A night guard is a mouthguard used to protect your teeth while you sleep. It’s worn over the top of your teeth to prevent clenching and grinding, which can eventually lead to problems with your jaw joint. It can also prevent headaches or pain in your temporomandibular joints (TMJ).
Types of Night Guards
There are two different types of night guards available. One type involves wearing a customized mouthpiece that is molded to your mouth using special materials. The other option involves wearing an over-the-counter guard that is typically made of plastic or soft material. Both types can be worn on the top teeth or the bottom teeth. They’re usually comfortable and aren’t noticeable while sleeping. However, it’s important to use the right cleaning technique when you wear a mouthguard nightly.
Caring for the Night Guard
It’s important that you clean your night guard properly to prevent it from getting stained. Simply brushing it with a toothbrush and water is sufficient to keep it fresh and clean. Never place the guard in a dishwasher or microwave to clean it. These can damage the materials used to make the mouthguard and make it less effective over time. You could also soak it in mouthwash or a diluted vinegar mixture to get rid of any bacteria that can cause odors.
When Are Night Guards Used?
If you grind or clench your teeth while you’re sleeping, you may be damaging your enamel as well as increasing your risk of experiencing tooth sensitivity and other TMJ-related problems. This condition is known as bruxism. A night guard is an oral appliance that’s worn at night to protect your teeth from the effects of teeth grinding and clenching.
A night guard is custom-made to fit your mouth comfortably. Your dentist will take impressions of your teeth so that your appliance fits correctly when you wear it. This appliance will help to prevent you from damaging your teeth while you sleep.
In addition to being helpful for people who suffer from nocturnal bruxism, a night guard can also benefit people who snore heavily and those with sleep apnea. Unlike snoring, which can be caused by obstructed airways, sleep apnea is often caused by loose tissue in the throat area, which makes sleeping difficult. Wearing a special night guard can help keep this tissue in place and make sleeping more comfortable. Similarly, obstructive sleep apnea is caused by obstruction of the airway during sleep. Wearing a night guard can help prevent this from occurring by keeping the jaw in the right position.
How Are Night Guards Made?
Our dentists create customized night guards for our patients. We make an impression of your teeth and then design a custom-fitted guard for you to wear while you sleep. These night guards are made out of a variety of materials, including acrylics, hard plastics, soft plastics, and vinyl. The fabrication process will vary slightly depending on which material your night guard is made from.
If our dentist takes an impression of your mouth and makes a mold of your teeth, this will be sent off to a lab where your night guard will be custom-made. Once it is ready, you will return to our office to have it fitted.
To find out more about the dental services offered at our dental practice, call (505) 292-8515 or go online to schedule a consultation. You can also visit us at 8400 Osuna Rd NE, Suite 5B, Albuquerque 87111.