Mouthguards and dentures

by Julie Finch-Scally

I have been in many bathrooms and seen a tumbler filled with water housing a set of dentures or a mouth guard. Although they might be clean somehow these spare teeth and protectors look dirty. I am sure denture cleansing tablets are used but are they really the best method of cleaning these apparatus that are used in the mouth?

Many people who suffer from sleep apnea now wear mouth guards to bed. Most contact sports have the players wearing teeth guards to protect their teeth during the game. Mouth guards and dentures are similar. They stay in the mouth for several hours catching the generated saliva. Once removed, they need to be thoroughly cleaned prior to being reused.

As I have said there are special cleansing tablets on the market that can be placed in a glass of water with the mouth guards or dentures and kill any bacteria that might have stuck to the plastic or porcelain. I would guess that most people when using these tablets rinse off the product and just leave the mouth guard or dentures in the glass until the next time required.

Further investigation of mouth guards and dentures can show that indents in the specially formed frames can house tiny specks of dirt or mould. Of course these specks are small and many people might not be able to see them. But if the mouth guard is translucent the specks can be seen through the plastic. I have found somehow the denture cleanser doesn’t seem to remove all these small specks.

A toothbrush rubbed into and around the indentation can help but sometimes even the bristles don’t seem to be able to get into the crevices and lift out the contamination. I have tried the small teeth cleaning brushes that are used similar to tooth picks. The pointed end scratched into the small crevice seems to get closer and under the problem and lift the small specks of dirt out of their newly found home.

So what I am saying is; yes the denture cleanser tablets are great, but a regular scrub with a tooth brush and some non-whitening toothpaste is necessary and a careful investigation is required to see no little black specks are caught in small crevices. Remember the mouth guards and dentures are placed in your mouth. As your saliva flows over and around the guard or teeth you swallow any bacteria sitting on these items.

The next time you use your mouth guard or dentures, make sure they are scrubbed and cleaned and well rinsed. Oh, also rinse them under running water before putting them back in your mouth.

 

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