Night guards are plastic mouthpieces customized to fit your specific bite pattern. They are designed to help prevent bruxism - also known as teeth grinding - during the night. Grinding your teeth can cause serious damage to your teeth.; it scrapes off the enamel on your teeth, increasing the likelihood of cavities, sensitivity, and pain. Grinding your teeth can also cause jaw pain and irritate your gums.
Night guards can be fitted around your teeth to prevent them from scraping, grinding, and chewing in your sleep. They are a cost-effective way to break the habit of teeth-grinding. Here's a breakdown of the different types of night guards available:
Hard night guards are designed as a solid, inflexible mouthpiece that allows your upper and bottom teeth to fit into the guard without being able to contact each other. Hard guards offer exceptional protection against grinding damage, and they boast unmatched durability. Hard acrylic guards are ideal for severe grinders and clenchers and those who cannot keep a soft mouth guard in place throughout the night. They offer very little space for movement, which helps keep them secure as you sleep. While this stability is a benefit, the tightness can be uncomfortable, and it can't adapt to any changes in your bite pattern. Hard guards also offer little relief for neck, jaw, and facial pain that comes as a result of teeth grinding. Although they can protect the enamel and the teeth themselves, the pressure of consistent grinding can still cause pain through the hard guards.
Soft guards are made from a soft, flexible material, so those who grind their teeth frequently will experience reduced jaw pain with this appliance. While they are less durable - some soft guards are only designed to be used for weeks at a time - they offer added comfort and flexibility. Soft guards are easier to manipulate, allowing your teeth ample room for movement. With modern 3D printing technology, it is common to find soft guards that are form-fitted to your teeth, allowing for absolute security and a perfect fit.
Sports guards have a similar design to night guards. They are plastic mouthpieces with a custom fit tailored to your unique bite pattern. Sports guards are used in contact sports such as hockey and football to prevent players from damaging their teeth during play. Oral sports injuries often involve cracked, broken, and knocked-out teeth. From hockey pucks to players' elbows, it is important to protect your teeth from damage. Repairing and replacing teeth can be a costly expense, so protecting your teeth is a much more responsible and less painful alternative.
Custom sports guards are designed and constructed by dental professionals. This requires your dentist to make a mould of your teeth and create a custom mouthpiece from special material tailored to your specific needs. Custom mouth guards can be created with 3D printers, allowing for unmatched precision and accuracy during the construction phase. As a result, you will have a perfect fit designed specifically for your bite.
At Guelph Family Dentistry, our team of trained dental professionals will work with you to make sure you find the perfect product for your needs. Our team is equipped with up-to-date technology to offer you convenient, comfortable dental services. We also offer direct billing through insurance, so payment isn't a hassle.
For more information or to book an appointment for a custom night or sports guard assessment, speak to one of our dental professionals at 519-265-5115 or contact us here.