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Dental Night Guards: All You Need To Know

Dental Night Guards are becoming more and more common these days mainly due to the stress that is increasing in everyone’s life. They are the perfect solution to bruxism (grinding of teeth in the night).

What are Dental Night Guards?

Dental night guards are plastic trays for your teeth which you need to wear before you sleep. This will help in reducing the forces which is applied to your teeth when you clench or grind your teeth while sleeping during the night unknowingly.

They act as a cushion to prevent your teeth from wearing off. It can be worn on either the upper or the lower jaw as per the comfort. The dental night guard might wear off in time and will have to be replaced.

When are the Dental Night Guards used?

Your dentist will advise dental night guard for you when you might have:

  1. 1. Bruxism: Bruxism is grinding of teeth during night. It mainly is due to stress. You might have muscle pain in and around your joint when you get up in the morning and also your teeth might start attriting with time.
  2. 2. Temporomandibular Joint Disorders: Not just your teeth but also your muscles and the TMJ is affected when you clench while sleeping. The forces are transmitted to the joint and the pain starts. It effects the disc of the joint as well as the muscles surrounding it. If you wear a night guard, less forces will be transmitted to the joint.
  3. 3. Constant Headaches: When everything else is ruled out and you know you clench your teeth in the night, this can be a reason for constant headaches. A night guard will help. The forces transmitted will be less.
  4. 4. Sleep Apnea: Night guards can be helpful in patients with sleep apnea. The guard keeps the mouth a little open which helps the person breathe.

What are the indications for using Dental Night Guards?

  1. 1. Severe jaw pain when you get up in the morning
  2. 2. Attrition of teeth along with sensitivity
  3. 3. Headaches
  4. 4. Not getting a good night sleep due to pain in and around the joint muscles
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Where should you get the Dental Night Guards from?

Night guards can be customized for you by your dentist. Ready made dental night guards are available but are not that effective.

Visit your dentist and they will take impressions of your teeth and get the dental night guards made for you.

How are Dental Night Guards made?

When you visit your dentist, he or she will take impressions of your upper and/or lower jaw.
A model of your teeth will be made out of the impressions.
The dental night guard which is a think transparent plate will be made over the model (cast) and your dentist will give it to you.

What are the different types of Dental Night Guards?

  1. 1. Hard night guards: These night guards are made from acrylic which is hard and is mainly given to people who have severe clenching and TMJ problems. They are harder than the other night guards so are difficult to adjust with. They are more durable as they are hard.
  2. 2. Soft night guards: Soft night guards are mainly given to those who are light grinders and do not have much problem. These soft night guards are not durable and are given for a very less time or can be worn occasionally.

How to clean your Dental Night Guards?

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Caring for the night guard is very important as it is for the dentures.

  1. 1. Clean the night guard everyday before and after use.
  2. 2. Wash it with water which will help in removing the debris.
  3. 3. You can use a toothpaste to clean it but it is not necessary.
  4. 4. Make sure not to use hot water as that might change the size and position of the night guard.
  5. 5. Clean the case of the night guard 2-3 times every week.
  6. 6. Keep in a warm dry place and not in a humid area or in direct sunlight.

Ready to save your teeth from bruxism?

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This blog provides general information about dental night guards. The opinion and content on this blog is only for conversational purposes and should not be interpreted as medical or dental advice pertaining to any particular individual. If the reader or any other person has a medical or a dental concern, he or she should consult with an appropriate licensed medical practitioner or a dentist.

4 thoughts on “Dental Night Guards: All You Need To Know”

  1. Very nice. Yes night gaurds are very important tool to combat the jaw pain and to protect the teeth in patients with anxiety also.

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