What are night guards?

What is a dental night guard?

A night guard is an oral appliance that you wear while you sleep. It functions like an athletic mouth guard, protecting your teeth from further damage during the night.

Oral appliances are essentially mouth guards, but they are more advanced. They fit over your teeth like a retainer, but function like an athletic mouth guard. Your jaw still moves, but the teeth are protected.

How a night guard protects your teeth

A night guard is a custom-made oral appliance worn at night to protect your teeth from damage caused by nighttime teeth grinding. During sleep, the jaw muscles tend to relax and clench together naturally. If you’ve suffered from nighttime teeth grinding, the clenching action can lead to severe damage to your teeth.

A night guard keeps your teeth from touching and rubbing against each other. It prevents tooth sensitivity and repairs damage to the enamel caused by teeth grinding.

Do night guards work?

It’s estimated that approximately 70% of adults grind their teeth at night. This can occur most commonly during sleep, but it can also occur during times of stress throughout the day. While it’s not a condition in and of itself, tooth grinding, also called bruxism, can lead to TMJ disorders, damaged dental work, and even tooth loss.

Fortunately, night guards can prevent these consequences by supporting the jaw and teeth, keeping them from meeting together. Like any treatment, the effectiveness of night guards will vary from person to person.

Types of night guards explained

Night guards are typically worn at night to help prevent grinding your teeth. They can also help protect teeth from clenching and relieve jaw pain.

There are two types of night guards available: stock and custom.

A stock night guard is the least expensive option. It provides a low level of protection, and can be easily molded at home. But, it does not provide a good fit that minimizes grinding.

A custom night guard is more expensive, but it provides better protection. It can be designed to fit your mouth, and is very durable.

How are night guards made?

Custom night guards can be created by using an impression or mold of your teeth. They can be made using a soft material, such as plastic, or a hard material, such as ceramic or porcelain.

Your custom night guard will be designed to fit comfortably in your mouth and will prevent your teeth from grinding together, which protects them from damage and pain.

Night guard vs. Mouth guard: What's the difference?

A night guard is a type of dental appliance that is worn at night. It provides a protective barrier between the teeth and excessive grinding (bruxism) or clenching. The severity of bruxism can sometimes be treated through proper oral hygiene and lifestyle changes, but some people may need a night guard to stop the grinding. Bruxism can cause severe tooth wear, jaw pain, tooth sensitivity, and headaches among other symptoms.

A mouth guard, on the other hand, is worn for sports or recreational activities. Mouth guards protect the teeth and gums from injury.

How much does a night guard cost

The cost of a night guard can vary based on your needs and your dentist’s preferred materials. Typically, a custom night guard costs more than a night guard that you can buy over-the-counter.


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