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Most of us have seen TV ads for commercial denture cleaners. They are usually blue fizzy tablets that you dissolve in water which are designed to remove stains and odors from artificial teeth. So what about dental appliances like clear retainers, sports mouth guards, and nighttime grinding guards? Is there a good way to clean them?

Once a month you’ll want to give your appliance a deep cleaning. For this, you will need some white vinegar and hydrogen peroxide.

Once a month you’ll want to give your appliance a deep cleaning. For this you will need some white vinegar and hydrogen peroxide.

HEINZ Vinegar

Pour the vinegar into a small non-metal bowl and let your appliance soak in it for a few hours. The acid is strong enough to help break up the proteins, odors, and other debris that may accumulate on your guard. A word of caution, though: if your appliance also has metal in it the vinegar can cause it to corrode slightly, so you probably shouldn’t use this process. This is when you’ll want to use a denture product specifically labeled for use with partials (typically dentures with metal parts).

hydrogen peroxide

After you’ve soaked your appliance in vinegar, rinse the bowl and the appliance. Pour the hydrogen peroxide into the bowl, add your appliance, and let it soak for a few more hours. This will remove all of the vinegar flavor and it helps to bleach out any remaining organic particles. Be sure to rinse off the peroxide before you put the appliance in your mouth.

If you notice that your guard has some stains that won’t come out despite your best efforts, that’s okay. Most of them will discolor after several years of use. Just be sure to bring it along with you at your next dental appointment so that we can make sure that it fits properly. If necessary we can even give it our best ultrasonic cleaning while you’re having your dental care completed.

And if it’s time to get your nightguard replaced, you’ll be glad to hear that we no longer have to take cold, wet, gaggy impressions. Instead, we now have 3-D imaging that can instantly scan your teeth and send all the data directly to the lab where your appliance will be custom fabricated.

The best part about having a clean nightguard or appliance? You’ll be more likely to wear it consistently, and that helps us achieve our goals for you.