There are a number of DIY methods for mouth guard cleaning that are recommended by dentists and other professionals. It is important to know, before you use any of these methods, that they are not recommended by the FDA and that you should use them at your own risk. It is also important to know that what is recommended by one dentist, might not be recommended by another, so keep that in mind before you try these methods. Just like with other cleaning methods of mouth guards, there are pros and cons to all of these natural mouth guard cleaning methods.
Vinegar for Mouth Guard Cleaning
One of the methods that many dentists will recommend when it comes to cleaning a mouth guard is vinegar. The most popular type of vinegars to use are white vinegar and apple cider vinegar. In order to use vinegar for mouth guard cleaning, you should place your mouth guard in a metal bowl or cup and pour vinegar over the device, ensuring that its totally covered. You should let this sit for at least three to five hours, but overnight is best. Because vinegar is an acid, it will help to break up any odors, protein or other debris that may have settled on your device.
There are some cons with using vinegar, however. First of all, if for any reason, you have metal on your mouth guard, you shouldn’t use vinegar because it will corrode the metal. You also should make sure that you understand, if you use vinegar for this type of cleaning, that it can cause your appliance to taste like vinegar. This, of course, will not be pleasant, so make sure you know what you are getting into if you do this. The vinegar taste is quite difficult to remove once it has set into the plastic.
Hydrogen Peroxide for Mouth Guard Cleaning
You will also find that some dentists will recommend hydrogen peroxide for mouth guard cleaning. You should again, use a bowl or cup that you can place your mouth guard into. Fill the area with hydrogen peroxide until it is covered completely and allow it to soak for several hours, ideally, overnight. The main reason that people will use hydrogen peroxide to clean their mouth guards is because it is very inexpensive and that it is available almost anywhere. You will also find that hydrogen peroxide does a great job of getting stains out.
Hydrogen peroxide, however, also comes with some cons. For example, though it is wonderful at taking out stains, it won’t, for instance, kill all of the germs that are present on your mouth guard. Another con that you will find when it comes to using hydrogen peroxide for your mouth guard cleaning is that it can take on the taste and odor of hydrogen peroxide. This is something that will not come out anytime soon and can really be difficult to deal with, especially if you have spent a lot of money on a mouth guard and don’t want to replace it.
Baking Soda for Mouth Guard Cleaning
Another common natural way that people will use when they wish to clean their mouth guard is to use baking soda. Though there are a number of wonderful things that baking soda is good for, it might not be the best choice for mouth guard cleaning. Even so, many people will use it. If you want to use baking soda to clean your mouth guard, you will need to mix it with water in a bowl or cup. You should use about one cup of water to two teaspoons of baking soda. Stir the baking soda until it is thoroughly dissolved, then place your mouth guard in the solution overnight. Once the baking soda bath is complete, make sure to rinse off the solution completely in warm water.
You might be wondering what the cons of using baking soda as a mouth guard cleaner are. The first main con is that it doesn’t clean and disinfect as well as other methods, so you can still find a lot of bacteria on your mouth guard. Another con of using baking soda is that if you aren’t careful the baking soda can scratch the mouth guard, especially during the rinsing process if you are using toothbrush or even your fingers on the mouth guard. You will additionally find that baking soda residue can build up, over time, on the mouth guard, making it unsightly and even causing a tight fit.
Bleach for Mouth Guard Cleaning
You will also find that some dentists and dental professionals will recommend cleaning your mouth guard with bleach. Though many people think that this would be a dangerous way to clean your dental appliance, it is typically quite safe. You will want to use about 10 parts water to 1 part bleach and soak your mouth guard, fully covered, for about 30 minutes. It is imperative, in order to keep this cleaning safe, that you thoroughly rinse your mouth guard before placing it in your mouth. In addition to rinsing your mouth guard in warm water, you should also scrub your mouth guard with a non-abrasive toothpaste.
Bleach will certainly kill the germs that are hiding in your mouth guard, which can help to eliminate odor, and will keep it clean and disinfected. However, you may find that bleach will also discolor your mouth guard permanently. Also, it can make you ill if you ingest bleach, so make sure that you are rinsing completely before placing your mouth guard back into your mouth.
Lemon or Lime Juice for Mouth Guard Cleaning
You will also find that people use lemon or lime juice when it comes time for them to clean their mouth guards. Lemon and lime are natural cleansers and because they are both quite acidic, will be able to take care of deposits that can develop on your mouth guard. You will also find that there are other pros to using this method for cleaning, like your mouth guard will look and taste great. You can typically also find lemon and limes anywhere and you can use one or the other for the same effect. However, there are certainly things that you should be aware of before you settle on this type of mouth guard cleaning.
For one, lemon and lime juice might be natural cleaners, but they are not going to get all the germs off of your mouth guard. These substances will also do nothing when it comes to removing stains. On top of this, you will need to use a lot of lemons, and even more limes, to get enough juice to thoroughly soak your mouth guard. In most cases, it is recommended that you use about a cup of juice, which is about 5-6 lemons and about 10 limes. Since you should only use fresh fruit if you are going to do this, it can be quite labor intensive.
The Recommended Methods For Cleaning Your Mouth Guard Include:
- Method#1 – Toothbrush and toothpaste – Learn More »
- Method#2 – Mouth Rinse – Learn More »
- Method#3 – Soap and Water – Learn More »
- Method#4 – Mouth guard cleaning tablets – Learn More »
- Method#5 – Dental sanitizing devices – Learn More »
- Method#6 – Natural cleaning methods (You are here)
- Method#7 – Professional dental cleaning – Learn More »