We are told every now and then by physicians and scientists about how hands are the biggest carriers of germs and why it is so important to wash them properly. People who are into special sports like Muay Thai, mixed martial arts, boxing and other related games use mouthguards to protect their face. This is because they are more exposed to bacteria and germs. Any carelessness or improper cleaning of the mouthguard can result in a number of diseases including those that can disrupt your digestive tract while precautionary measures and proper hygiene will allow you to have uninterrupted training sessions. Remember precaution is always better than cure.
Being a sports person, you should not be compromising on hygiene at any cost. So the first step would be to use the best mouthguard, the one that is constructed with the right material and known for its durability and reliability. Your mouthguard should not only fit you properly and offer you protection from punches but also guard against germs and bacteria. This is highly dependent on how you care for your mouthguard.
Caring for your mouthguard is actually caring for your own mouth and gut health. Let us look at the best practices for cleaning your mouthguard.
The best way to ensure that your mouthguard stays clean and free from bacteria is to clean it every time you use it. If you do not clean it regularly, you will be allowing bacteria and germs to accumulate on your mouthguard. Constant accumulation will not only make your mouthguard a birth ground for diseases but also deteriorate it quickly.
When you are done with your training session and head back home, simply rinse your mouthguard thoroughly with cold water. You can also use an antibacterial soap to clean it and then rinse it with cold water. Make this a habit after every training session and you will be protecting yourself from a number of mouth diseases. Repeat before you start your session again; this would be an extra layer of precaution which can save you from a lot of trouble.
You can also use a soft tooth brush and clean the mouthguard properly just like you would brush your own teeth. The toothbrush will reach even the hard-to-reach places in your mouthguard and make sure it is completely clean. As a precaution, do not use the same toothbrush with which you brush your teeth. Using a good antibacterial toothpaste with your toothbrush would further improve the degree of cleanliness. However, try using simple toothpastes which do not have a lot of chemicals. There are special toothpastes available for cleaning mouthguards. Brush the mouthguard using the toothbrush and toothpaste, then rinse it with water and let it dry. Make it your practice before and after every session.
For instant cleaning, you can keep a cleaning spray in your training backpack. Some are flavored and you can use them to clean the mouthguard before and after using it. Once again, when you get back home do not forget to rinse your mouthguard for extra cleaning and protection. The SISU fresh mouthguard spray cleaner which has been made with numerous fresh ingredients including spearmint and cinnamon can be used for this purpose. Make sure to spray it on your mouthguard before storing it in the mouthguard case. You can also spray your mouthguard before using it in your training sessions. However, remember that this should always be accompanied with extra cleaning measures and that it is in no way a replacement for washing and rinsing.
Although mouthguards are not dentures, you can use the same cleaners for them that are used for dentures. We would not recommend leaving the mouthguards in chemical solutions overnight as these might be too harsh. You can also choose from the many cleaning tablets which are specifically used for cleaning mouthguards and are easily available in the market. There are some which come recommended by the American Dental Association.
An aqueous solution of hydrogen peroxide ideally not more than 3% can also be used for cleaning the mouthguard. Prepare the hydrogen peroxide solution and soak your mouthguard in it. However, it should not remain soaked for more than 10 minutes. Remove it from the solution, rinse it with cold water and then store it in the mouthguard case.
Following the above mentioned tips will offer you great protection from countless diseases. It will also increase the life of your mouthguard. However, you must remember that your mouthguard has a limited life and it is best to replace it when it has worn out. Checking it regularly for wear and tear can save you from a lot of trouble as well as injury.
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