How to Clean a Night Guard Mouthpiece: A Step-by-Step Guide

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Keeping your night guard clean helps prevent bacterial growth, which can cause fungal infections or bad breath.

Clean a Night Guard Mouthpiece

It also protects your teeth from plaque and tartar buildup. Over time, this buildup can damage your tooth enamel, causing gum diseases like gingivitis

Cleaning a night guard every few days also increases its lifespan. This helps you save money on replacements.

Benefits of Maintaining Oral Hygiene for Night Guard Users

Whether you use a night guard to protect against teeth grinding and clenching ( bruxism) or sports-related injuries, you must maintain oral hygiene. 

Doing so helps: 

  • Prevent oral infection.
  • Improve your breath.
  • Reduce the risk of tooth decay.
  • Improves your overall oral health.
  • Increase the lifespan of your mouthguard.

Essential Tools for Cleaning a Night Guard Mouthpiece

Soft-bristled toothbrush

You need a soft-bristled toothbrush to remove plaque, bacteria, and debris from your night guard. Unlike a hard brush, a soft bristle toothbrush helps clean your night guard without scratching the surface.


Make sure you use a separate toothbrush for your mouthguard. This prevents cross-contamination with your toothbrush. 

Mild, nonabrasive toothpaste

Mild, nonabrasive toothpaste is ideal for cleaning your night guard. It helps prevent the appearance of crevices on the surface, eliminating potential hiding spots for bacteria. 

Crest Pro-Health and Fresh Mint are common mild, nonabrasive toothpaste to consider. Consult your dentist for further recommendations. 

Antiseptic mouthwash

Antiseptic mouthwash has antimicrobial properties, making it an essential tool for cleaning your mouthguard. Ensure you use alcohol-free mouthwash to avoid staining or damaging your device.

Alternatively, you can choose a natural and affordable option like hydrogen peroxide. It has antiseptic and antibacterial properties that can prevent bacterial buildup on your mouthguard.  

Denture cleaning tablets

Denture cleaning tablets are used to clean dental appliances. They work by creating bubbles when dissolved in water.

This effervesce solution helps eliminate bacteria from your mouthguard, ensuring it stays clean and fresh. Polident is a typical over-the-counter denture cleaner to consider. It kills 99.9% of odor-causing bacteria in 3 minutes.

Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning a Night Guard Mouthpiece

Rinse the night guard after use

Rinse your night guard with warm water as soon as you remove it from your mouth. This will eliminate debris and saliva that may have gathered during the night.

It also helps prevent dental plaque buildup, which can cause gum disease if left unchecked.

Gently brush the night guard with a soft-bristled toothbrush and mild toothpaste

Rinse the mouthguard in cool water and add a little amount of mild, nonabrasive toothpaste to the surface. Gently brush the mouth guard the same way you brush your teeth. 

Next, rinse the toothpaste off the night guard and leave it to dry. In addition to this method, you can clean your mouthguard with mild, alcohol-free soap and water. You’ll also need a toothbrush for this procedure.

Soak the night guard in antiseptic mouthwash

Add a capful of alcohol-free antiseptic mouthwash in a cup and dilute with water. Insert the night guard and let it soak for 30 minutes.

Soak the night guard in antiseptic mouthwash

Remove and rinse the mouthguard with cool water, allowing it to air dry on a clean surface. This process kills bacteria and germs, reducing the risk of oral infection. It also eliminates bad odor, ensuring your device smells fresh.

Use denture-cleaning tablets for a deep clean

Add a dental cleaning tablet to a clean glass of water and soak your mouthguard. Then, let it sit for 10 minutes.

During this period, the dental cleaning tablet will eliminate stains, buildup, and odor-causing bacteria on your device. After soaking, remove it and rinse in cool water.  Then, allow your night guard to dry. 

Vinegar and Hydrogen peroxide are another affordable and natural way to deep clean your mouthguard. For optimal results, deep clean your mouthpiece at least once a month.

Tips for Maintaining Oral Hygiene with a Night Guard

Brush and floss your teeth before wearing the night guard

Brush your teeth before wearing the dental guard each night. Do this for at least two minutes using a soft-bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste.

Clean all areas of your teeth, including the back, front, and chewing surfaces. After brushing, floss to remove food particles and plaque from around your teeth.

Curve the floss into a C shape against the sides of each tooth to reach areas your brush didn’t reach. Repeat the entire process after removing your mouthguard. This helps eliminate bacteria that may have accumulated while it was on.

Clean the night guard case regularly

To prevent bacterial growth, clean your night guard case regularly. Hand wash it every few days with warm water and dishwashing soap.


Avoid using a dishwasher, as the extreme heat can cause it to melt. After washing, allow it to dry. Store it away from the reach of pets and children.

Schedule regular dental checkups

Schedule regular dental checkups at least once every 6 months. This is crucial for your overall oral health.

It lets your dentist detect early signs of dental problems, such as gum disease and cavities, that you may not notice.

Additionally, regular dental checkups help maintain your night guard. Your dentist will check it for cracks, wear, and other defects to ensure it’s working optimally.


It’s crucial to clean and maintain your mouthguard regularly. This prevents bacteria buildup in your mouth and teeth, reducing the risks of gum diseases and tooth decay. It also preserves the hygiene of your night guard.

Finally, prioritize your oral hygiene. Doing so helps keep harmful bacteria and germs at bay, resulting in fresh breath and healthy teeth.


What can I use to Clean My Mouthguard?

Using a non-abrasive toothpaste and a soft bristle toothbrush is one of the best ways to clean your mouth guard.

A capful of mouthwash (non-alcoholic) will also do. For a deeper clean, use otc denture cleaner or vinegar.

What Happens if You Don’t Wash Your Mouthguard?

Failure to wash your mouthguard causes bacteria in your mouth to build up, leading to bad breath, oral infection, or cavities. 

It also helps keep your mouthguard free from food residue and saliva acids, increasing its longevity. Regular cleaning and proper care of your mouthguard is essential for your oral health.

Can I use Mouthwash to Clean My Night Guard?

Yes, you can. It is an ideal option for the daily cleaning of your night guard. Ensure you use a non-alcohol mouthwash to avoid staining or damaging your device.  

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