Guarding Your Smile: The Importance of Nightguards

Oct 06, 2023

In this fast-paced world we live in, everyone is subject to the stresses of daily living. Unfortunately, many individuals have the tendency to clench or grind their teeth due to stress, either while awake or during sleep. This condition is known as Bruxism. A night guard is an oral appliance that serves as a remedy for Bruxism or teeth grinding.

Types of Nightguards

There are several nightguards available that serve different purposes. Here are the most common types:

Hard Night Guards: Hard night guards are advised for people who have moderate to severe teeth grinding or clenching. Hard night guards are often composed of acrylic or durable plastic and are not as flexible as soft night guards.

Soft Night Guards: Soft night guards are advised for those who have minor teeth grinding or light to moderate clenching. Soft night guards are typically constructed of a 3mm-thick, flexible, rubber-like material that serves as a cushion. Although comfortable, soft night guards are not long-lasting.

Hybrid Night Guards: Also known as dual laminate night guards, these custom-made night guards have a soft interior and tough exterior coating, thereby combining the durability of a hard night guard with the comfort of a soft guard.

Boil and Bite Night Guards: These night guards are made of low-grade thermoplastic material. These are over-the-counter night guards and are mostly available in sporting goods stores. However, they are one size fits all and are not suitable for everyone.

Flat-plane occlusal guards: Flat-plane occlusal guards are often referred to as bite guards or flat splints. This type of mouthguard is typically advised for patients who have bruxism or TMJ due to malocclusion or a poor bite. Custom-fitting guards with a flat plane allow the teeth to glide around the surface rather than grind against each other. This protects the upper and lower teeth from harm caused by teeth grinding. Flat plane guards may also be prescribed to treat TMJ since they can help the jaw relax and avoid overactive jaw muscle activation.

Signs you may need a Night Guard

  • Loud snoring
  • Tooth sensitivity due to prolonged teeth grinding
  • Jaw pain and tenderness
  • Facial pain and discomfort
  • Tension headaches
  • Worn or chipped teeth
  • Disrupted teeth
  • Gum recession

Process of a Nightguard

Taking an impression: Commercially available night guards differ from those manufactured by the dentist because custom-made night guards are tailored to suit the patient precisely. This is achieved by taking a mouth impression. A negative duplicate of the upper and lower teeth is made in order to create a plaster cast. The cast, also known as a model cast or mold, will be used by the dental laboratory to create the custom night guard.

Fabrication: The dental mold is crucial in the fabrication of the night guard. The chosen material (soft, dual laminate, or hard acrylic) is molded around the mold to create a custom-fit protective barrier between the top and lower teeth. The night guard can be designed to fit either the upper or lower teeth. The mold is used after the night guard has been manufactured to assess how it fits and how the bite aligns. If necessary, minor modifications are made.

Delivery: Once the night guards are made, they are given to the patients along with the necessary wearing and maintenance instructions. When not in use, they should be stored in the provided case. Due to the fact that the night guards are constructed from a cast generated from the dental impression, discrepancies are uncommon. They should fit securely and comfortably, and they should be stable in the arch. They shouldn't move or exert pressure on any region of the mouth, which might cause discomfort or pain.

Take the first step towards protecting your smile and improving your oral health. Schedule a consultation with Dental Smile Savers in Bronx, NY,  today. Our experienced team can assess your needs and provide you with a custom night guard tailored to your specific requirements. Don't let teeth grinding and clenching affect your dental health any longer.

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Our team is here to assist you! To schedule your visit, kindly fill out our form. You can also visit us at 2100 Bartow Avenue #218B, Bronx, NY 10475, or give us a call at (718) 708-8144. We eagerly await the opportunity to help you!

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