Oral Appliances

Quick Tips for Keeping Your Night Guard Clean

July 26th, 2018

Night guards are fantastic oral appliances that can help protect teeth from the damaging effects of clenching and grinding. But, night guards must be kept clean to operate properly. Here’s everything you need to know to keep your night guard clean and protecting your teeth! 

Rinse First Thing in the Morning 

After you wake up, take your night guard out and rinse it under cool clean water. This helps remove any saliva or plaque that’s accumulated on its surface.

Brush with Your Toothbrush 

After rinsing, gently brush your night guard with your toothbrush. You don’t need to use any toothpaste, just a little bit of cool water on your toothbrush head. Abrasives in toothpaste can damage night guards and cause them to degrade more quickly. 

Air Dry in a Clean Spot 

Always air-dry your night guard in a cool, clean spot before storing it. We suggest using a clean hand towel, or new paper towel and putting it near your sink. Always make sure that your night guard is completely dry before storing it, which usually takes around thirty minutes.

Store in the Right Case  

Always store your night guard in the proper case given to you by your dentist or orthodontist. This helps keep it clean and germ free, which can prevent you from unwittingly ingesting any germs that can make you sick.

Deep Clean the Right Way 

Because they are stored in a tight, dark case, night guards can attract bacterial growth if they’re not maintained properly. You can keep bacteria growth and illness away by performing a regular deep clean on your night guard. 

You can clean your night guard with a denture cleaner, which usually involves placing your night guard in a glass with water a dissolvable tablet. Or, you can pour a cap full of mouthwash into a glass and then dilute it with water. Then, simply soak your night guard for thirty minutes in the solution,  rinse it with clean water and allow it to air dry before storing it. 

Be sure never to leave your night guard soaking for more than an hour because extended time in liquid can damage your night guard, leaving it ineffective.

Does Your Child Grind Their Teeth?


If your child wakes up with a soar jaw, or complains of their molars hurting in the morning, then they may be grinding their teeth as they sleep. Teeth grinding can wear down tooth enamel, and cause your child to lose sleep. A night guard can help combat teeth grinding, and prevent your child from accidentally damaging their smile in their sleep. Visit our office so that we can evaluate the state of your child’s teeth, and offer a solution that works for them.  

These Foods Destroy Oral Appliances

April 19th, 2018

Caring for an oral appliance can be difficult, but it is absolutely imperative. If your oral appliance is not clean, then it won’t properly function. One way to keep your appliance clean is by avoiding foods that can harm it. 


Nuts are very hard, and can do real damage to oral appliances. Nuts can destroy rubber bands, wires and even brackets! If you have braces, then avoid nuts and hard foods that can damage your bracketsNuts may be great for teeth, but they are awful for oral appliances, so it’s best to avoid them while wearing an oral appliance. 

Hard Candy 

This may not surprise you, but hard candy can wreak havoc on teeth, and damage oral appliances. Hard candy sticks onto oral appliances, and can expose teeth to an extended sugar attack. Hard candy dissolves slowly, which allows bad bacteria longer access to the sugar they need to survive and cause havoc on teeth. This can lead to more cavities and tooth decay. Hard candy can also crack wires, dislodge brackets, and even crack teeth. It’s best to avoid hard candy. 

Starchy Snacks 

Starchy foods easily get stuck on teeth, and provide bad bacteria with sugar, which powers the bacteria to multiply and attack enamel. This problem is made worse by dental appliances, because starchy foods can easily get stuck in them and continually attack the surface of teeth. This makes the acidic attacks last longer, and has a more negative effect on teeth. If you eat starchy snacks like chips or crackers, then rinse your mouth out with water to get rid of any excess food debris.  

Sticky Candy  

Sticky candy is difficult to remove from teeth, and gives cavity-causing bacteria more time to eat away enamel. Sticky candy also sticks to wires and brackets, which increases the time that teeth are spent contacting sugar. This can erode tooth enamel, and lead to tooth decay and cavities. 

Drink Plenty of Water 

Water is essential in keeping your mouth and oral appliance clean. It helps stimulate saliva production, which naturally cleans food debris and keep the mouth at a healthy ph level. We suggest swishing with water after meals, and always keeping a water bottle handy.  

Keep Your Teeth & Appliance Clean 

Most orthodontists advise brushing 4 times per day: in the morning after breakfast, after lunch or right after school, after dinner and at bedtime. The extra brushing ensures that your mouth stays debris-free, and helps to fight cavities and potential damage to your oral appliance. 

Schedule an appointment with our office for more tips about caring for your oral appliance, and what you need to do to get the healthiest smile possible.