Night guards are a helpful treatment for people who grind and clench their teeth at night. A night guard is a mouth guard worn overnight to protect your teeth, jaw bones, and jaw joints from wear and tear caused by night grinding and clenching. Many people clench their jaws at night to express their tension from the day. Some people have discomfort the next day as a result of clenching. There are various types of night guard Richmond and your orthodontist will recommend the best one for your case based on your unique treatment needs. Furthermore, the severity of your bruxism is the most important deciding factor.
An overview of night guards
Night guards are dental accessories made of plastic that fit over the upper teeth. When you grind or clench the teeth, much force is passed to the night guard rather than the teeth. The severity of the grinding will often cause deep grooves to emerge in the night guard. Night guards prevent the same force from causing tooth damage. Without a night guard, the enamel might be significantly worn away, resulting in tooth sensitivity. Teeth can also be damaged or fractured, necessitating costly restorative dental procedures to fix them.
How to obtain a custom night guard
Your dentist can create a personalized night guard for you. They have the tools and resources to take a mold of your teeth and manufacture the customized night guard on-site. When the guard is complete, you will have an in-person fitting where your dental healthcare practitioner will confirm the correct fit and make any required changes. Custom-fit night guards have the added benefit of allowing you to bring your night guard to your dentist for a health check. Your dentist may inspect for cracks, do a sterilizing cleaning, and advise you on cleaning practices and when to replace the mouth guard (usually every few years, but it depends on wear and tear).
How to clean your night guard
You are recommended to brush the night guard with a toothbrush and toothpaste before rinsing it with warm water. Your dentist may also provide an antibacterial solution to soak your night guard to eradicate any foreign germs. During the day, keep your night guard in its protective case (which you should also clean), but ensure it has air so it can dry and prevent bacteria recurrence.
When to replace your night guard
When you first get your new night guard, it will be glossy and smooth, but it may become rough and develop small cracks after a while. These tiny fractures not only provide a breeding ground for germs but can also cause gum damage at night and provide a pathway for bacteria to enter your body. When your night guard begins to show wear symptoms, consult your dentist about changing it.
It might take some time to wear a night guard or mouth guard. Be patient the first few times you put on a new mouth guard, and remember that it will seem more “normal” the more you do it. If you are new to wearing protective gear, even custom-fit choices may feel strange in your mouth. Be aware that your mouth will adjust to the presence of a guard. Call Juan M. Carrillo, DMD, to schedule your meeting today to learn more about night guards.