Night guards form a layer of protection between your top and bottom teeth and provide a soft cushion designed to be worn down over time. Night guards can also offer additional support to your jaw as they provide a different position for your muscles to rest in.
For many people, tooth grinding also happens throughout the day. Many unknowingly clench or grind their teeth due to stress encountered in our day to day lives.
Night guards are a preventative measure to help avoid the chipping or fracturing of teeth. They also help reduce corrosion which can speed up the deterioration of your teeth.
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Night Guard Fitting Process
- We will take an imprint of your teeth
- After about a week, our lab will have created a custom night guard for you.
- All you have to do is insert it at night before you go to bed and take it out in the morning.
To clean your night guard, you can use a denture/retainer cleanser from your local pharmacy. It’s also recommended to brush the night guard to help remove plaque build-up.
Signs You Need a Night Guard
You wake up with a headache
Tension headaches are common in people with bruxism, also known as teeth grinding. It’s caused by the pressure placed on your jaws while grinding – your jaw is connected to the rest of your head, after all.
You wake up with tooth pain or jaw pain
This is a telltale sign – the pressure on your jaw and teeth can cause serious damage! Some people even experience earaches – it’s all connected. Soreness, inflammation, and more can all be caused by nighttime teeth grinding.
You have visible signs of tooth wear
All that pressure and grinding can quickly wear your teeth down. This is one of the reasons that it’s so important to visit your dentist on a regular basis – you might not notice that your teeth are worn down, but your dentist most certainly will.
You hear clicking or popping when you open your mouth
Clicking and popping are almost always caused by problems with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). TMJ problems are commonly caused by bruxism. The joint becomes worn down through overuse, which can cause a whole host of different problems. If you hear clicking or popping when you open or close your mouth, it’s a good idea to talk to your dentist right away – the problem can become more serious.
Your sleep (or the sleep of those around you) is being disrupted
Tooth grinding isn’t a pleasant experience for the person grinding their teeth – or for anyone sleeping next to them. If you’re waking yourself up because of bruxism – or you’re waking up the people around you – it’s time for a night guard.
Should you wear a night guard every night? You should – for as long as your dentist tells you to wear a night guard. Your bruxism may resolve itself over time. Be sure to clean your night guard thoroughly every morning or every night before wearing it!
Can a night guard change your bite? It depends. If you buy a night guard from a store, whether it’s bite-and-boil or a stock night guard, it can shift your teeth, as the night guard is not perfectly fitted to your mouth. Custom night guards shouldn’t move your teeth.
How do I know if I clench my teeth at night? Check out the signs that you need a night guard listed above – tension headaches, tooth wear, jaw pain, and disrupted sleep can all be indicators that you’re clenching your teeth at night.
How can I relax my jaw when I sleep? Be mindful of teeth grinding during the day – if you notice you’re grinding your teeth, gently place your tongue between your teeth to train your jaw muscles to relax. Exercise your jaw, place a warm cloth on your cheeks before bed, and use a night guard.