Many people grind their teeth. Teeth grinding, or bruxism, occurs when a person clenches his or her teeth or moves his or her top and bottom teeth back and forth repeatedly against each other. Usually, people grind their teeth while they sleep, although some people do it during the day, as a reaction to stress or anxiety. Mouth guards are available to combat the problem, but they must be kept very clean to prevent grime and bacteria buildup.
Pour 1/2 a cup of mouthwash into a shallow bowl and submerge your mouth guard into the fluid for a minute, turning it over after 30 seconds. Do this both prior to putting in your mouth guard at night and after taking it out in the morning.
Use toothpaste with baking soda and a soft-bristle toothbrush to thoroughly brush the inside and outside crevices of your mouth guard. Hold it under running cold water until the toothpaste rinses away entirely. Do this after taking it out of your mouth each morning.
Dry your mouth guard with a clean washcloth or let it air dry before placing it into its storage case.
Wash your mouth guard with warm water and mild hand soap once a month. Do this in addition to your regular, daily cleaning.
If your mouth guard develops an unpleasant odor, soak it in white vinegar for five minutes. Do this once a month to deodorize it.
Always keep your mouth guard dry and stored in a mouth guard case when you're not using it, to prevent bacterial growth.
Never use hot water on your mouth guard, since it can damage the material and alter its shape.