Night Guards are a type of covering that you can wear over your teeth in order to protect them from grinding while you sleep. Also known as occlusal guards, they accomplish 3 major functions:
- Reduce the great forces produced by your jaw closing muscles.
- Protect the TMJs from extreme bite stress which can cause dysfunction and damage to the jaw joint components, but also pain.
- Equally distribute bite forces and prevent your teeth from grinding, which canprematurely wear and crack them.
Even better, night guards can even be worn by patients who have bridge work or braces. It’s important though that you take good care of your night guard by rinsing it with cold water before and after using it. In the morning, make sure to wash it with soapy water and rinse it thoroughly before letting it dry. Store it in a perforated container and do not expose it to high temperatures.
Why should I wear a nightguard?
There are actually many reasons why people opt for wearing a nightguard and below we’re going to talk about a few of them.
Severe jaw clenching or grinding will eventually lead to TMJ disorder. This is a very uncomfortable disorder to deal with and it usually starts out with the occasional headache or as a sore jaw in the morning. If you currently experience such symptoms or wake up with an aching jaw, neck pain or face pain, then you could be having a case of TMJ.
If you always wake up with tooth pain in the morning or headaches, then this can be a result of grinding your teeth while sleeping. In order to correct that, it’s recommended that you get a nightguard as soon as possible. Also, once you get it, please be advised that it’s recommended to wear it every day and not just for a week or two.
If you’ve had cosmetic dental work or you’ve repaired your teeth recently, then it’s best that you wear a nightguard, since teeth grinding can certainly damage all the work your dentist has done for your teeth. However, it doesn’t actually matter if you had recent dental work done, since if you grind your teeth at night, then over time this is going to damage them and cause cracks, chips or they can simply wear down. When this happens, your nerves or dentin can become exposed, leading to a wide range of problems and first of all, sensitivity and pain.
Are nightguards comfortable to wear?
Since they are custom made to fit your mouth, nightguards are very comfortable, so you don’t need to worry about feeling discomfort while wearing yours. Also, the material is very durable, so you do not need to worry about damaging them in your sleep.
Caring for your nightguard
It’s also very important that you keep your nightguard in shape by brushing it on a regular basis. In fact, doing so is very simple and all you have to do is brush it using regular toothpaste, lukewarm water and a brush with soft bristles. By doing so, you’ll easily be able to remove the plaque that has built up on it over time. However, if that’s not enough for you, then you should know that there are also special dental solutions that you can use to soak the nightguard. In order to prevent the buildup of bacteria, always dry it properly after that.
How long will my night guard last?
If you get a high quality nightguard and take good care of it, then it’s going to last you for many years. Also, you should store it in a safe place and definitely wash it every day in order to keep it in top sanitary condition. Usually, you’ll be provided with a case by your dentist so that you can store your nightguard in
As you can see, nightguards are very useful if you suffer from TMJ or just want to put an end to grinding your teeth at night and slowly, but surely damage them. Just make sure to get in touch with your dentist and he’s going to help you get one that’s permanently going to solve your teeth grinding problems.