What Is A NightGuard?
We have compiled this article on the benefits of Nightguards. NightGuards are ideal for those suffering from teeth grinding. Check back frequently for other dental health articles and tips.
A nightguard, also known as a mouth guard or dental split, is a device made of plastic that covers all or part of the teeth. It is typically worn through the night to prevent you from grinding your teeth while sleeping.
Why Are They Used?
You will use a nightguard if you are suffering from a condition known as bruxism. Bruxism causes you to grind your teeth or clench your jaw typically when you are sleeping, although it can happen unconsciously to some people while they are awake and under stress.
The main aim of a nightguard is to separate your top and bottom teeth, so they don’t damage each other from the pressure of grinding or clenching.
How Is The Night Guard Made?
Your dentist makes an impression on your top and bottom teeth. From this, they then make a plaster cast sent to a dental laboratory. The materials they use, which are either soft, dual laminate or hard acrylic, are then shaped around the mould to create your custom-fitted night guard.
When you wear your new night guard at night, it should fit perfectly and not cause any pain or discomfort.
How Do You Clean A Night Guard?
You can brush the night guard using a toothbrush and toothpaste and then rinse it with warm water. Your dentist may also give you an antimicrobial solution in which you can soak your night guard to remove any foreign organisms.
You should store your night guard in its protective case (which you should also clean) during the day, but you should make sure it has ventilation so it can dry and prevent any regrowth of bacteria.
When Should You Replace Your Night Guard?
When you receive your new night guard, it will be shiny and smooth; however, after heavy use, it can become rough and sometimes develop tiny cracks. These small cracks are not only good places for bacteria to grow, but they can damage your gums at night and create a place for bacteria to enter your body.
It is essential to talk to your dentist about replacing your night guard when it shows signs of heavy use.
Types Of Night Guards
Soft Night Guard
This is the most commonly used night guard for teeth to treat Bruxism and is primarily used for mild or occasional cases, not for severe teeth grinders.
- The most comfortable fit of all the night guards
- Most adaptable/easy to get used to
- Usually lower cost
- Some people unintentionally clench on to or chew the soft material
- Not as durable/limited lifespan
- Most warranties are only six months or less due to the limited life-span
- Not a long-term solution
Dual Laminate Night Guards
This type of night guard for teeth to treat Bruxism is for moderately severe teeth grinders. They are soft on the inside and hard on the outside.
- Handles heavy clenching and grinding
- Longer lasting
- Usually offers a more extended warranty than soft guards
- Tend to be a little thicker than the other guards
- Seem to be harder to adjust to
Hard Night Guards
Hard night guards for teeth to treat Bruxism are made from acrylic and are highly rigid but durable. They can be used for very severe cases of grinding, as well as TMJ.
- Most durable
- It prevents teeth from shifting
- Usually offers the most extended warranty
- Thicker than soft night guards
- More uncomfortable than others
- Difficult to get used to sleeping in
- Need to be ordered directly through the dentist since an accurate impression is necessary to fit
- Can be more expensive than the others
Tips To Help Adjust To Night Guards For Teeth
- Choose the thinnest possible guard suitable for you.
- Stick with it for at least 4-6 weeks and make a habit of wearing it. After this amount of time, it should feel like a regular part of your routine and will seem a lot easier to wear.
- Please put it in right before you go to sleep. Don’t try to wear it before you’re ready to go to bed. Otherwise, it will just feel obnoxious.
Fitting Your Night Guard For Teeth
Personalizing the fit of your night guard will depend on what brand you choose. Many of them use the same process that is used by snoring mouthpieces. Here are the different night guard fits for Bruxism:
- “One-size-fits-all.” There are over-the-counter mouthguards you can buy that will not be custom-fitted. These may work for the occasional teeth grinder and are probably the lowest-cost option.
- “Boil and bite.” With this type, you boil in water and bite into it to leave your impression. It’s usually pretty simple to do and seems to be the most common type.
- They are made in the lab. You can get mouth guards right from your dentist. These offer the most accurate fit because they are made with your impression in a lab.
If you suspect you may suffer from Bruxism, don’t worry. It can easily be treated with night guards. However, it’s always good to see a doctor see if you can discover the root cause and fix that before seeking other treatment. In some cases, sleep apnea can be a cause.
We hope that you have found this article interesting. Should you have any questions or wish to book an appointment, please get in touch with Apple Tree Dental today.
Article Compiled by AppleTreeDental.ca
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