Shielding Your Teeth While You Sleep

When it comes to oral health, the night can pose its own set of challenges. Many individuals unknowingly grind or clench their teeth during sleep, which can lead to various dental issues. Fortunately, our highly-qualified Waterford, MI dentist, Dr. Amanda Sheehan, offers night guards to help you achieve optimal oral health and a beautiful smile. Night guards serve as a protective barrier, offering relief and safeguarding your teeth from the harmful effects of bruxism. 

If you’re interested in learning more about night guards or other dental services, contact Oakland Family Dental at (248) 674-03844 today

What Are Night Guards?

Night guards, also known as dental guards, are custom-made dental devices designed to protect your teeth from grinding or clenching during sleep. They’re typically made of a durable, flexible material that fits comfortably over your teeth.

Benefits of Night Guards

There are several advantages of custom night guards, including:

  • Prevent Tooth Damage: Night guards act as a cushion, absorbing the force of teeth grinding and preventing wear and tear on the teeth.
  • Alleviate Jaw Pain: By providing a barrier between the upper and lower teeth, night guards can help reduce muscle tension and alleviate jaw pain associated with bruxism.
  • Protect Dental Work: For individuals with dental restorations such as crowns or bridges, night guards can help prolong the lifespan of these treatments by preventing damage from grinding.
  • Improve Sleep Quality: By reducing discomfort and muscle tension, night guards can contribute to a better night’s sleep.

Who Qualifies for Night Guards?

Night guards are recommended for individuals who experience symptoms of bruxism, such as teeth grinding, jaw pain, headaches, or tooth sensitivity. Dr. Sheehan can assess your oral health and recommend whether a night guard is suitable for you.

woman sleeping

Fitting Process for Night Guards

  1. Dental Examination: Your Waterford dentist will examine your teeth and jaws to determine the extent of bruxism and assess your suitability for a night guard.
  2. Impressions: If a night guard is deemed appropriate, impressions or digital scans of your teeth will be taken to create a custom-fit guard.
  3. Custom Fabrication: The impressions are used to fabricate a night guard tailored to the unique contours of your teeth and jaws.
  4. Fitting Appointment: Once the night guard is ready, you’ll return to Oakland Family Dental for a fitting appointment to ensure proper fit and comfort.

Caring for Night Guards

  • Clean Regularly: Rinse your night guard with water after each use and clean it thoroughly with a toothbrush and mild soap or denture cleaner at least once a day.
  • Store Properly: Store your night guard in a clean, dry container when not in use to prevent bacterial growth.
  • Avoid Extreme Temperatures: Avoid exposing your night guard to hot water or direct sunlight, as extreme temperatures can warp the material.
  • Regular Check-ups: Attend regular dental check-ups at Oakland Family Dental to ensure your night guard continues to fit properly and remains effective.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does a night guard last?

Night guards typically last between 1 to 5 years, depending on the material used and the severity of bruxism.

Can I wear my night guard during the day?

Night guards are designed for nighttime use, but in some cases, they may be worn during the day to alleviate symptoms of bruxism.

Will a night guard stop me from grinding my teeth completely?

While a night guard can significantly reduce teeth grinding and its associated symptoms, it may not eliminate the habit.

Can I adjust my night guard if it feels uncomfortable?

It’s essential to consult your dentist if your night guard feels uncomfortable or if you experience any discomfort while wearing it. Attempting to adjust it yourself may compromise its effectiveness.

Protect Your Teeth While You Sleep

Night guards are essential for protecting teeth and improving oral health, especially for those with bruxism. By providing a custom-fit barrier between your teeth, they offer relief from symptoms such as jaw pain and tooth damage, allowing you to wake up refreshed and pain-free.

If you suspect you may benefit from a night guard, schedule an appointment with your Waterford, MI dentist by calling (248) 674-03844 to explore your options and take proactive steps towards safeguarding your smile.