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Ask the Experts
Dental Night Guard
Do you ever wake up from a night’s sleep with sore jaws and teeth? You could be grinding your teeth.
Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a common condition in which you clench or grind your teeth in sleep. The estimated prevalence rate among adults is between 8% – 30%. It is a condition where you grind your teeth at night and are not even aware of it. Since it happens while you’re sleeping, you have no control over this particular habit.
While there is not a cure for bruxism, doctors globally recommend night guards to help limit overnight clenching and grinding their associated consequences. These protective devices cover your teeth to shield against potential damage.
Over a period of time, grinding or clenching can wear down the teeth. The cause of the bruxism is yet unclear, but the effects can be uncomfortable. It could result in tooth damage, jaw pain, and headaches. Often, the dentist may prescribe a night guard to reduce the damage to your teeth. Night guards help you limit your overnight grinding and clenching. This protective device covers your teeth to shield against potential damage.
What are Night Guards
Night guards are devices that are used for protecting your teeth from grinding or clenching while you are sleeping. They have been found to be very popular in treating bruxism. Night guards cushion your teeth from the force of clenching.
They prevent the teeth from grinding together, preventing headaches, and damaged teeth. They are also called occlusal guards, dental guards, mouthguards, bite splints, or nocturnal bite plates. Night guards are made of soft or hard plastic that cover your top or bottom set of teeth. Night guards can also assist in reducing snoring and provide relief in obstructive sleep apnea.
When to Use Night Guards
You may be suffering from chronic grinding, or the occasional sore jaw, both of which can be a serious problem. Depending on the case, whether the grinding of teeth is new or is it a lifelong habit, it is difficult to dismiss it as a mere annoyance or a serious problem.
If you experience one of the following, it may be time to visit your dentist to talk about a night guard for teeth grinding. You may be required to wear night guards when,
- You are playing a sport or activities where there is a high risk of falling, which can result in facial injuries. A mouth guard can help in the protection of teeth and prevention of injuries to your lips and tongue.
- You are suffering from bruxism and due to which you have conditions of teeth grinding and clenching. It is a sleep-related movement disorder that can cause a variety of problems, such as tooth pain, jaw pain, and sore gums. Sleeping with a nightguard will help to maintain a gap between your top and bottom teeth. Due to this gap, the teeth are not damaged from grinding or clenching.
- You are suffering from sleep apnea, a serious sleep disorder that causes a person to temporarily stop breathing while asleep. The night guard keeps your airway open by pushing your lower jaw and tongue forward.
Types of Night Guards
Night guards act as are coverings for your worn over teeth. You can also use them to protect teeth from injury from teeth grinding and during sports. Three types of night guards are:
1 Stock night guards
A stock nightguard is the most affordable and widely available type of mouthguard available in the market. They are inexpensive and are easily available in most drug stores.
Most of them come in standard sizes, and these stock nightguards only cover your top teeth. Due to their limited size options, stock nightguards are usually uncomfortable and don’t provide a tight fit. Once you are wearing it, it might be hard for you to talk. Dentists generally do not recommend their use.
2 Boil and bite night guards
Boil-and-bite style nightguards have a customized fit without the need to send an impression of your teeth to a lab. These mouthguards can also be bought at any drugstore or sporting goods stores. They are relatively inexpensive. They however offer a better fit than stock mouthguards.
Boil and bite night guards come in one size that you can customize to fit your teeth. This can be done by boiling the night guard till it softens and then placing it over your front teeth and biting down. They come with clear instructions on how to boil the night guard, take it out with tongs, run it under cold water, and place it in your mouth to mold to the shape of your teeth.
The night guard can be rinsed off and used again without any downtime. They are made from thermoplastic material, which softens when placed in hot water. It can be shaped around your teeth using tongue and finger pressure.
This design has several potential benefits. It offers a customized fit without the need to wait for the lab to process your order. Many boil-and-bite style mouthguards can also be remolded, which may be convenient if your teeth shift over time or if you don’t get the right fit on the first try.
3 Custom-fitted night guards
These mouthguards are designed and made in a professional laboratory based on your dentist’s instructions. First, an impression of your teeth is taken, and a mouthguard is then moulded over the model. Due to the use of the special material, extra time and effort are involved.
This custom-made mouthguard is more expensive than the other types, but it provides utmost protection and comfort. As it is custom made, there are fewer chances of accidental dislodge while you are sleeping.
How to Choose a Night Guard for Teeth Grinding
It is true that all night guards for teeth grinding address the same problem, but they vary widely in design. This is because some sleepers require unique custom made mouthguards that fit them right.
What are the factors to consider when purchasing a night guard?
- FitThe most important criteria that affects your mouthguard’s comfort and usability is the fitting. A thick night guard may feel bulky. The night guard that is too loose may be difficult to keep in place throughout the night. You can easily buy one-size-fits-all models at any drug store but most sleepers prefer custom-fit varieties to ensure the night guard stays in its place.
- 2 MaterialsMost night guards are made of durable, heat-cured plastic, but some use acrylic materials. Labs generally use safe, high-quality components that stand up to testing. In case you have latex allergies you need to read the product description carefully to ensure the night guard is latex-free.
- 3 ComfortComfort is a subjective factor and may depend on the fit, materials, and style of your night guard. Custom fits are generally the most comfortable since they are crafted for the individual’s mouth.
- 4 DurabilityNight guards are built to hold up to clenching and grinding. But how long they last will depend on their durability. Those designed for severe or heavy grinding will likely need more durable night guards whereas those designed for light grinding may wear out more quickly.
- 5 StyleYour manufacturer will produce different styles and types of night guards to accommodate diverse requirements and preferences.
- 6 PricePurchasing a mouthguard for teeth grinding that is durable else you might need to replace it every few months. If you buy durable models your night guard might cost more upfront but would require less frequent replacement.
How to Care for Your Night Guard
You must follow the following steps for caring for your night guard.
- The night guard must be rinsed with a mouth rise or cold water before and after each use. It can also be cleaned with a toothbrush and a mild soap.
- Clean the night guard in cool, soapy water and rinse it thoroughly.
- Night guards should be kept in a firm, perforated container to store or transport it.
- It should be protected from high temperatures so that there is no distortion in its shape.
- Check it occasionally for tears or holes as well as its elasticity.
- Bring the night guard to each regularly scheduled dental visit to have your dentist examine it.
- Regularly check for holes or other signs of damage, which means it needs to be replaced.
- Keep your night guard out of reach of any pets, even if the guard is in a container.
One must note that night guards don’t last forever. They should be replaced as soon as you start to notice any holes or signs of wear, or every two to three years. You may need to replace stock and boil-and-bite night guards more frequently.
Why Choose Us REPC Dubai for Night Guard?
Your relationship with your dentist is a very personal one. Hence it is important for you to find dentists in your area you can trust. There are a lot of great dentists in Dubai, but there is something extra-special about our team at REPC Dubai.
Contact our office today to request an appointment today. A team member will reach out to confirm your appointment. Our dentists are always ready to meet you and make sure you leave with a huge smile!
TYes. Since any kind of injury to your face could damage your braces or other fixed appliances. Hence a properly fitted mouthguard may be essential for you if you wear braces or have fixed bridgework.
Your dentist should provide you with the best protection for your mouth. Dentists generally recommend not to wear any kind of orthodontic retainers or other removable appliance while playing contact sports.
Night guards designed for anti-bruxism act as a barrier between your teeth to provide a layer of cushioning. The night guard fits over your upper or lower teeth to prevent contact between the two jaws and protect tooth enamel.