What is a Night Guard?
A night guard, also known as a mouth guard, is a device made from plastic, usually acrylic or polymer, that can be custom-made to fit the shape of your teeth and jaw. The guard is worn whilst sleeping, slotting into the mouth to provide a protective barrier between your upper and lower teeth. Night guards have been used in dentistry for over a hundred years (the first one was invented in 1890!) and they are a highly common way to protect and shape your teeth overnight. At Elim Dental in Mt Kisco, New York, we provide our patients with Custom-Made Night Guards as an effective, non-surgical, non-invasive method of dealing with a host of dental issues.
Reasons to Get a Night Guard
There are numerous reasons why a night guard might be the right treatment option for you. The main reason is a condition called bruxism, which affects a surprising 10% of adults, and 15% of children across America. People with bruxism tend to clench and grind their teeth at night; an act that can be caused by stress, anxiety, crooked teeth, alcohol, and even caffeine use. Wearing a custom-made night guard is the best solution, as they will fit better and work more effectively than over-the-counter options. A night guard may not be able to stop the involuntary act of grinding, but it can definitely prevent many of the unpleasant side effects. These include:
Jaw and facial soreness
Constantly grinding your teeth against each other is an act that overworks the muscles in your jaw. This can cause them to ache, making your face feel painful, particularly around the jaw area.
If you often wake up with a headache, bruxism could be the cause. The pressure caused by your teeth grinding can easily lead to tension headaches; a night guard can prevent this.
As your teeth grind against each other, the protective enamel that coats them can gradually wear away. This is problematic, as weakened, unprotected teeth are far more susceptible to cavities, infections, fractures, discoloration, and many other issues.
Whilst enamel wear is gradual, bruxism could also cause more dramatic effects such as teeth cracking or fracturing due to the constant pressure of grinding. Once again, wearing a custom-made night guard is the best way to prevent this issue from occurring.
How to Get a Night Guard
If you suspect you may have issues with bruxism, the best thing to do is visit your local dentistry practice and discuss the problem with your dentist. At Elim Dental in Mt Kisco, New York, we will then take an impression of your mouth using alginate, a safe, putty material. This mold will be sent to a special facility in order to manufacture a night guard that will fit you perfectly, offering the most effective protection against bruxism. The process is painless, and the night guard will be with you within a fortnight, allowing you to relax and enjoy good quality sleep without the dangers of grinding.
If you are interested in learning more about night guards or in purchasing a night guard, feel free to give us a call or visit our office today. We would love to help make sure you get a night guard that fits your teeth well and can help you reduce the damage to your teeth from grinding and help you have a healthy smile. Contact us today!