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Nightguards are also called occlusal splints. They act as a physical barrier between your upper and lower teeth to reduce damage caused by grinding during sleep.
Nightguards are similar to the mouth guards used in sports to protect the teeth against contact injuries. They’re typically made of a clear acrylic material. Dentists can make a custom nightguard for you or you can buy one over the counter from a drugstore.
Nightguards prevent tooth wear from grinding and clenching.
Teeth grinding or clenching is medically known as bruxism or parafunction. It’s often caused by stress and anxiety. Some symptoms of teeth grinding or clenching include:
If left untreated, teeth grinding can cause tooth damage. It can also cause inflammation around the ears, which may resemble hearing loss or temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). TMD is a condition that affects the jaw joints and surrounding muscles and ligaments.
Teeth grinding and clenching are common in both children and adults. Many children grind their teeth at night before their permanent molars erupt. Adults often clench or grind their teeth unconsciously when they’re concentrating, stressed, or worried about something.
Teeth grinding is often related to stress and anxiety. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help manage these problems.
Other treatments include:
If none of these improve the condition, dentists recommend using a nightguard. Custom-fitted nightguards made by a dentist are always the best option. They fit around your teeth perfectly and are less likely to dislodge during use.
Over-the-counter night guards can be a good temporary solution before you decide to invest in a more expensive custom-fitted one.
The right nightguard depends on your needs. If your teeth grinding is severe, it’s best to get a nightguard made of more durable material.
You also need to consider that you’ll be wearing this while you sleep. Comfort is an important factor when choosing the right nightguard for you.
Here are some of the best nightguards for different needs:
Pro Teeth Guard offers four kinds of night guards depending on the severity of your teeth grinding or clenching. If you’re not satisfied with their product within 60 days, they give 100% of your money back.
Their processing period is one of the fastest. It takes only up to 3 to 4 weeks from start to finish. They’re a professional lab that also offers services to dentists in their area.
Remi lets you customize the thickness of your night guard. You can opt for 1.3mm or 2 mm. They also come with a top and bottom guard in one order.
Their product is designed to ensure comfort even if you have severe bruxism. Their subscription service offers a new replacement every 6 months to prevent bacteria buildup and discomfort.
Cheeky uses 3D technology to design customized nightguards. Once they receive your teeth impressions, they replicate your teeth using 3D scanning technology.
They only offer two types of nightguards: soft and hard/soft, which is a combination of a soft interior with a hard exterior.
It’s a limited selection but they include both in one purchase. You can decide which one suits your preferences best.
Sporting Smiles is one of the best brands if you’re looking for customized night guards on a budget. Their prices begin at $90.
How much money you spend will depend on your needs. If you’re a heavy teeth grinder, you may need to spend a little more than their initial price.
Chomper Labs has one of the longest money-back guarantee programs. They also offer to replace your nightguard if you’re not satisfied with it. You only need to pay for shipping.
Chomper Labs is also a full-service dental lab. This allows them to accept fully customized orders. You can contact them if none of their offered night guards suit you.
Other advantages and disadvantages include:
Nightguards should be rinsed with warm water after use. You should also brush it lightly with your toothbrush. Don’t use toothpaste when you wash your nightguard. This can cause the material to wear more quickly. Instead, use dish soap.
Let your nightguard dry completely for 15 to 30 minutes before closing its case and storing it. This prevents bacterial growth and warping from humidity. Always keep your nightguard in a safe place. Make sure children and/or pets can’t reach it.
Deep clean your nightguard at least once a month. You can use a nonabrasive denture cleaner. Mix the cleaner with a bowl of water and place your nightguard in it until the cleaner dissolves completely.
You can also use vinegar and hydrogen peroxide. Soak your nightguard in distilled white vinegar for 30 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with water, then soak it in hydrogen peroxide for another 30 minutes. Rinse with water once more and allow the night guard to dry completely. Don’t let your nightguard soak for longer, as this can damage the material.
Don’t soak your nightguard in anything with alcohol. Keep your case clean with dish soap and water. You should also keep it away from direct heat to avoid damaging the product.
People with bruxism or parafunction sometimes use nightguards. Bruxism is a condition where people grind or clench their teeth during their sleep or in the daytime.
Teeth grinding and clenching can cause the tooth enamel to wear away. Common symptoms include:
This condition is often caused by anxiety and stress. You can try several therapies to address the underlying cause. However, if nothing helps, you can use a nightguard to minimize the damage caused by bruxism.
NIghtguards form a protective barrier between your upper and lower teeth. Some of the best brands selling nightguards for teeth grinding are: