While a mouth guard is useful in protecting your dental health, it can also cause you problems if you don't use it carefully. Here are some of the best practices that will help your dental device protect your teeth:

Keeping Your Mouth Clean

If you don't maintain a high level of oral hygiene, then there is a danger that you may transfer oral bacteria from your mouth to the device. You may then reintroduce the bacteria to your oral cavity the next time you wear the mouth guard. Therefore, it is important to keep both teeth and mouth guard clean.

Clean the Mouth Guard Before and After Use

Before you wear the guard, rinse it with clean water to get rid of any dirt it may have picked up while in storage. Clean the storage box while at it so that it can dry out while the guard is in your mouth. A thorough cleaning is necessary, however, after taking the guard out of your mouth.

There are different methods for cleaning mouth guards, one of which involves using a toothbrush and toothpaste. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush (so as not to scratch the material), brush the guard gently, rinse it thoroughly and let it dry before storage.  

Don't Wash the Device in Hot Water

It is true that you need to wash and clean your mouth guard regularly. It is also true that hot water is effective in killing germs. However, using hot water to disinfect a mouth guard isn't a good idea because it distorts the device. Most mouth guards are made from thermoplastics, a material that softens when exposed to heat and hardens after cooling. If you heat your mouth guard, it may distort while soft and harden in its distorted state. This is the same reason you should not store your mouth guard in hot places.

Don't Chew the Mouth Guard

Not everything that goes into your mouth needs to be chewed. Chewing the device not only damages its protective gear, but it also distorts its shape. This is dangerous because the guard is meant to fit your mouth perfectly in order to protect it. Some people chew on their mouth guards when the devices feel uncomfortable in their mouths. In that case you should instead see your dentist for a refitting.

Consult Your Dentist Regularly

Your dentist will examine your mouth and mouth guard to see how well the device is helping you. Apart from the fit of the device, dentists will also be concerned about signs of wear, shape distortion, and oral irritation, such as mouth sores. Your dentist will advise you on when to replace the device.

Your mouth guard is meant to protect you; don't let it be the source of poor oral health. If you use a contaminated mouth guard, then you may start experiencing nausea, difficulty breathing, wheezing episodes and even diarrhea. These are common signs of bacterial infection, which means you see a doctor immediately.