) The case should not be left anywhere hot enough to put the night guard at risk for warping, and the wearer should not attempt to adjust it themselves. It is expected that the wearer’s teeth will migrate slightly, but a night guard can usually be refitted professionally.
Drs. Navid and Faranak Rahimpour operate Southern Cross Dental at 1855 S Nevada Ave, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 80905-2516. To schedule an appointment, call 719-471-1717 or visit Southern Cross Family Dentistry and fill out a contact sheet.