occlusal night guard
Do you wake up with headaches, or teeth or jaw pain? If so, you may be in need of night guard, we can provide you with one designed to improve your oral health and even your quality of sleep. To learn more, call (202) 463-2090 and schedule an appointment. We provide superior level care and will use the latest in dental technology to ensure your teeth and gums are as healthy as they can be. Fitting patients with a night guard is often part of that process.
What are night guards?
These small pieces of plastic are designed to fit securely around your teeth. They are actually quite small and can fit in the palm of your hand. Typically, they are made of clear plastic, so they will not stand out when you wear them. This is excellent news for those who are self-conscious about appearance but want to save their teeth.
Do I really need to wear a night guard?
If you are grinding your teeth at night – yes, you do. We believe in the value of preventative care, and night guards are one of the ways we can prevent you from damaging your teeth. Since you only get one set of permanent teeth, allowing them to be ground down is unwise. The discomfort you will suffer and the cost you will incur to repair your teeth is simply not worth skipping out on this easy, preventative measure. We know that everyone enjoy the idea of wearing a guard, and we will not recommend doing so unless we are certain that it will be useful in solving your problems.
Why do most people wear a night guard?
The exact reason you need one will be determined during your dental exam.
Typically, they are worn to:
If you have paid to repair your teeth or have had cosmetic work done to improve your appearance, teeth grinding could reverse all that the work. Even if your teeth have never needed repair, grinding can cause your teeth to chip, crack, or simply wear down. This translates into direct discomfort as the teeth flatten, and your dentin or nerves could become exposed. This can lead to feelings of sensitivity when you eat or drink. If this type of damage continues, you could end up with gum recession and even loose teeth. If you use a night guard, your upper and lower teeth will be unable to grind against each other and the potential damage will be avoided.
Nighttime teeth grinding can cause severe headaches and tooth pain in the morning. If you are regularly waking up in pain or feeling uncomfortable, this can be a sign that you need to wear a guard while sleeping. We have found that many of our patients feel significantly better after wearing their guard for just a few days. The key is to continue wearing it every night. While some grinding is caused by stress or tension, there is no way to tell exactly what causes people to grind their teeth or to stop the body from attempting it. This is why continued use of the guard is necessary.
Can night guards help with sleep apnea?
There are oral appliances that are used to treat sleep apnea. This is different from a standard night guard. However, we can provide you with more information when you visit Dr. Phillips
How long will my night guard last?
If you take good care of your night guard, there is no reason that it should stop working. That is, if you buy one made of strong material. The type of guard that you can buy in the store is not designed to last forever and will typically give up after six months to a year. A dentist-made night guard can last for years, sometimes even decades. We also recommend that you store it in a safe place. We will give you a hard case, and that is the ideal place to keep it. Most of our patients put their night guards in a case and keep it in their nightstand drawer. Out of the way, it is unlikely to get lost or taken by a child or pet. If you travel a lot, you may want to have two created so you can keep one at home and one in your carry-on bag.
What should I do to take care of my night guard?
Another way to keep your guard in good shape is to brush it regularly. Cleaning it is relatively easy. All you need to do is brush it with a soft toothbrush, toothpaste, and lukewarm water. This should remove the plaque that has built up on it. Additionally, you can try a special dental solution and soak it once per week. Be sure to dry it afterwards to prevent any bacteria buildup.
To learn more about night guards and how they can help you, call our dental office at (202) 463-2090 or schedule an appointment online.