What Is a Night Guard and Why Should You Wear One?
Medically reviewed by Dr Jerry Jesin

What Is a Night Guard and Why Should You Wear One?

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Sleep is one of the most essential elements that contributes to your overall health and well-being, but can often be interrupted by subconscious grinding of the teeth or clenching the jaw.

Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, affects an estimated 8-16% of adults in North America, and the right night guard can offer you the perfect solution for this problem by preventing these habits from causing further damage to your teeth down the road.

Fitting over your upper or lower teeth to protect them during sleep, nightguards act as a cushion between the teeth, creating a barrier against contact during grinding or clenching episodes. Night guards are often custom-made based on impressions taken of the exact shape of your mouth, ensuring an accurate fit to maximize comfort when worn through the night.

The benefits of using a night guard include reducing wear on enamel surfaces, decreasing pain associated with temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), improving sleep quality, and even helping alleviate headaches related to muscle tension caused by nightly tooth grinding or clenching. Investing in a properly fitted night guard is therefore one of the strongest ways to guarantee your peace of mind in knowing that your teeth are protected against potential damage at all times.

What Is a Night Guard?

Do I need a night guard? This a common phrase among those who are considering making changes to their oral health and dental hygiene.

The answer to this question is that ultimately, it depends on your individual needs. However, many people can benefit from the use of a night guard in order to help protect their teeth from grinding or clenching during sleep.

Night guards are fitted devices designed to be worn over your upper or lower teeth while sleeping. They work by creating a physical barrier between the opposing rows of teeth, preventing them from coming into contact with each other at night - something which often occurs due to involuntary muscle movement associated with grinding or clenching. This helps to reduce long-term damage caused by nighttime tooth grinding and clenching, as well as by protecting existing restorative treatments, such as crowns and veneers, from being chipped, cracked, loosened, or otherwise damaged.

Moreover, night guards can also provide relief for symptoms related to bruxism (teeth grinding), including headaches and jaw pain upon waking.

Why Should You Wear a Night Guard?

Wearing a night guard can be an important consideration for anybody seeking to protect their teeth and gums from grinding or clenching during the night.

Night guards are removable oral devices made of plastic that fit over the upper or lower rows of teeth, providing a physical barrier that helps reduce pain and prevents damage due to wear and tear on your enamel. Additionally, they may also reduce muscle tension headaches and facial pain related to nighttime jaw clenching.

While night guards may cause some potential side effects – such as difficulty speaking clearly while wearing them, soreness of the jaw muscles, excessive salivation, changes in bite alignment, and tooth sensitivity - many of these issues can be easily remedied by adjusting the shape and thickness of your guard, or simply by switching to one made from a softer material. It’s important to consult with your dentist when experiencing any dental night guard side effects in order to determine if adjustments need to be made.

At the end of the day, making sure you find the right night guard for your oral health is essential for optimal protection against bruxism-related problems and other possible dental night guard side effects.

How to Choose the Right Night Guard for You

When it comes to your dental hygiene, relying on a night guard is an easy way to protect your teeth and gums while you sleep from any damage caused by grinding or clenching of the jaw. In order to ensure that you get the most out of your night guard, however, it’s important to know how to choose the right one for you.

When searching for the right mouth guard for sleeping, there are several factors that should be taken into consideration. The material and size of your nightguard should be tailored to fit snugly around all of the surfaces of your teeth so that it doesn't interfere with your breathing or speaking. In addition, it’s important to make sure that your guard is comfortable enough not to cause any irritation inside your mouth while using it at night.

Finally, before committing to your new night guard, take the time to look into whether or not it has been approved by dentists or orthodontists, as this is often the best indication of its quality and safety standards.

Once you’ve selected your new night guard, make sure to incorporate proper cleaning and maintenance of your night guard into your daily routine, such as soaking it in water overnight and regularly replacing old guards with new ones every few months in order to maintain optimal oral health. Following these tips will give you peace of mind in knowing that your efforts in improving your dental care won’t go down the drain.

Night guards are an important consideration for anybody suffering from bruxism, or teeth grinding. This oral appliance helps reduce pain and discomfort by providing a protective barrier between the upper and lower rows of your teeth. The right night guard can also help alleviate jaw pain, headaches, and other issues, and choosing to wear a night guard is a wise decision for anybody looking to protect their teeth and improve their overall dental health.

At Smile Centre Mississauga, our team of professionals understands the impact that the right night guard can have on your overall dental health and well-being. We are here for you in order to answer any questions you may have about night guards and how they can benefit your teeth.

Reach out to a member of our team today for a consultation! Our dental experts can walk you through the process every step of the way.

How Do I Know If I Need a Nightguard for My Teeth?

Wearing a properly fitting night guard poses many benefits for both your short-term relief and the long-term protection of your teeth. When deciding whether or not you might need to purchase a night guard, there are several factors to keep in mind.

Symptoms such as morning headaches, neck pain, or visible wear on your tooth enamel, along with a recommendation from your dentist or any recent dental work, can all be strong indicators that a night guard might benefit your dental health. In addition, tooth sensitivity and jaw soreness upon waking up are both indications that a night guard may be the right choice for you.

Is It Worth it to Get a Night Guard?

Finding the right mouth guard designed specifically for sleeping can provide you with a number of advantages beyond just protecting your teeth.

Grinding or clenching your teeth during the night can lead to gradual wear on the enamel of your teeth over time, as well as jaw pain and headaches. Relying on a nighttime mouth guard will provide a cushion against these issues. In addition, if you have braces or any other orthodontic appliances installed, an oral guard at night will protect them from the damage caused by grinding or clenching your teeth together.

Lastly, if you suffer from TMJ disorder, wearing a custom-fitted mouthpiece can alleviate symptoms such as facial pain, along with providing protection against grinding and clenching your teeth subconsciously.

Andrea Galick

Andrea Galick is an accomplished Dental Hygienist (RDH) with a passion for helping patients achieve optimal oral health. Andrea has built a reputation as a caring and skilled practitioner who puts her patients at ease and provides individualized care that meets their unique needs.