Have you been experiencing unexplainable tooth pain or chipping? Do you wake up with a headache or sore jaw? You might benefit from a dental night guard if you answered yes to these questions.
Night guards are appliances worn while sleeping. They protect your teeth from grinding and clenching, which can cause severe damage. This article will answer some common questions about dental night guards.
What Are Night Guards Made Of?
Night guards are made from various materials ranging from soft to hard.
Soft Night Guards
Soft night guards are often preferred by those with sensitive teeth or limited jaw mobility. They’re made from materials like silicone and are less bulky than tough ones. Furthermore, they conform to the shape of the teeth and provide a more comfortable fit. But they are also less durable, and you may need to replace them more frequently.
Hard Night Guards
Whereas companies make hard night guards out of materials such as acrylic. They’re more durable but can be uncomfortable to wear. So, you need to weigh the advantages and disadvantages before deciding on a night guard. Also, be aware of the potential side effects, as JS Dental Lab discusses on its site.
Ultimately, your night guard should fit comfortably over your teeth. Ensure it does its job to protect your teeth and mouth against grinding or clenching during sleep.
Do I Need a Custom-made Night Guard?
While over-the-counter night guards are available, they are typically one-size-fits-all. This means that they may not fit your mouth correctly. You may suffer discomfort and pain when it doesn’t fit your mouth.
Getting a custom-made night guard made by a professional dentist is preferred. This ensures you get the proper fit and protection. A dentist will take impressions of your teeth and create a night guard that fits perfectly.
There are also companies that can help make you a custom-made night guard. So, do some research before buying an over-the-counter night guard. Finding a comfortable one is essential to helping combat grinding your teeth.
How Do I Care for My Night Guard?
Proper care is essential to ensure your night guard lasts long and remains effective. First of all, rinsing it regularly is vital. To do this, rinse your night guard with water every morning after use. You must also clean it weekly with a mild soap and a soft-bristled brush. Ensuring it stays clean will help it last for a long time, and you won’t have to replace it within a few short months.
Avoid using hot water or toothpaste, which can damage the night guard. Also, store your night guard in a well-ventilated container to prevent bacterial growth.
Can I Talk and Drink Water While Wearing a Night Guard?
You can still drink water while wearing a night guard. But you should avoid hot drinks, which can cause the night guard to warp.
Talking may be a bit difficult with a night guard, but it should not be impossible. The night guard may feel bulky in your mouth at first, but you will get used to it with time.
Can a Night Guard Help With Snoring?
Night guards help with teeth grinding and clenching but also ease snoring. Night guards position your jaw forward, which can help to open up your airway and reduce snoring. However, it must be noted that not all snoring is due to the jaw position. Therefore, a dental night guard may not be an effective treatment for all snorers.
Weight gain, obstruction of the nose, sleep apnea, or a physical abnormality in the area of the mouth and throat are a few of the causes of snoring. A night guard might not help reduce snoring if the source of the problem is not related to the position of the jaw.
If you’re unsure of what is causing your snoring, it’s best to consult with your doctor first. They can provide guidance on whether a night guard may reduce your snoring.
A dental night guard may be a practical solution if you grind or clench your teeth at night. It can also help if you suffer from jaw pain or headaches.
Custom-made night guards are the most effective and comfortable option. And, of course, proper night guard care is crucial in ensuring it lasts long and remains effective.
Night guards may not cure all dental and sleep-related problems. Yet, they are a viable and non-invasive option for many people. Talk to your dentist to see if it may be a good solution.
I’m a writer, artist, and designer working in the gaming and tech industries. I have held staff and freelance positions at large publications including Digital Trends, Lifehacker, Popular Science Magazine, Electronic Gaming Monthly, IGN, The Xplore Tech, and others, primarily covering gaming criticism, A/V and mobile tech reviews, and data security advocacy.