Night guard aka teeth guard or mouthguard is one of the best solutions to reduce bruxism risks. For the patients who cannot stop teeth grinding at night, a dental guard can save their teeth. So if too grind your teeth or clench your jaw read the post to the end!
What is a night guard?
A night guard (also nightguard) is known with different names such as teeth guard, dental guard, mouthguard, mouth piece, dental splint or occlusal splint.
Night guard is a device made of soft or hard plastic worn over the teeth to protect the teeth against bruxism risks.
If you don’t know what exactly bruxism is, please read the following post too:
Teeth grinding and clenching jaw due to stress, anger or other reasons especially at night sleep time.
Although it is called night guard but it can also be used during the day if you grind and clench your teeth even if you are awake. There are different types of mouth guards for different situations but in general all types of guards are used to protect the teeth against any damages. Most people may mistake mouthguard for teeth guard but actually there is a difference between these two devices!
For example, mouthguards are usually used in sports like boxing to protect the teeth, gums and lips i.e the whole mouth. Mouthguards are harder, thicker and bigger and can’t be used for bruxism problem. But a teeth guard is used to protect patient’s teeth from bruxism and it’s more comfortable. In this post the focus is on dental guard.
A teeth guard can be soft, hard or hybrid and here’s the difference:
Soft dental guard
It’s made of soft material and can be used by patients with normal bruxism.
Hard dental guard
It’s made of harder material to protect patients suffering from sever bruxism. Hard teeth guard is more efficient but it takes more time to get accustomed to.
Hybrid dental guard
It is dual laminate, soft inside and hard outside. If you are a heavy grinder then you need a hybrid nightguard! It is more comfortable, lasts longer and obviously more expensive. you need a dentist to adjust it for you.
Types of night guard
There are two methods to get a dental guard:
■ Readymade night guard
Ready-made night guard aka boil and bite, is made by dental care companies such as Remi, Oral-B, Chomper Labs and etc.
you can purchase pre-made night guards from stores. The price of readymade nightguards is usually under $50.
■ Custom made night guard
A custom made aka dentist made night guard is a high quality dental guard that is made by a dentist. So now an important question may flash your mind!
What is the difference between a readymade night guard and a custom made ?
Actually, most readymade dental guards may not be comfortable while a dentist made is higher quality, well-fitted and way more comfortable. Your dentist takes the impression of your teeth then sends the mold to a dental laboratory and the lab will make a custom-fitted teeth guard for you. Then the dentist will make any necessary adjustments and finally you can use it.
A dentist made is more expensive but it worth it because it’s more comfortable and withstand more than an over-the-counter nightguard.
Cons and pros of nightguard
■ It can save your teeth loss!
■ It is affordable for most people. if cannot afford a dentist made, you can buy a boil and bite (readymade) and mold it by yourself.
■ It is breathable! It separates upper and lower jaw from each other and keeps your airway open. So if you have breathing problem at night, it not only protects your teeth against bruxism but also can be a part of treatment for sleep apnea!
■ You need to clean your device frequently!
If you are suffering from bruxism or TMJ disorder and you need a dental guard, you can get consultation from our professional and experienced dentists at Dentakay clinic.
■ always clean brush and floss your teeth before wearing the guard
■ always keep your guard clean
■ if your night guard is torn you have to go to your dentist in order to make a new one