Night & Mouth Guards
A night guard is a removable appliance, typically made of dental acrylic, that fits one arch of teeth and is custom fitted to your mouth. Night guards are usually prescribed when the patient is aware of a clenching or grinding habit known as bruxism, or when the dentist notices wear patterns on your teeth that are outside of normal function. However, the purpose of a night guard can be multifold.
Goals of a night guard:
- Reduce excessive forces on your teeth or dental restorations
- Prevent unnecessary loss of enamel or other tooth structures
- Maintain integrity of dental porcelain or dental implants in your mouth
- Reduce TMJ or muscle strain
- Retain teeth in their current position
How is a Night Guard made?
This is usually a two appointment process and is generally done after any needed restorations are completed. At the first appointment, impressions (molds) will be made of your teeth. These molds are then sent to the laboratory with a prescription of exactly what kind of appliance to make for your specific situation. After the night guard has been made, it is fitted to your mouth at a second appointment.
I have my new Night Guard, what’s next?
Your dentist will talk to you about the specific times of the day or night you should wear your new appliance. You will also be instructed on how to care for it, but the most important thing to remember is do not leave it accessible to household pets! Your pets love you (and your saliva) and if they can reach your night guard, they can and will chew it to pieces!
A mouth guard is a flexible, removable appliance typically made for high impact situations. Mouth guards can be especially useful for those in braces or similar orthodontic treatments. If you or a member of your family is involved in sports or any other activity in which trauma to the mouth can easily occur, ask us about having a mouth guard made!
Goals of mouth guards:
- Protect soft and hard tissues of the mouth from direct trauma
- Limit the effects of any sustained trauma
Like many other dental appliances, custom fit mouth guards are made using a two appointment process. Impressions (molds) are made of your upper and lower teeth. This is also the time you get to decide what color or additional artwork you might want on your appliance. The new mouth guard is checked for proper fit at a second appointment and you’re on your way to intimidating your competitors!