COVID And Sports: Custom Mouthguards Help You Stay Safe And Germ-Free
Now more than ever, proper hygiene and cleanliness are of the utmost importance.
That’s especially true when it comes to something you have to put in your mouth, like a mouthguard. It is paramount that you keep yourself and your gear clean and germ-free.
Need some advice on the best practices to keep yourself and your protective equipment safe? Here are some helpful hints for one of the most important pieces of gear you have: your mouthguard.
1. Clean Early, Clean Often…
Hand sanitizer does not replace a good hand washing, but when you need it on-the-go, it is the best option. Cleaning your mouthguard is no different. While it’s best to clean your mouthguard with denture cleaner, you often need to clean it quickly and without a sink.
With on-the-go disinfecting sprays and solutions, you are able to constantly clean your mouthguard on the field, court, ice, pitch or ring. Never miss a beat or play with a compromised mouthguard when you can clean it between plays!
2. …Clean Regularly
Be sure to rinse your mouthguard with warm water before and after each use to remove any bacteria or grime.
Remember: do not clean your mouthguard with toothpaste, a toothbrush or mouthwash —these all damage mouthguards. Toothpaste and mouthwash breakdown the materials you count on to protect you, and a toothbrush will scratch and tear up the materials allowing bacteria to enter and live in your mouthguard.
A denture cleaner is recommended for deep cleaning, with effervescent denture cleaner working the best.
3. Once It’s In, Leave It In (Your Mouth)
In these times of COVID, the less you touch your face the better; and the same goes for your mouthguard.
Many athletes tend to remove their mouthguard between plays or practice drills, often to take a drink of water or talk to a coach. But that means that each time they remove it, all of the germs from their hands get on their guard and go directly into their mouth.
This constant removing and adjusting also gives mouthguards more opportunities to fall out or become dislodged during play. Break this habit!
Here’s where you benefit the most from a custom mouthguard. The precise and comfortable fit keeps the mouthguard firmly in place even while talking or drinking. That allows you to go an entire game or practice without removing it, keeping you protected from both injuries and germs.
4. Once It’s Out, Leave It In (The Case)
Even if we weren’t in the middle of a pandemic, it’s always important to keep your mouthguard protected when not in use. That means not just throwing your mouthguard in a dirty bag, on the bench or in a locker.
Be sure to store your mouthguard safely in a plastic case to avoid both damage and dirt.
5. Go Strapless
Straps are never a good idea for mouthguards, and COVID-19 may finally put an end to them entirely.
It’s simple: you don’t want your mouthguard hanging from your helmet. It just gives your guard extra exposure to air, elements and germs whether you’re playing or sitting on the bench. And helmets are typically tossed in lockers or pulled in and out of bags, which again, is not ideal for something that goes in your mouth.