26 Jul 2020

Night Guards

Protect Your Smile and Improve Your Sleep Quality

Do you grind your teeth? If you have morning headaches or painful jaws after sleeping, you might be doing it without even being aware of it.

In any case, the grinding can cause damage to your teeth and gums over time. Our dentist can fit you for a custom night guard to minimize the damage caused by bruxism.

Bruxism is the medical term for teeth grinding and jaw clenching. Bruxism happens most often at night during sleep. Because you are asleep, you might not realize you are doing it, but it is probably doing damage nonetheless. Symptoms of bruxism that you might notice include morning headaches, painful jaws, face and teeth, tired jaws, and increased sensitivity in your teeth. Your sleep partner might notice the grinding noise. Your dentist can identify damage to your teeth such as worn tooth enamel or loose, chipped, flattened or fractured teeth.

Why Wear a Night Guard?

Wearing a night guard is currently the best option for preventing the damage caused by teeth grinding. In fact, it is the only method that has been proven to work in scientific studies. When you wear a night guard during sleep, you wake up feeling more rested, are free from any pain that might be caused by grinding your teeth together, and reduce or eliminate those morning headaches. At the same time, you protect your teeth from damage.

Advantages of Custom-Fitted Night Guards

You can buy premade night guards in your local store or order them online. However, custom-made night guards have many advantages over these off-the-shelf devices.

  • Better fitting
  • More stable and durable
  • More effective
  • Made to work for your specific grinding pattern
  • Do not come out during sleep as easily
  • Likely to prevent extensive dental work due to teeth grinding

How Are Custom Night Guards Made?

Your dentist first talks to you about the problems and symptoms you are having. After the discussion, the dentist examines your teeth for patterns of wear. You have an impression made of your teeth for the lab to use in making the night guard. The impression and other information is sent to the lab, where technicians mold the night guard over the impression. The guard is hardened and sent back to your dentist, who checks it for fit.

How Do You Take Care of a Night Guard?

Taking care of a night guard is easy, as long as you follow your dentist’s instructions.

  • Store in its container in cool, dry place
  • Rinse after each use
  • Wash weekly with toothpaste and brush
  • Check for damage before weekly washing
  • Bring night guard with you to dental appoitments

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