Why is My Mouthguard Yellow?
Many people who use mouthguards may have noticed that over time, their mouthguards can become yellow. This discoloration can be unsightly and may raise concerns about hygiene and cleanliness. In this article, we will explore several possible reasons why your mouthguard may turn yellow and discuss ways to prevent and address this issue.
1. Food and Drink Stains
One of the most common reasons for a yellowed mouthguard is food and drink stains. Certain foods and beverages, such as coffee, tea, red wine, and curry, contain pigments that can easily adhere to the surface of your mouthguard, causing discoloration. Additionally, highly acidic foods and drinks can also contribute to the yellowing of your mouthguard.
To prevent food and drink stains, it is recommended to rinse your mouthguard thoroughly with water after every use. Avoid consuming heavily pigmented foods and drinks while wearing your mouthguard, or consider removing it temporarily to minimize staining.
2. Poor Cleaning Habits
If you notice your mouthguard turning yellow, it could be a result of inadequate cleaning. Bacteria and plaque can accumulate on the surface of your mouthguard, leading to discoloration. Failing to clean your mouthguard regularly and properly can contribute to this issue.
To maintain a clean mouthguard, it is essential to brush it with a soft toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste after each use. Additionally, soaking your mouthguard in a denture cleaner or a mixture of water and hydrogen peroxide can help remove stains and kill bacteria. Remember to rinse it thoroughly before using it again.
3. Aging and Wear
Over time, mouthguards can naturally become yellow due to aging and wear. Continuous use and exposure to saliva, bacteria, and various substances can cause the material of the mouthguard to degrade and discolor.
If your mouthguard is yellowing due to aging and wear, it may be time to replace it. Most mouthguards have a recommended lifespan, typically around one to two years. Regularly inspect your mouthguard for signs of wear and tear, and replace it if necessary.
Smoking is a known contributor to yellowing teeth, and it can also affect the color of your mouthguard. The tar and nicotine present in cigarettes can stain the material of your mouthguard, resulting in a yellowish appearance.
If you are a smoker, consider quitting to improve your overall oral health and prevent further yellowing of your mouthguard. Additionally, ensure that you clean your mouthguard thoroughly and regularly to remove any tobacco residue.
5. Chemical Reactions
Some mouthguards, particularly those made of certain materials, can undergo chemical reactions that cause them to turn yellow. This can occur when the mouthguard comes into contact with certain substances, such as certain toothpaste ingredients or cleaning agents.
If you suspect a chemical reaction is causing the yellowing of your mouthguard, try using a different toothpaste or cleaning agent. Opt for products specifically designed for cleaning mouthguards to minimize the risk of chemical interactions.
6. Improper Storage
The way you store your mouthguard can also impact its appearance. Storing your mouthguard in an unclean or humid environment can promote bacterial growth and discoloration.
After cleaning your mouthguard, ensure it is completely dry before storing it in a well-ventilated case. Avoid leaving your mouthguard exposed to direct sunlight or extreme temperatures, as these can also cause discoloration.
There are several reasons why your mouthguard may turn yellow, including food and drink stains, poor cleaning habits, aging and wear, smoking, chemical reactions, and improper storage. By understanding these factors, you can take appropriate measures to prevent and address the yellowing of your mouthguard, ensuring it remains clean and hygienic for optimal oral health.