A night guard is a custom-made oral appliance that's designed to help protect your smile from the effects of teeth grinding and clenching, also known as bruxism. This habit can occur during the day while you're awake or at night while you sleep. It's likely that people with a habit of grinding their teeth don't even realize they're doing it; however, those who wake up with a sore jaw often realize it's happening. Your dentist can create a custom-fitted night guard that is worn over the biting surface of your teeth while you sleep to prevent you from damaging your teeth from grinding.
Most cases of bruxism are triggered by sleeping habits. For instance, people who snore may experience clenching of the jaws while they sleep, which can result in the wear of the enamel over time. Also, some people experience stress and anxiety that can cause them to grind or clench their teeth while they're asleep unconsciously. In other cases, certain medications can cause teeth-grinding problems as well. The important thing to do is to identify and address the root cause of your bruxism. Once this is done, a night guard can help prevent further damage to your teeth and jaw.
It takes two appointments to get a custom night guard from your dentist. At the first appointment, the dentist will take an impression of your teeth and send it off to the lab that will fabricate your custom night guard. While the lab is making your night guard, you'll be fitted with a soft plastic temporary appliance that is very similar in shape to your final night guard. This temporary appliance will protect your teeth in the meantime while your permanent night guard is being made. Once the lab receives the impression, you'll come in for a second appointment to have your new night guard permanently bonded to your teeth. Your dentist will then check your bite and make sure everything is fitting properly.
Once your new night guard is in place, you should follow a few recommendations to protect your custom device and ensure it lasts for as long as possible. First, you should brush both your teeth and your night guard every night with a soft toothbrush and nonabrasive toothpaste. You should also rinse out your mouth with an alcohol-free mouthwash before wearing it each night. Finally, you should avoid eating sticky or crunchy foods while wearing your appliance, as well as using your teeth as tools to open packages or cut tape. By following these simple steps, you can help extend the life of your night guard and prevent it from breaking prematurely.
While sleeping, our jaws and teeth rest in a neutral position – with the upper and lower teeth slightly separated. This resting position is natural and helps to maintain proper oral health. However, some people do experience pain while sleeping. In some cases, people may grind their teeth while they're asleep or clench their jaws too tightly. Over time, this can cause the teeth to wear down prematurely or cause sensitivity in the teeth and jaw joints. Fortunately, night guards can help prevent these problems.
A night guard can be either a full-coverage mouthguard or a splint worn only on the upper teeth. Both options provide a custom fit that positions the lower jaw slightly forward to help maintain a comfortable and relaxing sleep. Most patients begin the night guard-wearing process by wearing it a few hours per night for a few weeks and then gradually adding more hours each night until it becomes a regular part of the nightly routine. Each night guard is custom-made for each patient to ensure the most comfortable fit possible. When properly cared for, a night guard can last for five to ten years.
We request you schedule a consultation with our team of dental experts to get all your oral concerns addressed at the earliest. Please call us at (435) 713-0096 or schedule an online consultation, and we'll be happy to help.
274 N, Spring Creek Pkwy, Providence, UT 84332
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Tuesday : 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
Wednesday : 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
Thursday : 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
Friday : 8:30 am - 3:00 pm
Saturday : Closed
Sunday : Closed