Contact sports such as football, boxing, and ice hockey are fun even when you need to wear a mouthguard. When training amounts start to stack up, you will notice that your mouthguard isn’t in as good condition as when you first used it, and you will want to get it clean. If you haven’t done it before, don’t worry, I have more than one occasion. Here’s how;
The easiest and best way to clean a football mouthguard is to use a toothbrush to get rid of dirt and then rinse it with water. However, severely damaged or dirty football mouthguards need chemical deep cleaning using dedicated cleaner solutions.
That said, cleaning a football mouthguard is a straightforward activity, and you shouldn’t run into any problems. To make sure of that, let’s take a closer look at step-by-step instructions on how to clean a football mouthguard and other methods to do so.
How to Clean a Mouthguard for Sports?
There are five great methods to clean a mouthguard. You will find each one below so you can select the best one for you. Personally, I like to do it with a toothbrush & toothpaste.
If your mouthguard is old and beyond cleaning, I highly recommend that you get a new one. Feel free to read my mouthguard recommendations!
1. Toothbrush & Toothpaste
If you are wearing a football mouthguard regularly, you need to follow a daily routine. This needs you to clean before and after wearing the mouthguard for better oral hygiene.
To clean a football mouthguard, you need to follow the steps below:
- Rinse the mouthguard with cold water.
- Take some toothpaste on the brush.
- Brush the mouthguard.
- Wash it thoroughly.
- Allow it to dry completely.
Once it’s totally dry, you can start using it again.
This is the perfect routine to follow at home, and it also extends the life of the football mouthguard.
Another easy method to try at home is to use soap to clean the football mouthguard. Use either dish or castile soap to clean it and then rinse it completely.
Caution: Do not use a random soap as it can affect your oral hygiene.
- Rinse the football mouthguard.
- Take a dish or castile soap (or any antibacterial soap).
- Brush the mouthguard with the soap.
- Wash it thoroughly.
- Leave it to dry for a few hours on a flat surface.
You need to ensure that the mouthguard is soapy enough to get rid of bad odor and germs from the football mouthguard.
If you are unsure of the quality of soap, it’s better to stick to a toothbrush and toothpaste combination to clean the mouthguard.
It’s essential to ensure that the soap does not contain harsh chemicals as it can affect its usage during your football session and also damage the mouthguard in the long run.
3. Baking Soda
The main purpose of using a baking soda is to remove buildup and eliminate the remaining calcium stuck to the football mouthguard.
Another reason to use baking soda is to get rid of bad odor. This develops if you have been using it for a long and haven’t cleaned it.
- Mix equal portions of baking soda and water to form a paste.
- Brush the mouthguard with this paste.
- Rinse the mouthguard with cold water.
- Leave it to dry.
If you prefer a deep clean of your football mouthguard, you need to take a different solution. Chromper Labs recommends mixing one part of white vinegar with three parts of water. Allow the football mouthguard to soak in this solution for 10-15 minutes.
After you brush the mouthguard, you can clean it with warm or cold water. Once it’s completely dry, you need to wash it again before using it in your mouth.
Give enough time for the mouthguard to dry. Sometimes, if you see calcium settlements on the mouthguard, even after rinsing with the vinegar solution, you need to brush it with a toothbrush and then wash it with cold water.
This approach keeps bad odor away and improves the usability of the mouthguard.
If you use a mouthguard regularly, it’s good to soak it in a small pan of mouthwash and then clean it after 30 minutes. My favorite mouthwash is Listerine Spearmint! This approach leaves it free from germs and bacteria. However, you need to dilute the mouthwash with water and soak the mouthguard. Otherwise, it could be an excessively concentrated mouthwash left on the mouthguard.
Never let it soak for a long period as it can affect the quality of the football mouthguard.
Most importantly, if you are using a chemical or alcohol mouthwash for a specific reason, you need to avoid using it for cleaning the mouthguard. Not all mouthguards are recommended for chemical cleaning routines.
There are two reasons to use a mouthwash to clean the mouthguard.
- First, it’s easily accessible. You may be using it already to clean your teeth. Hence, it’s teeth-friendly.
- Secondly, it contains antimicrobial properties essential to having a clean, damage-free wash for your mouthguard.
5. Denture Tablet
If none of the above methods worked, you need to go with a commercial cleaner like a denture tablet that can remove buildup on the mouthguard.
- Take a cup of warm water and add a denture tablet to it.
- The tablet dissolves in water.
- Soak the mouthguard in this glass for a couple of hours.
- RN Scrub recommends brushing the mouthguard before soaking it in the glass.
- Rinse it off with warm/cold water.
The result is a clean and fragrant football mouthguard ready to use.
This is a deep cleaning process, and you need to be extremely careful with the procedure.
- Do not buy a denture cleaner that contains artificial colors and fragrances.
- Confirm if the tablet contains sodium hypochlorite. This compound is rich in microbe control and can bleach the mouthguard completely.
- Do not try this procedure if you are new to this process. Take an expert’s help.
You can use Polident or Strident denture tablets to deep clean the mouthguard.
Can I Clean My Mouthguard With Alcohol?
Cleaning your mouthguard with alcohol is not recommended as it can damage the mouthguard and your teeth. Use alcohol-free mouthwash to clean the football mouthguard, or it’s more likely to hamper your football sessions.
When you use a mouthguard for your teeth, you need to be careful about the sensitivity and avoid harsh chemicals. Perhaps, you do not want your teeth to develop stains or new issues when you explore a new cleaning compound like mouthwash.
Another thing that can harm your gums and teeth and make everything uncomfortable is a mouthguard that doesen’t fit properly. If you’re facing this issue, check out my mouthguard fitting guide for the perfect instructions on how a mouthguard should fit.
Can I Clean My Mouthguard With Baking Soda?
Cleaning the football mouthguard with baking soda is recommended, but you need to mix equal water and baking soda portions. Now, apply the paste to the mouthguard using a toothbrush. Brush it and leave it for an hour or two.
Baking soda is an excellent cleaning agent, but you need to know how to use it properly. Using baking soda directly instead of a paste can harm your teeth and disrupt the mouthguard’s quality.
Cleaning a mouthguard is an important task in terms of hygiene and comfort. However, if your mouthguard isn’t molded right, it can be uncomfortable or impossible to wear. I invite you to read my in-depth article about how to mold a mouthguard so you won’t run into any troubles along the way.