Top Reasons to Wear Night Guards and Tips to Choose the Right One

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Top Reasons to Wear Night Guards and Tips to Choose the Right One

If you’ve ever watched a contact sport such as rugby, boxing, or ice hockey, you might have noticed a bright-colored or transparent protective device athletes wear in their mouths. It is known as a mouth guard, which was first designed by British dentist Woolf Krause in 1892. Since then, it’s been used in a wide range of contact sports to prevent injuries to athletes’ teeth and gums.

That led to the innovation of another protective dental device, known as the night guard, to ease teeth grinding or bruxism. Over the years, the device has eased the conditions of millions of people around the world and helped many more with several other dental problems.

At TruCare Dentistry, we know how useful night guards can be for people suffering from a wide range of dental conditions. In this blog post, we detail the reasons to wear night guards as well as the different types and tips to choose the right type for specific conditions.

Reasons to wear a night guard

Even though night guards were designed to treat bruxism, they are extremely useful in the treatment of various other dental conditions. Here are some conditions that can be eased by using night guards.

  1. To offset the effect of nocturnal bruxism

This naturally is the major reason to wear a night guard. Nocturnal bruxism, or nighttime teeth grinding, can wear away enamel and cause cracks, chips, and decay in teeth. It can also cause tongue indentations, the locking of the jaw, and many other serious problems. A night guard can offset the impact of nocturnal bruxism and reduce the damage to the teeth and enamel from teeth grinding.

  1. Sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is a serious condition in which breathing stops and starts repeatedly during sleep. The disorder can be treated by using continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines and breathing assistance devices. Even though night guards aren’t the best option for sleep apnea treatment, they can come in handy for people suffering from mild to moderate sleep apnea.

  1. Prevent temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders

The TMJ connects the jawbone to the skull by acting as a sliding hinge. People with severe bruxism put a lot of pressure on the joint, which leads to TMJ disorder and misaligned teeth. A good quality nightguard can eliminate the pressure on the TMJ and relieves the muscles around the jaw. 

  1. Combat plaque buildup

Apart from treating bruxism, a night guard can be useful in many other cases such as to prevent plaque buildup. Plaque usually forms during the night when bacteria and food particles come in contact with the teeth. But wearing a night guard after brushing and flossing properly reduces the chances of plaque formation.

  1. Prevent alterations to bite

Night guards are extremely useful to prevent alterations to bite as well as correct various types of malocclusions, or misaligned teeth. Even though night guards cannot correct serious forms of malocclusions, they can be useful in extremely mild cases. Before considering using a night guard, it is better to consult a qualified and experienced dentist who can provide the right night guard based on teeth condition.

Types of night guards

Over the years, various types of night guards have made their way to the market and that gives a lot of options to people. Here are some popular types of night guards.

  1. Custom-made

Custom-made, or custom-fit, night guards are specially designed as per the impression of a person’s teeth to meet their unique needs. Apart from offsetting the damages of bruxism, they are more comfortable and provide the best protection against plaque formation and cavities. With proper care, they can last for a long time.

  1. Over-the-counter or generic fit

Also known as stock-sized night guards, these are pre-molded to fit any mouth and are readily available in pharmacies, online stores, or drug stores. Even though they can protect against nighttime teeth grinding and other conditions such as sleep apnea and plaque buildup, they don’t fit very well to the teeth and may not last very long.

  1. Adjustable fit

These over-the-counter night guards have adjustable components in them, which makes them customizable. These are extremely useful if one doesn’t have the time to wait for a custom-made nightguard.

  1. Boil-and-bite

These are a type of stock night guards that need to be softened in boiling water before wearing them. The softening process gives it a close fit to your mouth. But using the night guard for a long time can result in shifting of bite as it has not been custom-made for your teeth.

  1. Hard night guards

These night guards are crafted from acrylic, a transparent engineering plastic material with exceptional stiffness, strength, and optical clarity. Being the most durable night guards, they can treat severe bruxism and TMJ cases.

Things to consider while buying a night guard

As there are various types of night guards, it’s extremely crucial to consider the following things before buying one.

  1. Teeth condition

Before selecting a night guard, keep the condition of your teeth in mind and find out the best type that can treat your condition. Custom-made night guards are best for people with overcrowded or crooked teeth. Hard night guards are suitable for individuals who suffer from severe teeth grinding and clenching.

  1. Comfort

Not all night guards are alike. Some are more comfortable than others and can be worn for a long time. When choosing a night guard, you must take the comfort factor into account. For a person with sensitive teeth, a custom-made night guard is extremely comfortable.

  1. BPA-free 

BPA (bisphenol A) is a chemical compound that’s used to make a range of plastics. It has been linked to various health concerns such as cardiovascular risks, hypertension, fertility issues, and hormonal disruption. While looking for a night guard make sure it doesn’t have BPA in it.

In conclusion,

Night guards are extremely effective in treating bruxism and other dental conditions. At TruCare Dentistry, we create custom-made night guards for optimal comfort and different teeth conditions. If you’re looking for a night guard in Roswell, GA, or neighboring areas such as Alpharetta, Dunwoody, Marietta, Milton, Sandy Springs, or Woodstock, contact us to book an appointment. To learn about our services, visit our service page.