A night guard is a removable dental appliance that is worn over the teeth to protect them from damage while you sleep. Night guards are also called occlusal guards, bite guards, or bruxism appliances because they are most often used to treat bruxism or teeth grinding and jaw clenching.
Clenching and grinding your teeth puts unnecessary pressure on your jaw joints and muscles. This pressure can damage your teeth and jaws over time. Clenching and grinding can also damage dental restorations, such as inlays and veneers.
A night guard is worn over the teeth during sleep. It prevents your teeth from coming into contact with each other, preventing grinding and clenching. As a result, it reduces the amount of pressure placed on teeth and jaws.
Do I Need One?
If you grind your teeth or clench your jaw at night, you may need a night guard. This can be especially helpful if you experience pain or discomfort.
The manufacturing process for night guards is a little bit different than that of regular mouthguards. It’s normally custom-fitted for the patient’s comfort, ensuring a proper fit. Night guards are designed to protect the patient’s teeth from the effects of clenching and grinding. The clenching and grinding the patient experiences while sleeping could potentially lead to pain and even tooth loss if left untreated.
How Do I Care for My Night Guard?
Caring for your night guard is easy. Simply brush it gently with a soft toothbrush. In addition to cleaning your night guard, you should also clean your teeth before putting them on. This will help prevent any plaque or food particles from becoming trapped between your appliance and your teeth.
You should also keep your night guard away from liquids. This means you should avoid drinking hot beverages while wearing your appliance. You should also avoid eating foods that tend to stain, such as berries, coffee, and tomato ketchup while wearing your night guard.
How Often Should I Replace It?
Night guards can last a long time, but they should be replaced every two to five years. If the guard is cracked or damaged, it should be replaced immediately. Damage can occur from grinding teeth at night or from wear and tear over the years. When guards are damaged or cracked, they do not provide the protection that you and your dentist intended.
To find out more about the dental services we offer at Finesse Dental Care, call (805) 410-9324 or schedule a consultation online. You can also visit Dentist in Thousand Oaks, CA at 860 Hampshire Rd., Suite E, Thousand Oaks, CA 91361.