What Are the Benefits of Wearing a Night Guard?

Posted April 29, 2024 in Dentistry
A happy woman with a towel on her head holds a clear night guard for teeth.

Do you clench or grind your teeth at night? Many people do, and often without knowing it. Your dentist will know as soon as they examine your teeth and may recommend that you wear a night guard. This blog discusses the benefits of wearing a night guard and why you should get one that is custom-fitted by your dentist.

3 Min Read:

What Is a Night Guard?

Protecting your teeth is vital, especially from damage that happens when you aren’t aware of it. Approximately one in ten people suffer from bruxism, or involuntary teeth grinding and clenching. This often occurs when sleeping or napping, so many people don’t realize they do it until they experience recurring jaw pain or a chipped tooth. 

If you struggle with bruxism, your dentist can prescribe a night guard. A night guard is a dental device that acts as a barrier between your lower and upper teeth. It is designed to be worn every night while you sleep to protect your teeth.

How Do I Know if I Need a Night Guard?

There are some symptoms of bruxism that serve as clues to this involuntary behavior, including:

  • Tooth chipping or fracture
  • Facial or tooth pain
  • Tooth sensitivity to hot and cold
  • Excessive wear on the teeth or enamel loss
  • Lesions on the inner cheeks
  • Jaw pain
  • Fatigue

Your dentist can help determine if a night guard is right for you.

What Are the Benefits of Wearing a Night Guard?

As simple as this dental device may seem, using one is a smart decision with many benefits.

  1. Reduces Tooth Damage: Tooth grinding can cause damage to the enamel, tooth colored fillings, and crowns, or result in chipped or cracked teeth. Wearing a night guard prevents contact between the upper and lower rows of teeth and protects against damage.
  2. Prevents Pain: A night guard can fend off pain associated with clenching teeth, including headaches and jaw pain.
  3. Improves Sleep: Using a night guard can reduce snoring and alleviate jaw stress, improving sleep quality so you can get the restorative rest you need.
  4. Saves You Money: Damage caused by clenching and grinding teeth can require expensive dental work and harm the work you already have. A night guard is a wise investment in your physical and financial well-being.

If you’re waking up with pain and discomfort in your jaw, Dr. Tomazin and his caring team can help you find relief.

Are Custom Mouth Guards Better?

The short answer is yes. Over-the-counter night guards are often one-size-fits-all. This can irritate the gums, can be uncomfortable, and may lead to an unstable TMJ and bite imbalance. We recommend a custom-fitted night guard for the most comfortable fit and precise protection. 

During your appointment, an impression of your teeth will be taken. This impression will then be used to create a night guard that perfectly matches your unique bite and alignment.

How Long Does a Night Guard Last?

A night guard can last for years if you take good care of it. Caring for your night guard involves:

  • Rinse it with warm water as soon as you remove it from your mouth
  • Brush with a toothbrush (but no toothpaste) and a gentle soap
  • Allow your night guard to dry completely
  • Store it in a protective case, as steam from the bathroom can cause the night guard to warp
  • Keep out of reach of pets. (Pets love to chew on them, especially our dogs)

Taking care of your night guard is easy and ensures your custom-fitted device will protect your teeth for years. 

Interested in Learning More About Dental Night Guards and Teeth Grinding in Riverside, CA?

We’re here to help! Fill out our online contact form or call (951) 686-3666. We look forward to assisting you on your journey toward dental and holistic health.