GeneralLifestyle |4 min read

Can Wearing a Nightguard Cause Cavities?

Can wearing a night guard case cavities? Man putting in a clear nightguard
Nightguards protect your teeth from damage caused by bruxism, or teeth grinding.

They reduce the risk of wearing down your enamel and alleviate jaw pain.

But can nightguards cause cavities or damage your teeth?

Many people have asked that very question.

We’re here to answer that question and give you tips on how to care for your nightguard!

Let’s dive in:

If you don't properly care for your nightguard, it could potentially lead to the development of cavities.

If you don’t properly care for your nightguard, it could potentially lead to cavity formation.

How can that be?

Well, we must understand that our mouths easily pick up bacteria from straws, utensils, water bottles, etc.

You also get plaque (a sticky film containing bacteria) from eating and drinking.

Everyone gets it.

It forms on your teeth and below the gum line.

But if plaque builds up, it could cause serious health problems such as:

  • Enamel loss
  • Cavities and tooth decay
  • Periodontitis
  • Bone loss
  • Tooth loss
  • Abscesses

Most plaque hardens within 48 hours of formation, and within several days, it’ll turn into tartar.

What is tartar?

It’s an extremely hard, acidic substance that can only be removed professionally by your dentist.

That’s why it’s so important to regularly floss and brush your teeth to remove these harmful bacterias.

Good oral hygiene is always crucial.


It’s especially beneficial when using a dental appliance like a nightguard.

If you don’t clean your teeth before putting on your nightguard, plaque and food particles may get trapped underneath causing bacterial infection growth.

That being said:

You must also regularly clean your night guard to preserve its lifespan and protect your health in the long run.

Luckily, nightguards are simple to take care of.

How do you clean your nightguard?

Here are some helpful tips on how to clean your nightguard and keep it in great condition:

1. Wash it

Every time you wear your nightguard, wash it immediately. Gently brush it with a soft-bristle toothbrush with cool to warm water using a non-abrasive toothpaste, antibacterial soap, or dish soap.

This will remove any plaque and debris stuck to it.

We recommend keeping a separate toothbrush just for cleaning purposes to avoid cross-contamination of bacteria.

Steer clear of hard-bristled brushes as they’ll damage your nightguard.

2. Dry it out completely.

Once your nightguard is clean:

  • Shake off any excess water
  • Let it air dry in a non-humid environment
  • Lay it on a flat, clean surface

It may take between 15 – 30 minutes for it to dry completely.

If your nightguard doesn’t dry out completely, move it to a different room or location.

3. Store it in a case.

While you’re not wearing your nightguard, store it in its case for safekeeping.

A little tip:

It’s best to store your nightguard in your bedroom rather than the bathroom.


The humidity in your bathroom could wear it down over time.
To avoid damage to your nightguard Don't: Use hot water on it, eat our drink (except water) while wearing it, soak it in mouthwash


Can wearing a nightguard cause cavities?

Nightguards don’t cause cavities as long as you

  • Properly clean your nightguard after wearing it each time
  • Maintain a good oral health routine
  • Visit your dentist regularly

Nightguards are a safe, proven method of treating dental health issues. They’ll reduce your pain and help you get a better night’s sleep.

Are you wondering if you need a nightguard?

Your dental family in Columbus, GA would love to meet you!

Dr. T. Lance Collier is a world-class dentist who’ll help you make the best decisions for your oral health.

He’ll recommend an appliance specific to your needs.

Our dental office will plan your appointment around your comfort and find a solution that works for you.

Book a consultation to see if a nightguard would be right for you.

Request an Appointment

Contact us today:

T. Lance Collier, DMD, LLC proudly serves the following areas: Columbus, GA, Phenix City, AL, Midland, GA, Pine Mountain, GA, Hamilton, GA, West Point, GA, Valley, AL, Ft Mitchell, AL, Buena Vista, GA, Cataula, GA, Ft Benning, GA, Crawford, AL, Salem, AL, Smiths, AL, LaGrange, AL, Auburn, AL, Opelika, AL, Harris County, GA, Seale, AL, Muscogee County, GA, Russell County, AL, Lee County, AL, Troup County, GA, Meriwether County, GA, Talbot County, GA, Marion County, GA, Webster County, GA, Stewart County, GA, and Chambers County, AL.