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How a Night Guard Protects Your Teeth

A girl with tooth pain

Waking up with a sore jaw, tooth pain, or a headache is no fun. These are common symptoms of bruxism, also known as teeth grinding. 10-15 percent of adults, according to the American Dental Association, struggle with bruxism, and that’s not including children who grind their teeth. Bruxism can be hard to control and stop since it happens while we sleep, but one way to protect your teeth from the damaging effects of grinding is to wear a night guard.

What is a night guard?

Night guards are hard, medium, and soft devices that protect your teeth from external damage, such as chipping and erosion, caused by grinding. They provide a cushioning effect so that the upper and lower teeth don’t wear away as they rub against each other, but they do not stop the grinding which means symptoms, like jaw pain, may continue.

Can retainers be used as night guards?

While hard night guards and retainers may look alike, they are not interchangeable. Never use a normal retainer as a night guard, because it doesn’t have the necessary thickness to withstand the pressure of grinding. Also, avoid using night guards as retainers.

Where can I get a night guard?

The best place to get a custom, proper-fitting night guard that will not damage your teeth or soft tissue is from your dentist. Expertly designed night guards are made in a laboratory from an impression of your teeth taken by dental professionals which ensure comfort and quality. Schedule your appointment today!

Cleaning and Storing Your Night Guard

It’s important to clean and store your night guard correctly to keep it in good shape. Always rinse it after you take it out, and then brush it with your soft bristled toothbrush (but not with toothpaste). In order to prevent bacterial growth, give it time to air dry before placing it in its case or leave it on your nightstand instead of in the bathroom.

Ask Us About a Night Guard

If you think you might have bruxism, come talk to us about it right away. We will fit you with a night guard as well as discuss other methods of reducing symptoms, such as lowering stress levels and receiving orthodontist treatment if misaligned teeth are a contributing factor.

Thank you for trusting us to take care of your dental needs!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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