What are night guards?
Night guards are like an athletic mouthguard, being an oral appliance that covers and protects your teeth. The difference is that you wear a night guard while you sleep.
What do night guards do?
The primary purpose for night guards is to prevent you from grinding and clenching your teeth while sleeping. This condition is called bruxism, and it can damage your teeth and jaw if done chronically. The guard protects your teeth by cushioning the mouth and giving teeth a smooth surface to slide against.
What types of night guards are there?
There are generic stock night guards, a boil and bite guard that you can form to fit your teeth, and a custom-made guard created by your dentist. Though the custom-made guard is more expensive, it is the best choice because it fits your mouth well and lasts for many years.
How are custom-made night guards created?
Your dentist will take an impression of your teeth so your guard will have a customized fit. This impression is sent to a dental lab, where they create the thin, clear acrylic guard to protect your smile.
How do I care for a night guard?
Clean the guard before and after use, always using cool water to prevent warping. You will store your night guard in a container to protect it, but make sure this container has good air circulation and is located in a cool, dry place.