NIGHTGUARDS

Is Night Guard Going to Cure My Bruxism?

The causes of teeth grinding are not always easy to determine, and it might take some time before your dentist finds out

  • if your jaws are misaligned,
  • your teeth are not touching or
  • are touching at the wrong place, or
  • you simply grind your teeth when under heavy stress.

While you are looking for the cause, get a night guard to protect your teeth from further damage.

Night guard will not cure your bruxism, regardless of what some guard manufacturers will let you believe in their effort to get your money. Guards are there to protect your teeth until you can find, and eliminate, the reason for your teeth grinding.

What do Night Guards do?

There are many different types of night guards. Some of them have pads which separate upper and lower teeth, preventing the damage. There are guards that absorb the pressure from clenching jaws, which can damage not only your teeth but your jaws as well and which gives you a bad headache. When upper and lower teeth cannot touch, the muscles that control jaws relax and release the pressure.

Many people automatically reject the idea of having to go to bed every night with a strange piece of plastic in their mouth. Their feeling is reinforced if they start using

  • a poorly fitted off the counter night guard that is bulky and
  • uncomfortable and
  • keeps them awake or
  • keeps falling out of their mouth.

It takes some time to get used to wearing a night guard and to find the one that fits well.

What are Night Guards Made Of?

Night guards can be made of

  • acrylic (type of plastic),
  • acetate,
  • vinyl,
  • some kind of rubber,
  • hybrid of more than one material or
  • metal, such as chromium cobalt.

Better guards are often made of a laminate of two materials –

  • hard material on the outside and
  • soft on the inside, to ensure both durability and comfort.

One of the proprietary laminates is Ethel Vinyl Acetate. The quality of the material will make your guard more durable and resistant to chewing pressure. If you guard is designed to be boiled before being fitted to your mouth, make sure that it can be heated repeatedly without falling apart, otherwise it will not last long.

How To Clean and Care For a Night Guard?

Your dental guard needs to be thoroughly cleaned and dried after use to prevent bacterial growth. As soon as you take it out of your mouth, rinse it with cool water and brush it with your tooth brush and tooth paste. Once a week soak it for a few hours in a mix of water and a night guard cleaner such as Ortho Clean or a denture cleaner such as Efferdent. Cleaners will not only remove any plaque and bacteria but will make your guard smell nice. Avoid makeshift cleaners such as vinegar, hydrogen peroxide or similar, as their odor will penetrate plastic and will linger for a long time. Rinse and dry your guard and keep it in its own ventilated box and make sure it is stored away from any heat source. Heat might make it lose its shape.

Can I Wear a Night Guard with My Braces On?

Wearing braces means that you are going through an orthodontic treatment which is meant to reposition your teeth. During this process, your teeth need to move and shift and a night guard might interfere with this process. But, if your teeth grinding is really bad and you need to avoid damaging your teeth and waking up with a headache, try lose, soft night guard which will not constrict your teeth, but will still prevent the upper and lower teeth from touching. Keep in mind that lose night guards will not fit well and might fall out of mouth during the night. If your teeth misalignment caused your teeth grinding, you might completely stop grinding your teeth once the orthodontic treatment is complete and your teeth are in their normal position.

Can I Talk While I am Wearing the Night Guard?

Absolutely! The better your guard fits, the less it will interfere with talking. Good night guard, especially custom made guard will fit so well that people will hardly notice that you are wearing it. This is particularly important for people who wear their night guard during the day because of occasional grinding when under stress.

Can I Eat/Drink While I am Wearing the Night Guard?

You could, but why would you? The purpose of the night guard is to wear it at night, while you are asleep, to prevent you from grinding your teeth. If you wear your night guard during the day, as some people do, you might find it difficult to chew your food with the night guard in your mouth because it is designed to prevent your lower and upper teeth from touching and grinding together. But if for some reason you end up eating or drinking while you have your night guard in your mouth, make sure you clean it well to remove any food particles which will interfere with its function and will collect bacteria.

How Long Will It Be Before I Need to Replace My Dental Night Guard?

Some dental night guards are made so strong that they can last for years. Most people report that their night guards show signs of wear and tear after about six months or so. There are disposable night guards on the market that can be thrown away and replaced with the new one everyday. The lifespan of a night guard depends on the material it is made of and on the strength of your jaws. Replace it when you notice that it is getting excessively worn out, cracked, damaged or misshapen. If you are a heavy grinder, make sure you choose stronger night guard. Don’t forget that you are not supposed to wear a night guard for ever, but just until you find the solution for your teeth grinding. Its goal is to protect your teeth from the damage in the meantime.

Will My Night Guard Fall Out of My Mouth During The Night?

It should not. Well fitted night guard fits your mouth snugly and should be comfortable and should not fall out of your mouth. If it does, it is probably too small for your teeth or is not fitted well. Give yourself a few days to get used to a new night guard, and if it keeps falling out, you might need a new one. The most comfortable night guards are custom made to feet your teeth. If you find that many off the shelf night guards are not comfortable and keep falling out at night, you might need a custom made guard.

Can I Wear The Night Guard During The Day / All Day Long?

Yes. Many people catch themselves grinding or clenching their teeth during the day when under particular stress. They find it helpful to wear the night guard to prevent the damage to their teeth. The best time to wear it is while driving your car, working alone in the office, or preparing a meal. Look for a light, thin night guard that will not interfere with your talking and will not be too obvious.

METAL FREE FILLINGS

BRIDGES

CROWNS

BONDING

BLEACHING

VENEERS

SEALANTS

SMOKING CESSATION

ORAL CANCER SCREENINGS

DENTURES AND ROOT CANALS

SMILE DESIGN

PORCELAIN VENEERS

INVISALIGN

COSMETIC DENTISTRY

What Is Cosmetic Dentistry?

In today’s age of technology, your dentist has a range of options to help your teeth look great. Stained teeth, dark teeth, chipped teeth, crooked teeth, and even teeth that are missing altogether, can be repaired or replaced. Cosmetic dentistry is the broad heading under which many dental procedures that improve the appearance of teeth may be described.

What Are The Latest Developments in Cosmetic Dentistry?

The latest developments in dentistry include tooth whitening treatments, micro-abrasion, bonding and veneers. These techniques can whiten and improve the shape and color of your teeth, even close gaps.

Tooth Whitening

Treatments are designed to whiten your own teeth without any artificial additions. There are several ways dentists can whiten your teeth – with very high peroxide gel concentrations, the dentist may very carefully apply the gel and use some heat from a light source (sometimes a laser is used) to whiten the teeth in a short time. This technique is not common and is usually expensive. Alternatively plastic trays are custom-made by your dentist using models of your teeth, and then you administer the treatment yourself using safe-strength gels at home.

Micro-abrasion

Micro-abrasion can be used to remove discoloration in the surface layer of the enamel. A paste containing acid and an abrasive is used to remove the outer surface of the tooth enamel. If the discoloration is deep in the enamel your dentist may need to remove the affected enamel with a bur and place an adhesive tooth colored filling. Usually an anesthetic is not required.

Bonding

It is a process whereby your dentist cleans and prepares the surface of your teeth and then bonds tooth colored resin fillings to them. Bonding can be used to repair chipped teeth, close small gaps between teeth, alter the shape of teeth and sometimes cover discoloration in teeth. Bonded resins are simple to re-polish and replace if they eventually discolor.

Veneers

These are thin (usually about 0.5mm thick) pieces of

  • porcelain, or
  • composite material,

which are bonded to the front surface of the teeth. Veneers can be used to improve the appearance of teeth by changing the shape of the teeth, by changing the color of the teeth, by masking stains and by replacing small fractured pieces of teeth.

PREVENTATIVE SERVICES

IMPLANT DENTISTRY