Is My Night Guard Still Effective With A Hole In It?
If you have been using a night mouthguard, you know that it’s designed to protect your teeth from the effects of teeth grinding or bruxism. Although night guards are made from durable material, they need to be cared for properly to last a long time. So if you find a hole in your night guard, it's probably time to replace it.
What to do when you discover a hole in your night guard?
When you find a hole in your night mouthguard, it’s time for a replacement because a night guard with a hole can no longer protect your teeth. Letting your dentist know about the hole is especially important if it’s your first time using a night mouthguard, as it can provide clues about your sleep behaviour. Your dentist might also recommend a night guard made from stronger material if your current one has deteriorated prematurely.
What causes holes to develop in night guards?
Night mouthguards tend to break down due to normal wear and tear. However, if your night guard is made of inferior quality material, it can break down or get broken earlier than it should.
Also, a hole can develop in your night guard if your teeth grinding is severe. Your dentist might also ask you to get a new night guard made from more durable material than the previous one.
Proper care and maintenance can enhance the longevity of your night guard. Not following your dentist’s or the manufacturer’s care instructions could lead to the early deterioration of your night guard.
How long does a night guard last?
In general, night mouthguards can last anywhere from six months to several years.
However, it’s recommended for adult users to replace their night guard every two years. The reason for this is that a night guard should always fit the user properly. An old night guard can irritate the gums or become loose. So your best recourse is to get a new one, especially when your dentist recommends it.
How to care for and maintain your night guard?
To ensure you maximise the use of your night guard, it’s essential to maintain it properly — here’s how:
- Make it a habit to rinse your night guard in clean, warm water after every use. This will help loosen and remove any plaque stuck to it.
- After rinsing, lightly brush your night mouthguard with a normal toothbrush. You don't need to use toothpaste for this as its abrasive ingredients can damage your night guard.
- Before putting it back into your night guard case, let your newly cleaned night guard air-dry completely to prevent the proliferation of germs. Lay it on a clean, flat surface and let dry. This won't take longer than 15-30 minutes.
- Use your designated night guard case for storing your clean night guard. However, never leave it in the bathroom where it could end up warping due to heat, steam and humidity. Just keep it in your bedroom or on your nightstand.
- Deep-clean your night guard once a week. You can use an over-the-counter denture cleaner for this. All you have to do is put your night guard in a clean bowl or glass with water and let the cleaner dissolve into the water completely.
Aside from doing these things, going to your semi-annual dental cleanings is also crucial. This way, your dentist can check on not only your teeth but also the condition of your night guard. They can also give your night guard a thorough clean.If you're thinking of getting a custom night mouth guard, get in touch with us today.