A night guard is a preventative device that protection your teeth, gums, jaws and musculature from grinding and clenching.
What is a night guard?
A night guard is a custom made appliance that protects against clenching or grinding at night.
What if I clench or grind my teeth during the day?
For people find themselves clenching and grinding during the day, a day guard can be made. “Occlusal Guard” is the term that includes both night guard and day guard appliances.
Why is clenching or grinding one’s teeth a bad thing?
Answer: Many experience jaw discomfort or pain from grinding at night. The discomfort can occur on either one side or both at once. Other consequences of grinding including wearing down your teeth, gum recession, and/or bone loss. Sometimes patients experience one or two of these issues, sometimes all of them.
Another downside to grinding is that it puts additional pressure and stress on any previous dental work you have. This extra stress can cause your existing fillings or crowns to break. An occlusal guard will protect any dental work that you may already have.
Are occlusal guards comfortable?
Yes! In fact, Dr. Andrew Moshman wears a night guard every day. Feel free to ask him about it.
What does getting a night guard involve?
The night guard is made over the course of two brief appointments. During the first appointment the dentist takes a mold of your teeth. In between the appointments the mold is sent to a dental laboratory where the night guard is custom fabricated. During the next appointment the night guard is calibrated to your bite, so it fits comfortably.
How much time in between each appointment?
Usually two weeks, but it can be done faster if needed.
What are the instructions for using a night guard?
Very Simple. After flossing and brushing your teeth at night, wear your nightguard to bed. In the morning rinse it with cold water (you can brush it with a toothbrush and soap and water if needed) and then place it in its case.
How often should I wear my nightguard?
The more nights you wear it, the better. Just like brushing and flossing!