How Do Night Guards Prevent Teeth Grinding

November 1, 2020

Statistics show that up to 30 percent of kids in the US are affected by bruxism. Bruxism is a medical condition characterized by teeth grinding, especially at night. The grinding is often followed by jaw clenching.

Typically, bruxism is not life-threatening, but it can increase the risk of painful conditions such as jaw pains, chipped teeth, and headaches. It also contributes to poor sleep quality.

Currently, there is no cure for bruxism. However, you can minimize the symptoms of the condition through the use of mouthguards and nightguards. These night guards do an excellent job of reducing the clenching and grinding, relieving pain in the process.

A nightguard helps stop bruxism by putting a barrier between a patient’s teeth. When you start clenching your jaw, the mouthguard lightens the tension produced and cushions your jaw muscles. The cushioning helps prevent jaw and face pains. Additionally, the cushioning protects your teeth’ enamel.

You don’t necessarily need a prescription to purchase a mouthguard. However, you must ensure you choose the right mouthguard.

Crucial Considerations While Purchasing a Night Guard

Many things come to play while purchasing a night guard. To purchase the right night guard, here are the crucial things you should consider.

1. Is a Night Guard Necessary?

The first thing you should do before purchasing a mouthguard is to ensure that it will solve your problem. The best way to find out is to visit the dentist. The dentist will assess your condition and advise you accordingly if a nightguard is necessary.

2. Type of Bruxism

Knowing the type of bruxism, you are suffering from helps decide your condition’s best night guard.

  • For daytime bruxism, you should choose a lightweight and thin daytime guard. Daytime guards are often almost invisible.
  • You should consider using a custom-fit mouthguard for moderate bruxism. Make sure it is thick enough, but not too thick.
  • For extreme bruxism, you should choose a thick mouthguard. Ensure it is as comfortable as possible.

3. Your Teeth’ Alignment

It is wise to consider the alignment of your teeth while choosing a mouthguard. Ensure the night guard that you pick provides a perfect fit for your teeth. Choosing a mouthguard that is not compatible with your teeth can deform the alignment completely. This is especially true if you are wearing the night guard for a long time.

4. Type of Mouthguard

While there are loads of mouthguards to choose from, there are typically three types to choose from. They include:

Stock Mouthguards

These types of night guards are ready to wear at any time. They are available in most supporting shops, and they come at a relatively low price. However, most professionals do not recommend buying stock mouthguards since they are often heavy and do not offer maximum protection.

Boil-and-bite

Boil-and-bite mouthguards fit a patient’s teeth perfectly and offer better protection than stock night guards. They are made of softening plastic and boiled with hot water before use. Once the plastic is soft enough, the patient bites into it, and it shapes itself within seconds.

Custom-Fit Night Guards

For maximum protection and ultimate comfort, you should always choose custom-fit mouthguards. They are molded to fit a patient’s mouth perfectly. These mouthguards are not available in stores. They are made in dental clinics. However, they are slightly expensive compared to the other two. They are always worth the price, though.

5. Comfort

It is always crucial to ensure that the mouthguard of your choice is as comfortable as possible. It should solve the bruxism problem and feel comfortable while wearing it. That’s why custom-fit mouthguards are often recommended. They are the most comfortable.

6. The material of the Night Guard

Ensure that the mouthguard is made from BPA-free material. BPA-free materials are good for your health as well as the environment. Remember that you will wear the guard for at least seven hours during the night, and you may end up chewing the plastic unintentionally.

7. Durability

The durability of a mouthguard is majorly determined by the material used. If it can withstand the pressure from your teeth, then it will last for a long time. Custom-fit mouthguards have two layers, and the material used is usually of the highest quality.

Islands Pediatric Dentistry

If you require mouthguards in Gilbert, AZ, you are in the right place. We will assess your condition and make a durable custom-fit mouthguard for you. Our environment is children-friendly, and we are open on Saturdays. Book an appointment now.