Nightguard Cleaning

Hi, Dr Ellie

I hope I found the right address for asking a question for your blog. I recently started using your system, and I am wondering how my night guard plays into this whole thing. I was instructed to simply brush it with water before use, but I found it hard to believe that could be adequate. I’ve been brushing it once a day (before use) with toothpaste. How do you recommend that I clean my nightguard? And when? Thank you.


Dear SP,

Any appliance that covers or attaches to teeth makes teeth more difficult to protect by traditional methods.

On one hand your mouth will be somewhat propped open by the appliance and dry mouth can become a factor that could work against your oral health. On the other hand, if you use the system that I recommend (competing your oral care routine with ACT and eating Zellies mints regularly after meals and snacks) the appliance will help to retain the xylitol solution around your teeth for longer than in a wet mouth without an appliance.

You can turn the negative into a positive providing you are careful about using the mouth rinses every 12 hours and using xylitol in between the rinsing. I think that a nightguard in a clean mouth can simply be brushed with toothpaste and rinsed.

If you want to disinfect the guard more than this you need to ask your professional just to make sure the materials used to make the guard are compatible with the cleaning products. I used to put my daughters’ sports guards in a little Listerine and then rinse off it always kept them clean and healthy.

Thanks for your question,
Ellie Phillips

***Note: If you would like to ask Dr. Ellie a dental health question, and do not want to comment below, email If you send an email, we will remove any identifying information, including replacing your name with initials before we post it on this blog. We may also edit for clarity before posting. If you comment below, your question will be posted as written. Either way we welcome your feedback and questions. ***

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