Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is a condition that affects millions of Americans. Often, it is an unconscious habit that the afflicted is not even aware they are engaging in. One of the most common times that bruxism manifests is at night, when there is nothing you can consciously do to stop yourself. For these cases, HomeTown Dental at Belknap recommends the use of a night mouthguard.
What Is a Night Mouthguard?
We often hear a lot of confusion over the differences between a night mouthguard and an athletic mouthguard. While both are devices placed inside the mouth to protect the teeth, jaw, and other surrounding structures, they are worn in entirely different circumstances. While an athletic mouthguard is worn while practicing or playing sports and participating in other recreational activities as a way to protect against injury, a night mouthguard is only worn to prevent grinding and teeth clenching at night.
Types of Night Mouthguards
In general, there are two types of night mouthguards, ones you can get over-the-counter and ones that are custom-fitted to your unique mouth. Over-the-counter night guards are cheap and can be found at most retail stores or online, but they offer only a fraction of the protection for only a fraction of the duration, and are completely inadequate for people who violently grind their teeth. Our professional recommendation is to always opt for the guard that will fit you best and offer you the best protection for the longest amount of time. A custom-fit guard requires you to come into our office so we can create a mold of your teeth that allows the guard to be ultra-precise and incredibly strong.
Do You Need to Wear a Night Mouthguard?
Not everyone needs to wear a mouthguard at night. Night mouthguards are really only useful for children and adults who grind their teeth at night. While night mouthguards can be potentially pricy, they are much cheaper than restorative dentistry procedures to fix chipped and broken teeth, or even surgery to repair jawbone damage. Investing in a quality night mouthguard is investing in the future of your teeth.
How to Care for Your Night Mouthguard
Caring for your night guard is very simple and easy. As long as you take good care of your mouthguard, a custom-fit one should last you for years. Simply rinse your guard each morning and then brush it with your toothbrush. You can use toothpaste, but make sure it is non-abrasive or you can damage the guard. Always store it somewhere dry so that bacteria does not have a chance to form on the guard. Periodically, you should also perform a deep clean using mouthwash, denture cleaner, or vinegar and hydrogen peroxide.
Looking to Get a Night Mouthguard?
Protecting your teeth while you are asleep can be very difficult, so we highly recommend getting one if you know that you grind and clench your teeth while sleeping. If you are looking to get a night guard, or just have questions about them, then give HomeTown Dental at Belknap a call at 682-204-5735 and we can help you today!