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21/Jul/2019

Being a new mum is exciting, but it’s also stressful and tiring too. Often, it means putting your own needs aside for a while to meet the demands of your baby.

For example, many new mums stop brushing their teeth as often as they should, or neglect to go to routine dental visits. Unfortunately, this can cause your dental health to decline, and if you’re not careful then you can end up with a cavity or gum disease.

To keep your teeth healthy as a new mum, follow these simple tips.

1. Keep to your oral hygiene routine

Taking care of a newborn can be very tiring. There might be some evenings when you’ll feel like you won’t even have the energy to brush your teeth!

Despite this, you should still stick to your oral hygiene routine. That means brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day. Your teeth will thank you for it!

2. Don’t neglect your gums

Gum disease is a common complication of pregnancy. In fact, around two-fifths of pregnant women suffer from it. After giving birth though, the risk of gum disease usually returns to normal. Be careful though if you’re taking oral contraceptives though, as they can increase your risk of gum disease.

The best way to avoid gum disease is to also brush your gums thoroughly when you brush your teeth.

3. Keep going to routine dental checkups

Make sure to keep going to routine dental checkups during this busy time of your life. This means checkups every six to twelve months, or however often your dentist thinks is necessary.

Also, did you know that it’s free for new mums to see an NHS dentist? So you have no excuse not to go!

4. Tell your dentist if you’re breastfeeding

During pregnancy, women are often advised to postpone dental treatments such as braces, whitening and implants. X-rays are also discouraged for pregnant women because of the unknown effects on the fetus.

However, once you give birth then you’re free to have whatever treatments you want. Well – almost any treatment that is. You still can’t have any treatments that could affect your breast milk. This includes some medications, as they can pass on to the baby via your breast milk. So do make sure to tell your dentist that you’re breastfeeding so she knows which medications not to prescribe.

5. Don’t get dehydrated

Did you know that breastfeeding can cause dehydration? That’s because when you breastfeed, you’re giving some of your fluids to your baby.

Unfortunately, dehydration can cause problems for your dental health. That’s because a dry mouth is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. So if you’re breastfeeding, make sure to drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration.

Conclusion

Being a new parent will be a magical chapter of your life. However, it will also be difficult and testing at times. But don’t let your oral health standards slip during this time though. It’s important to keep yourself in good health.

If you’d like to speak to a dental professional about any of the topics that we’ve raised in this blog post, then simply call one of our receptionists to make an appointment. We’ll be happy to see you – and of course your new baby!


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21/Jul/2019

Getting small children to brush their teeth might seem impossible, especially if your little ones hate having their teeth brushed. And we understand how frustrating it can be when toddlers doesn’t want to cooperate.

But don’t give up on brushing your toddler’s teeth just yet. In this post, we’ll give you a few tips on how to make brushing time fun and how to make sure your child brushes his teeth.

1. Make sure she sees your brushing your teeth

Most toddlers love to emulate their parents. They want to help with the shopping, they want to help with the cooking, and they even like to pretend to talk on the phone like adults. The same goes for brushing. So if your toddler sees you brushing your own teeth, then she’ll be much more interested in brushing her own. Go forth and set a good example!

2. Play copycat

Try standing in front of a mirror with your toddler while you brush your teeth and he brushes his. He’ll be able to see you brushing in the mirror so with some luck, he’ll copy your actions.

3. Lower your expectations

Most toddlers are still too young to brush their teeth thoroughly, but this is normal. The idea at this age is to instil the habit of brushing into your child and not to make your child an expert at brushing her teeth right away. So don’t expect too much to begin with.

4. Keep it short

Since your toddler won’t be able to brush his teeth properly to begin with, you’ll have to help by brushing his teeth as well. However, this is always tricky because children don’t like having things put into their mouths. But always make sure to keep brushing fun so that your child associates brushing with positive feelings. You can do this by keeping the amount of time you’re brushing your child’s teeth to a minimum. Remember, all you’re doing when you brush your child’s teeth for them is doing a quick swipe over all the teeth. Later, when your child feels more comfortable, you can extend the amount of time that you brush your child’s teeth.

5. Keep it fun

Make brushing into a fun activity by incorporating games. For example, you can pretend that she’s a lion and that she has to roar so you can reach all her teeth. Another fun activity for children is songs. You can turn any song into a toothbrush themed one by changing the words – The Wheels on the Bus becomes “the toothbrush in the mouth goes round and round” for example.

6. Give plenty of encouragement

Make sure to tell your child what a good job he did brushing his teeth, even if all he did was chew on the toothbrush. All children like praise and over time, he’ll get better at brushing – all it takes is encouragement and practice.

7. Read books with your child about brushing teeth

Books can be a great help to encourage your child to brush her teeth. There are lots of books out there featuring children brushing their teeth, and when kids read them, it can make brushing seem like a fun activity rather than a chore.

Another option is to watch a YouTube video together of toddlers brushing their teeth. Some parents even find that videos are more motivating for their children than books.

Conclusion

Teaching your child to brush his teeth doesn’t have to be a monumental task. By taking it slow and being patient, you can eventually get your child to brush his own teeth.


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21/Jul/2019

Cavities are a problem that nearly everyone gets at least once in their life. No matter how well you take care of your teeth, it’s likely that at some point, you will get a cavity.

In this month’s blog post, we’ll explain what cavities are and how they form. We’ll also tell you how to minimise your risk of cavities and what to do if you think you have one. So, let’s go!

What is a cavity?

A cavity is a small hole in your enamel, which is the outer layer of your teeth. Over time, the hole can get bigger and bigger, eventually causing tooth pain and even an abscess.

What causes cavities?

The cause of cavities is bacteria. Everyone has bacteria in their mouths, and some of these bacteria are good while others are harmful. Problems occur when the harmful bacteria gain a foothold in your mouth and create plaque, which is a sticky, acidic substance. The acid in plaque can dissolve your enamel and that’s what causes a cavity.

What are the risk factors for cavities?

You’re much more likely to get cavities if you have one or more of the following risk factors:

  • Poor diet. A diet high in sugar is a major risk factor for cavities. This is because the bad bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar and convert it into acids, which in turn dissolve your teeth. For this reason, it’s important to limit the number of sugary foods you eat during the day. Also, try to avoid highly acidic foods as these can directly dissolve your enamel.
  • Poor oral hygiene. It’s important to have a good oral hygiene routine as this is your main defence against cavities. This means brushing twice a day, flossing once a day and seeing a dentist for regular check-ups. It goes without saying that if you fail to maintain an oral hygiene routine then you’ll be at greater risk of cavities.
  • Smoking. Smokers have a higher risk of cavities than non-smokers because cigarettes can make your mouth dry, and a dry mouth is a perfect environment for bacteria to grow in.
  • Alcohol. Alcohol also increases your risk of cavities for the same reason as smoking – alcohol dries out your mouth, which makes your mouth a more welcoming environment for bacteria.

Do cavities go away on their own?

Some cavities do go away on their own, but only when they’re very small. Most cavities unfortunately do not go away on their own and will require a dentist to fix them.

How are cavities treated?

The treatment depends on the size of the cavity and how far into the tooth it has reached.

  • A small cavity might not need a filling; instead, it might be possible to treat it with a fluoride treatment. Your dentist will decide if this could work for you.
  • Medium-sized cavities need to be covered with fillings, which are small blobs of resin, porcelain or amalgam.
  • Cavities that have reached the tooth’s pulp might require a root canal, which is where the diseased pulp is removed. The good news is that the rest of the tooth can usually be saved.
  • The most extreme type of cavity is where the cavity reaches the root. In this case, removal of the tooth is usually necessary.

Conclusion

If you think you have a cavity, then do see a dentist as soon as possible. The earlier you receive treatment, the less invasive the treatment will be. And remember to brush your teeth twice a day, as it’s a very important way to minimise your risk of cavities.


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21/Jul/2019

Did you know that most cavities happen between your teeth and not the fronts or backs of your teeth? That’s why it’s very important to clean the gaps between your teeth.

However, most toothbrushes don’t actually reach between your teeth. Therefore, while brushing is important, it’s not enough. Luckily, we have to floss to help us here. Floss is great at removing bacteria and plaque from in between your teeth so it’s fantastic at preventing cavities.

Keep reading, because in this post, we’ll explain a simple flossing technique that we encourage everybody to do.

How to floss

  1. First, take a good piece of dental floss and wind it up with your index fingers. Don’t wind it too tightly though or you might hurt yourself!
  2. Next, use both thumbs to pinch the floss. You should only leave about one inch of floss to work with at this point. If you leave any more, then you will make it more difficult to floss your teeth. Indeed, one reason why so many people have trouble flossing is that they try to get too much floss in their mouths.
  3. Then, start flossing your upper teeth. Simply choose a place to start from and slide the floss between the two teeth. Then clean the surface of each tooth by sliding the floss up and down. Don’t use a side to side ‘saw’ motion though – it’s better to use an up and down motion.
  4. When you’ve removed all the plaque from a tooth, you’ll hear the floss start to squeak. At this point, work on the next tooth. Then gradually work your way all around your mouth until you’ve done all your upper teeth.
  5. Once you’ve finished flossing your upper teeth, you can move on to your lower teeth. With your lower teeth, it’s actually easier to use your index fingers and middle fingers rather than your index fingers and thumbs. By using your middle fingers, it will makes be easier to manipulate the floss from one tooth to the next.

Overall, it should only take you a couple of minutes to floss all your teeth. But if you’re slow at first, then don’t worry – your technique will improve will practice!

What should I do if my gums bleed when I floss?

If your gums bleed when you floss, it’s normal if it’s your first time flossing. Your gums will get used to the floss after about a week of flossing, after which they won’t bleed anymore.

Bleeding gums can also be a sign of gum disease, so if your gums continue to bleed when you floss, then do see a dentist to get it checked out.

Conclusion

Flossing really makes a big difference in the long term of your dental health and it’s not very difficult to do either. So please do make flossing a part of your regular dental routine, if you haven’t done so already.

If you’d like to talk to use about flossing or about any other dental topic, then just make an appointment with one of our dentists by speaking to our friendly reception team. We look forward to seeing you!


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21/Jul/2019

Cavities and gum disease or two of the most common problems that we see here in our clinic, and both are caused by the cumulation of bacteria in the mouth. For this reason, it’s important to brush your teeth twice a day to fight bacteria and maintain good oral health.

Believe it or not, many techniques exist for brushing your teeth. It’s important to find the technique that works best for you because it might not be the same as what everyone else is using.

In this post, we’ll cover three methods for brushing your teeth: the Bass technique, the Stillman technique and the Charter technique. Read on to find out more!

The Bass technique

This technique focuses on cleaning your gums as much as your teeth. This makes the Bass technique great at preventing gum disease, which is a very common problem, especially in older patients.

To perform the Bass technique, follow these simple steps:

  1. First, put the toothbrush next to your upper teeth.
  2. Point the bristles of the brush upwards towards your gums. The brush should be at a 45-degree angle.
  3. Brush your teeth using a small, gentle circular motion. Make sure to clean under the gumline as this is where gum disease usually occurs.
  4. Once you’ve cleaned one area, move onto the next one. You should be able to clean two to three teeth at a time with the circular motion.
  5. Once you’ve finished cleaning the outside areas of your teeth, move onto the inside areas.
  6. Finally, brush the chewing surfaces of your teeth as well as your tongue.

The Stillman technique

The Stillman technique is very similar to the Bass technique but it can be more effective for some people.

To perform the Stillman brushing technique, follow the same instructions as the Bass technique except that after making little circles, pull the brush downwards to scrape off any remaining food or plaque on your teeth.

The Charter technique

The Bass technique and the Stillman technique both involve pointing the bristles of the toothbrush upwards towards your gumline. The Charter technique, in contrast, involves pointing the bristles downwards instead.

Dentists often recommend the Charter technique to people with braces and dentures. You might also benefit from the technique if you have gum recession or if you’ve had periodontal surgery.

To perform the Charter technique, follow these instructions:

  1. Place the toothbrush against your upper teeth.
  2. Point the bristles up towards your gums so they’re at a 45-degree angle. As mentioned, unlike the Bass and Stillman techniques, the bristles should be pointing upwards instead of downwards.
  3. Use small, gentle circular strokes to clean your teeth, one area at a time.
  4. Once you’ve finished cleaning the outer surfaces of your teeth, move on to the inner surfaces and then finally, the chewing surfaces.

Need more information?

If you’d like to speak to a dentist about these brushing techniques, or indeed about any dental issue, then don’t be shy – make an appointment with us today by simply calling 01282 428435. We look forward to seeing you!


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21/Jul/2019

Bad breath is a touchy subject. Nobody wants to talk about it, but what can you do if you’re suffering from it? The obvious solution is to brush your teeth and chew chewing gum, but sometimes, that may not be enough. Don’t panic though, because there are some proven things you can do to get rid of bad breath, which we’ll cover in this blog post.

1. Maintain good oral hygiene

The first and most important thing to do is to maintain good oral hygiene. (And this won’t just help tackle bad breath, but most dental problems too). The cornerstone of good oral hygiene is brushing. Brush twice a day, once before you go to bed and once one other time during the day. The most important time to brush is before you go to bed, as it ensures there are no bacteria in your mouth while you sleep.

2. Rinse your mouth after every meal

Rinse or gargle after every meal, or even after every snack. This ensures that no food particles are stuck in your mouth.

3. Avoid smelly foods

Try to avoid smelly foods, like garlic and onions, as these can cause temporary bad breath.

4. Use mouthwash

Mouthwashes are a good way to give your mouth an extra clean. They’re available in most supermarkets and chemists.

5. Drink plenty of water

Water is the best drink there is for your teeth. It stimulates your saliva flow and helps to prevent dehydration, which can cause halitosis (that’s what scientists call bad breath). So increase your water intake, as keeping yourself hydrated will help reduce your bad breath.

6. Don’t drink too much coffee

A mug of coffee might seem vitally important in the morning, but did you know that coffee slows down your saliva production and can dry out your mouth? This in turn can lead to bad breath. For that reason, it’s better to drink a cup of tea instead.

7. Clean your dentures

If you have dentures, then you should know that caring for them is as important as caring for your teeth. Make it a habit to clean your dentures every night to get rid of any bacterial build-up.

8. Floss after every meal

Any food particles that get stuck between your teeth for too long can not only lead to bad breath, but also an infection. That’s why flossing is just as important as brushing. So make sure to floss at least once per day.

9. Change your toothbrush often

Time flies, and we may not notice how quickly our toothbrush gets old. An old toothbrush may even be unsafe to use as it can be full of bacteria. So change your toothbrush regularly – every three or four months will do the trick.

What to do if you still have bad breath

If you have bad breath, any you’ve tried all of the above trips, then it might be time to see the doctor. Your doctor can check you out for any diseases that could be causing your halitosis, such as gum disease or a sinus infection.

That’s it for now. See you next time!


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21/Jul/2019

Wisdom teeth extraction is a common procedure, especially among young adults. This is because wisdom teeth often grow at odd angles and can impact other teeth. If you’re having a wisdom tooth extracted soon and you need tips about how to recover quickly, then read on, as this is the post for you.

What symptoms can I expect during recovery?

First, let’s go over what symptoms you can expect to experience in the days after the surgery. Common symptoms during recovery are:

  • Swollen and mildly bruised cheeks
  • A sore jaw
  • Pain
  • An unpleasant taste in the mouth
  • Tingling or numbness of the face (although this symptom is rare)

Do see your dentist quickly if you have any intense pain or excess bleeding, as this is not normal.

What can do to speed up the healing process?

There are plenty of things you can do to heal faster. Here are some general tips to aid your recovery.

  • For the first 36 hours after surgery, use an ice pack on your face to minimise swelling.
  • After the first 36 hours after surgery, use a hot towel to alleviate jaw soreness or stiffness.
  • Eat only soft foods like rice, soup and pasta.
  • Drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated.
  • Don’t smoke or drink alcohol while you recover, especially during the first 24 hours after surgery.
  • Use an extra pillow to support your head while sleeping.
  • Gently rinse your mouth with mouthwash or warm salt water to reduce soreness and inflammation.

I’ve heard it’s important not to dislodge the blood clots?

Yes, that’s true. You see, when you have a wisdom tooth extracted, a blood clot forms at the site of the extraction. This blood clot helps to protect your mouth while your wound heals. If the clot gets dislodge before the wound heals, then healing can be delayed and you might even get a bone infection. The main symptom of a dislodged blood clot is pain, so contact your dentist or surgeon if you develop new pain in the days after your surgery or if your existing pain worsens.

Here are some tips to avoid dislodging the important blood clots after surgery:

  • Don’t use a straw in the first week after the surgery.
  • Don’t eat hard foods.
  • Don’t brush your teeth too hard.
  • Don’t do any strenuous exercise or activity for the first week or so after surgery. See it as your chance to kick back and relax for a while!

Conclusion

We hope that now you feel a little more prepared about how to recover from wisdom tooth surgery. If you’d like to speak to a dentist about your wisdom teeth, or indeed any other dental issue, then please don’t hesitate to make an appointment.


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21/Jul/2019

Do you bite your nails? It’s estimated that around a quarter of adults chew their fingernails. While nail-biting may seem like a harmless habit, it can actually damage your smile. This is because it can wear down your teeth over time and even crack them! In this post, we’ll discuss what you need to know about nail-biting.

What are the risks of nail-biting?

While nail biting may seem harmless, it’s actually quite bad for your teeth. Here’s five ways that biting your nails can harm your smile.

  • Worn teeth. People who bite their fingernails – or indeed anything else, such as pencils, pens or ice – can gradually wear their teeth down over time, making their teeth more susceptible to decay.
  • Chipped or cracked teeth. By biting your nails, there’s the risk that you could accidentally chip or crack your teeth. No-one wants that!
  • Tooth loss. The risks of nail-biting are even greater for those who wear braces. This is because braces already put quite a bit of pressure on your teeth, and by biting your nails, you’re applying even more pressure. This can cause root resorption or even tooth loss. You definitely don’t want to lose your teeth after all the effort you’ve gone through to straighten them!
  • Spread of bacteria. You can easily spread bacteria to your mouth by putting your fingers inside. The area under your nails is a surprising hotbed for bacterial activity, and by putting your nails in your mouth, you’re transferring the bacteria to your mouth and teeth.
  • Teeth grinding. Nail biting can even lead to teeth grinding, according to research. A study has found that those who chew on their fingernails are more likely to suffer from teeth grinding later in life. Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, can lead to its own set of problems, including jaw pain and worn-down teeth.

How can I stop biting my nails?

As with any bad habit, it can be surprisingly difficult to stop. However, quitting is achievable. Here are some things you can do to make it easier to break your habit.

  • Swap a bad habit for a good one. When you feel the need to bite your nails, try playing with an elastic band or a stress ball instead. This will keep your hands busy and away from your mouth.
  • Apply bitter tasting nail polish to your nails. Some pharmacists sell a type of lacquer designed to help you stop biting your nails. It tastes awful, so if you apply a bit of it to your nails, you’ll soon learn not to chew them. Don’t worry though – it’s safe to ingest. Not that you’d want to though!
  • Cut your nails short. Having short nails means there will be less for you to bite.
  • Identify why you’re biting your fingernails. Some people bite their nails because they’re bored; others bite them because they’re stressed or anxious. Figuring out what’s triggering you can help you to avoid these situations. Even just understanding your problem better can help you to gain control over it.

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21/Jul/2019

Brushing, flossing and regular dental visits – these are all staples for healthy teeth and gums, but unfortunately, they can only go so far. For a truly healthy smile, it’s also important to make the right lifestyle choices. In this post, we’ll discuss seven lifestyle choices that could affect the health of your teeth.

1. Smoking

There’s an Oasis song called “Cigarettes and Alcohol”. The title of the song might as well be about dental care because cigarettes and alcohol are both things that are bad for your teeth.

Did you know smoking is bad for your gums as well? The smoke from cigarettes has a toxic effect on gum tissue and also can impede the blood flow in your gums. Not to mention that smoking can stain your teeth and cause mouth cancer. It’s safe to say then that giving up smoking could be one of the best things you can do for your oral health.

2. Alcohol

As mentioned, alcohol is also bad for your teeth. This is because alcohol dehydrates your mouth, which allows bacteria to grow unimpeded. There’s also the fact that you’re more unlikely to remember to brush your teeth after a night of drinking.

3. Diet

Your diet can have a huge effect on your oral health, particularly if your diet is high in sugar. Eating sugar will encourage the bacteria in your mouth to grow and cause plaque, which will eventually cause tooth decay. So to keep your teeth healthy, it’s best to stick to a diet as low in sugar as possible.

4. Lack of sleep

Some studies suggest that the number of hours of sleep you get can affect your oral health. Specifically, if you don’t get much sleep, your body’s immune response can become impaired and make you more susceptible to problems such as gum disease.

5. Weight change

If you wear dentures, then avoid yo-yo dieting. This is because weight gain and weight loss will affect how your dentures fit. If you do wear dentures and you happen to lose or gain weight, then visit your dentist so he or she can readjust the fit of your dentures.

6. Medication

Some medications can affect your oral health. For example, some medications cause dry mouth which increases the risk of tooth decay. Other medications can stain your teeth.

Therefore, we recommend that you talk with your dentist or doctor before you take any new medications so that you can learn about possible any side-effects.

7. Stress

Stress can have a real effect on your oral health. For one thing, people who are under stress often grind their teeth at night, which can wear down their teeth over time. For another thing, research shows that stress can make us more susceptible to infections, such as gum disease. Then there’s the fact that people who are under a lot of stress often neglect to take care of their oral .health properly. So if you’re under stress, try to take time out to relax and take care of yourself.

Need more information? Call us for an appointment

If you’d like to speak to a dentist about any of the above issues, then book an appointment with us by calling 01282 428435. One of our receptionists will be happy to help.


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21/Jul/2019

If you play sports, then one of the best things you can do for your teeth is to wear a sports mouthguard. These custom-made mouthpieces protect your mouth from the crashes, collisions and falls that could otherwise result in lost or broken teeth.

However, mouthguards can also be dangerous, since they can become a breeding ground for bacteria. Even worse, people often neglect to clean their mouthguard properly or they store it in the wrong way. If you want to learn how to use your mouthguard correctly, then read this blog post to find out.

 

How to clean your mouthguard

You should always clean your mouthguard after use because bacteria can easily accumulate on them. Here’s how to clean it:

  1. Rinse. At a minimum, you should be rinsing your mouthguard after use. Make sure to use cold water instead of hot water though, because hot water could distort the plastic.
  2. Brush. Ideally, you should be brushing your mouthguard after each use too. A toothbrush and toothpaste are the best tools for this job. Children’s toothbrushes are ideal because they’re small and can get into the crevices easily.
  3. Dry. Let your mouthguard dry completely before you put it away.

Extra tip: Some people find that leaving their mouthguard in a soaking solution helps to freshen it.

 

Other things you need to know

If you thought things were that simple, then think again. There are a few more things you need to know about mouthguards if you want to keep your teeth safe and healthy.

  • Clean your teeth before you put on the mouthguard. It’s important to clean your teeth before you wear your mouthguard. This is because if you don’t brush your teeth, you will transfer any bacteria in your mouth to the mouthguard. So brush with toothpaste and then rinse your mouth with mouthwash.
  • Clean your teeth after you take out the mouthguard. It’s also a good idea to give your teeth a quick clean after you’ve taken out the mouthguard. This will rid of your mouth of any bacteria that were on the mouthguard.
  • Store your mouthguard correctly. You should keep your mouthguard in a container – this shouldn’t be difficult as most guards already come already with a plastic container. Do make sure the container has air vents though, so any moisture can escape.
  • Keep your mouthguard container clean too. Not only do you need to keep your mouthguard clean, you also need to keep its container clean too! If all this sounds like a lot of unnecessary work, we promise you that it’s worth it because it helps to prevent plaque and cavities. To clean the container, use warm water and a non-toxic cleaner, then leave it to air dry before putting the mouthguard inside.
  • If your mouthguard is showing signs of wear, get a new one. A mouthguard that has signs of wear and tear probably needs to be replaced. This is because the cracks and holes in the guard can harbour bacteria, and it can be nigh-on impossible to get these bacteria out.

Now that you know how to take care of a mouthguard, have fun and play well!


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