If you’re training often, it’s incredibly important to keep your gear clean, including your mouth guard. In this article we’ll be going over a couple of the steps which you can take to make sure your mouth guard is always clean and fresh, and avoid any possible hygiene issues.
We’ve already written up a number of mouth guard reviews to help you choose what mouth guard to invest your money into, but after overhearing a recent conversation at the gym, I realised that many people aren’t actually sure how to clean a mouth guard, or how often you should do it. Cleaning a mouth guard is really important. Just think about how much spit, sweat and sometimes even blood could be left to dry up, not to mention the fact that even more dirt will touch it if you take your mouth guard out and handle it with your gloves or with your hands (especially after grappling). If you leave your mouth guard in your bag without cleaning, all this will gather a whole host of bacteria.
We’ve done a little digging around to find you a few suggestions on ways to keep your mouth guard fresh.
Rinse after every session
The first way of keeping your mouth guard clean is the easiest, but also something you can and should be doing in addition to the other methods – Just rinse it off straight after a session.
The best way to get this done is to make it part of your routine. Once you get home and take the sweaty gear out of your bag, just head to the nearest sink and give it a quick rinse under the tap to clean it off. A little bit of soap can help here too. Just make sure to dry it off well afterwards so there isn’t any left over moisture.
If you’re after a slightly different quick fix, Title Boxing actually sell a Title Mouth Guard Cleaning Spray. We haven’t actually tried it ourselves so can’t comment on it’s effectiveness, but it comes with a cool mint flavoring.
Using a toothbrush and toothpaste
If you want to give your mouth guard a good clean, you can go over it with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Some brands recommend you don’t do this as some toothpastes can be slightly corrosive over time, but other brands, such as SISU actually recommend this as the best way to clean it, preferably with a non-whitening toothpaste. Even without the toothpaste, using a brush can be a reliable way to get into the gaps and will do a much better job at cleaning than the previous methods. It’s probably a good idea to use a different toothbrush for cleaning your mouth guard than the one you use to actually doing your teeth if possible though, to make sure you’re definitely avoiding sticking any of the dirt and bacteria back into your mouth.
Using denture/mouth guard cleaners
Yes we know they aren’t dentures, but using similar cleaners is actually one of the best ways to clean your mouth guard. You don’t need to leave them in all night as strong cleaning solutions can be a bit too harsh for mouth guards, but shorter periods of time should be more than enough. If you’re looking for something specific to mouth guards, some brands sell dedicated mouth guard cleaners, such as the Opro Refresh Mouth Guard Cleaning Tablets, which also have a mild mint flavouring.
These tips should help keep your mouth guard fresh for longer, bacteria free and tasting great as well. As well as cleaning your mouth guard off, you need to make sure you’re also using a dedicated antimicrobial mouth guard case as well, but many mouth guards are sold with one included. Just remember it’s always much easier to prevent the build-up of bacteria than it is to remove it completely.