A Night Guard is a dental appliance custom-fit to a patient’s teeth, either for the upper or lower arch. Night Guards serve varying purposes and are often recommended for use in adult patients of all ages. It is essential that bite guards be professionally fit, rather than purchased over the counter, as this ensures maximum comfort and protection during wear. Professional dental guards are usually prepared in a dental lab using an oral impression taken in a dentist’s office. These guards are created uniquely to each patient to prevent discomfort, slippage or inadequate protection. There are many reasons why a dentist would prescribe a mouth guard to a patient. They include:
- To protect the teeth from nighttime grinding or clenching.
- To prevent pre-mature teeth wear.
- To ease TMJ pain and discomfort.
- To serve as an interim appliance during Full Mouth reconstruction cases.
Did you know?
Caring for a dental bite guard is simple and you will have to follow the simple manufacturer’s instructions for each specific product. Usually, you’ll need to rinse it before and after every usage using a soft-bristled toothbrush, toothpaste and cold water. From time to time, cleanse it with cold water and a mild soap. When not in use, store your mouth guard in a hard, ventilated container and keep it away from hot temperatures that could cause your guard to warp.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a Night Guard?
You may need a Night Guard (hard shell on the outside and soft shell on the inside) if you are diagnosed with bruxism, or tooth-grinding. Over time, grinding or clenching the teeth can lead to wear and irreversible damage. Sleeping with a Night Guard can protect the teeth from these unwanted side effects.
What should I expect when being fit for a dental bite guard?
During your first appointment, we will take detailed impressions of your teeth to make the necessary molds. The molds will be sent to the laboratory, where a custom Night Guard will be fabricated. At your next appointment, Dr. Motamed will carefully adjust the guard to fit the opposing teeth with even pressure throughout. This very delicate and technical procedure will take 30-60 minutes to be accomplished.
Will I need to return to my dentist after getting my new bite guard?
Yes. Although custom bite guards are made of durable materials and designed to last through many uses, they do need to be replaced from time to time. Keep an eye on your bite guard, checking it frequently for wear. Also, bring it with you to your normal dental cleanings and check-ups for a professional inspection. Be sure to tell Dr. Motamed if your bite guard no longer offers an optimal fit and becomes uncomfortable to wear.