Teeth grinding or bruxism is a common condition often resulting from stress or anxiety. Others may experience it due to personality type, medications, and other disorders.
That said, teeth grinding isn’t a fatal oral condition, but it may lead to other problems if you leave it untreated.
If you frequently grind your teeth, especially at night, it may be time to see a dentist about it. Chances are, you will need to use night guards.
What Are Night Guards?
Night guards are mouthpieces you wear over your upper or lower teeth to prevent grinding. In the past, night guards were custom-made, but nowadays, over-the-counter options are available in the market.
People who suffer from bruxism can benefit significantly from night guards since they help prevent tooth grinding, the leading cause of excessive wear and tear of your teeth.
How Do You Determine If You Need Night Guards?
When determining if you require night guards, you should consult your dentist first. They will evaluate the condition of your teeth and jaw and recommend treatment options.
Your dentist may also require x-rays to see the extensiveness of the wear on your teeth and jaw. Now, it’s worth noting that night guards can be a tad expensive, so getting a second opinion can help you get the best value for your money.
Are Custom Night Guards Better Than Over-the-Counter Night Guards?
Over-the-counter night guards are highly accessible and less expensive than their custom counterparts. However, their quality may not be as exceptional as custom night guards, which dentists fit to suit your needs better.
Moreover, every person has unique dental conditions, which over-the-counter night guards may not account for. For instance, іf you have a very narrow jaw, an over-the-counter night guard will probably have too much space, which can make it ineffective.
How Do You Use Night Guards?
Individuals who opt for over-the-counter nightguards can purchase them and wear the night guards like mouth guards to prevent grinding.
On the other hand, if you opt for custom-made night guards, you will need to see a dentist who will take impressions of your upper and lower teeth for a more accurate fitting. The dentist and their team will have the night guards made, and you can fit them to see if they’re comfortable for nightly use.
What Are the Care Instructions for Night Guards?
Nightguards are dental appliances that require proper care to last long, given you will use them constantly.
Below are some things you may need to do to ensure your night guards are in good condition:
1. Clean Your Night Guards Regularly
Bacteria and plaque are the main reasons why dental health suffers. After every use, you will need to brush your night guards to remove the bacteria.
Some night guards may even come with special cleaning instructions on the package, so you need to check for those.
2. Store Your Night Guards Properly
You may accidentally spoil your night guards’ effectiveness with improper storage.
In fact, your night guards can lose their effectiveness due to sunlight, dust, and humidity. For this reason, іt is advisable that you store them in a clean storage case to help preserve their quality.
3. Know When to Replace Your Night Guards
As you know, night guards are dental appliances that may wear out over time, which is why you need to check them regularly to avoid wearing them out.
You will need to replace your night guards after a certain time to maintain their quality. Their life spans can depend on how you use and store them. For example, іf you use your night guards every night, you might need to replace or get them refitted more frequently.
Night guards are important for people who suffer from bruxism or teeth grinding. For this reason, you need to learn how to maintain your night guards to maximize their effectiveness and continue to enjoy good dental health and a beautiful smile.
Are you looking for a dentist in Marietta, GA, to assist with custom night guards? If so, consider booking an appointment with Kabani Dental. We are a family dental clinic happy to help you meet your dental needs and goals. Book with us today. We hope to see you soon!