How to Clean Your Night Guard: A Step by Step Guide

Night guards are designed to protect your teeth from overnight grinding or clenching — and in the process these devices are bound to accumulate their fair share of stains and bacteria. Since we presume your guard wasn’t free, you’ll want to learn how to clean your night guard to protect not only your teeth, but your investment as well. 

It’s surprising how many people don’t clean their night guards the right way, or often enough. So, to keep you (and your smile) happy, follow our step by step guide on how to clean your night guard.


How to Clean Your Night Guard Daily

Keep reading to find out how to clean your night guard on a daily basis

woman replacing night guard close upFollow our steps to keep your night guard looking brand new.

Before you start cleaning your night guard for the first time, consult these steps to make sure that you're cleaning your night guard correctly. By following our easy steps for how to clean your night guard, you can protect your smile from plaque and bacteria.

Step 1: Rinse It 

After wearing your night guard for the first time, you should give it a good rinse in lukewarm water. Don’t use hot water, as this could soften the device and lead to poor fit or suboptimal protection over time. 

Step 2: Brush It With a Soft Bristle Toothbrush

After you’ve rinsed out your night guard, begin to gently brush it with a soft bristle toothbrush. For daily cleans, we recommend you use a non-abrasive toothpaste. If you don’t have a non-abrasive toothpaste, you can go ahead and skip the toothpaste for your daily night guard brushing.

Step 3: Let Your Night Guard Dry

Before you place your night guard back in its protective case, it's important to remember to let your night guard dry out a bit. To dry your night guard, wipe it with a cloth and set it out to make sure it is completely dry. Only once your night guard is completely dry should you store it in its case. if you store your night guard while it is still wet, the moisture will become a feeding ground for germs and bacteria to flourish. So, don’t forget to let your night guard dry as part of your daily cleaning routine!

Step 4: Store It Properly

When your device is fully dry, it's time to store it in your container to make sure it stays clean until it's time to be used again. Keeping your night guard in a retainer case helps keep it clean and dry while it's not in use during the day. Regularly using your case also prevents you from losing your night guard. Keep in mind that over time, your case can also start to accumulate bacteria, so you should clean it with soap and water every few days. 

Step 5: Use SmileSaver to Freshen Up

If you need to freshen up your night guard, your protective case, or even your toothbrush between cleanings, use Smilesaver™ Spray. Smilesaver Spray, is a fast acting mouth guard cleaner that kills 99.9% of bacteria in just 60 seconds. Just a few sprays on your guard will keep it fresh and clean until your next use, and the peroxide-free formula means you don’t have to rinse it off before you put it back in. Smilesaver Spray also tastes great and is super convenient for when you’re travelling or on an overnight trip. So, if you’re in a pinch and need to clean your night guard, Smilesaver has your back.

How to Clean Your Night Guard Weekly

Now that we know how to clean your night guard on a daily basis, let’s find out how to get a really deep clean

night guards retainers in glass of water edge cleaningAllow your night guards to dry completely after a weekly soaking.

Even if you keep up your daily cleaning habits, you should still deep clean your night guard every so often to make sure that it stays looking good as new. Let’s explore how to clean your night guard on a weekly basis:

Use an Over-the-Counter Cleaning Tablet

To clean your night guard with an over-the-counter cleaning tablet, first purchase the cleaning tablets at your local drugstore. Next, all you have to do is place the tablet in a glass of water with your night guard and soak your device for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes have passed, remove your night guard from the water and thoroughly dry it before placing it back in the case.

Use Diluted Mouthwash

Instead of a cleaning tablet, you can also use a diluted mouthwash mixture to deep clean your night guard. Start by combining one cap of mouthwash with a large glass of water. Once the two are mixed well, drop your night guard in the mixture. When using diluted mouthwash to clean your night guard, you should allow it to soak a little bit longer than you would with an over the counter tablet. When you soak your night guard in water and mouthwash, allow 20 minutes for a deep clean.

Hydrogen Peroxide & Vinegar

Using hydrogen peroxide and vinegar is another simple and effective way to disinfect your night guard. To properly disinfect using hydrogen peroxide and vinegar, first place your night guard in a clean glass. Then, pour enough vinegar into the glass to completely cover your night guard. After you’ve let your night guard sit for 30 minutes, rinse out the glass and repeat the same process with hydrogen peroxide. Disinfecting your night guard on a regular basis is an important step to keep your mouth healthy. In fact, if you are (or have been) sick, cleaning your night guard with hydrogen peroxide and vinegar will kill the germs and help you recover more quickly.


Now you’re well equipped to keep your night guard clean and looking great. Remember to clean your night guard regularly and always store it safely. Since your night guard protects your teeth, taking extra special care of your night guard promotes an overall healthier smile.

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