Overview of Nightguards: What You Need to Know
Do you grind your teeth at night or during the day? Are you tired of the annoying headaches, jaw pain, and stiffness? If so, you may be a candidate for a nightguard. Your teeth, jaw, and insanity are important, and there is a solution.
What is a nightguard?
A night guard looks and feels similar to a retainer. They are made of heat-cured and hardened plastic or ethylene vinyl acetate that is safe for oral usage. They are uniquely fitted to your mouth and are made to last.
The night guard is not actually made to stop the clenching, but to minimize or take away the harmful consequences of it.
Depending on the condition, night guards usually last patients up to 5 years. However, the purpose is to guard the teeth from wearing down, so if you begin to notice your night guard thinning badly, you should replace it.
On the other hand, a properly administered guard from our dentists can last up to 10 years, assuming it is cared for properly.
What should I know when choosing a nightguard?
There are many choices to make when it comes to choosing a nightguard. First, you need to choose between a soft, hard, hybrid or retainer guard.
- The soft guard has been known to feel the most comfortable. They are flexible and soft on the teeth. Soft night guards are made for patients who tend to be light clenchers or grinders as well as patients with sensitive teeth. However, they do tend to wear down faster than others and are not generally recommended by dentists because of the lack of support provided to the teeth.
- Another option is the hard mouth guard. This one is made of acrylic and is the thickest (and obviously hardest) option. While it can be less comfortable, it is the most durable option and tends to last much longer than the soft or hybrid options (which can wear down relatively fast if the condition is bad). These provide patients who are heavy grinders maximum protection and are generally recommended by dentists for these reasons.
- The hybrid nightguard option provides a perfect mix for those not completely willing to sacrifice comfort, but still want durability. They feature a hard acrylic exterior and a soft layer on the inside for cushion.
- Finally, the retainer guard is the perfect option for those seeking to protect teeth from shifting while preventing clenching and grinding. They will feel similar to the hard guard, but are slightly less bulky.
Patients should also be sure to find a night guard that fits them correctly. With generics, this can often be hard to find and an ill-fitting guard can lead to other potential issues. However, they do come in multiple sizes and it is possible to find the right fit for you.
Ideally, our dentists can custom fit your guard for your mouth specifically, eliminating the need for an extensive trial and error process.
You should also consider when choosing your guard is whether to get a top or bottom set. While this is mostly based on personal preference, it also depends on comfort, practicality, and the condition of your teeth. Top guards are most popular because it stays out of the way of the tongue and does not hinder speech as much as a bottom guard.
The condition of your teeth is also important to consider. You can pick the row of teeth that is the straightest and able to adjust well.
Night guards are a great tool for people looking to protect their teeth from wear and tear of clenching and grinding. There are tons of options out there. These are some tips and things to consider when choosing yours.
Call Advanced Cosmetic and Family Dentistry in Alpharetta, GA. Schedule a consultation with one of our dentists to discuss the nightguard options we offer to our patients.
Good luck and happy restful sleep!
Posted by Advanced Cosmetic and Family Dentistry
4205 North Point Parkway, Building D, Alpharetta, GA 30022