Why Is My Night Guard Turning Green?

Why Is My Night Guard Turning Green?

The Brux Doc The Brux Doc
5 minute read

Because night guards are generally clear plastic, they show discoloration very easily, which can be a little disconcerting. After all, you put this appliance over your teeth every night. So, you want to be sure it isn’t going to be harboring bacteria, right?

Let’s start by breaking down a few reasons that your night guard might have changed color, and then look at ways to keep your guard sanitary for every use.

Things that can discolor your night guard:

Let’s start with the worst options. If you have spots of yellow, green, brown, or black discoloration on your guard, they could be caused by mold. Mold grows well in damp environments. So, if you have been putting your night guard away without drying it completely (or storing it in a damp case or a damp bathroom), you could run into issues. Once mold has grown, it can permanently discolor the plastic, which makes it very difficult to tell if you have fully cleaned up the mold issue.

White or yellow patches on your night guard could alternatively be patches of calcification. These occur when bacteria and plaque are not cleaned thoroughly off your night guard. Often these areas look white at first but yellow with age. They can support bacteria growth in your night guard. Both mold (which is a type of fungus) and bacteria can be detrimental to your health, but, of the two, bacteria more directly affect your teeth by increasing the likelihood of cavities.

Alternatively, some discoloration can happen because of cleaning agents used on your night guard. Mouthwashes and cleaning solutions that include dyes can change the appearance of your night guard. Usually, these color changes are noticeable shortly after cleaning and affect the guard as a whole rather than only appearing in certain areas the way that mold and calcified deposits do.

How to take care of your night guard:

Cleaning your night guard regularly is key to preventing mold and bacteria growth. At the very minimum, you should soak it in a cleaning solution once a week and brush it gently with a soft toothbrush and rinse it in warm water after every use. If you decide to use toothpaste to clean your guard each morning, make sure it does not include abrasive agents, like baking soda, which can cause small scratches in the plastic.

For the weekly soak, you can use a non-alcohol-based mouthwash, a denture cleaner, or a night guard cleaner. Alternatively, some night guard wearers use hydrogen peroxide or vinegar. Usually, bleach solutions are not recommended because they can be too harsh for plastic materials. It is always good to confer with your dentist if looking for recommendations for your specific night guard.

Always dry your night guard and case before daily storage. Wiping your guard on a towel is generally not sufficient and can actually introduce bacteria and mold that could be living on the towel. It is better to air-dry the guard and case. To speed up air drying, you can use a hair dryer on low or no heat.

Make sure you keep your case clean as well. Don’t forget about the inside of the lid (which may not get cleaned during weekly night guard soaks.

How to know when your night guard should be replaced:

If you have had mold growth on your night guard and you can’t tell if it’s truly clean because of permanent discoloration, you might want to replace your night guard for better peace of mind. However, there are also other indicators that it’s time for a new mouthguard.

If you see cracks in the plastic material, then your guard has weakened and is less stable in your mouth. If there is a lot of surface wear, your guard will harbor bacteria more easily in the many crevices. So, it could be a good idea to replace it.

You should always bring your night guard to your dental appointments. This allows your dentist to make recommendations based on the condition and fit of the night guard.

How to find an affordable night guard:

Though your dentist may have been the one to recommend you wear a night guard, ordering a night guard through your dentist can be pretty pricey. Most night guards from a dentist cost a few hundred dollars.

This means you might be tempted to buy a generic version at the local drugstore. But night guards that aren’t custom-molded will fit poorly and move around, decreasing effectiveness and comfort.

It is better to save yourself money by ordering a custom night guard directly from the manufacturer. This is the service we offer at TeethNightGuard.  We ship you a kit so that you can take a mold of your own mouth right in the comfort of your home rather than paying the dentist to do it. Then, you make your custom mouthguard and mail it to your home. In the end, you can get a fantastic custom guard and save on costs.



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