A night guard is often the silent hero for many who suffer from bruxism (teeth grinding) and other jaw disorders. Yet, myths and misunderstandings about these dental devices abound. From concerns about discomfort to misconceptions about their use, we’ll cut through the noise and debunk some of the most common night guard myths.
Myth: Night guards are one-size-fits-all
Fact: Night guards are customizable to ensure a comfortable fit.
Many believe that all night guards are made the same, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. While there are over-the-counter varieties, a customized night guard made by a dental technician will fit the unique shape and contour of your teeth. This ensures that it’s effective in preventing grinding and more comfortable for nighttime wear.
Myth: If you use a night guard, you’re stuck with it forever
Fact: The need for a night guard varies based on individual conditions.
Some people may need to wear a night guard for a short period, while others might benefit from long-term use. Factors like stress, which can exacerbate grinding, might be temporary.
Myth: Night guards are only for those with bruxism
Fact: Night guards can be used for various conditions.
While primarily prescribed for bruxism, night guards can also be beneficial for those with temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD) and for individuals who have had extensive dental work. They help in distributing bite forces evenly, thus preventing undue pressure on particular teeth or areas of the mouth.
Myth: Night guards are uncomfortable and will disrupt sleep
Fact: A well-fitted night guard is comfortable and can improve sleep quality.
The idea of sleeping with a device in your mouth might seem unappealing, but many users find that they quickly adapt. In fact, by preventing the discomfort and potential pain from grinding or clenching, a night guard can improve sleep quality. Remember, the key is to get a custom-fitted guard for maximum comfort.
Myth: A night guard will cure bruxism
Fact: Night guards protect teeth from the effects of grinding but don’t necessarily cure the condition.
Using a night guard can undoubtedly help safeguard your teeth from the adverse effects of grinding, such as wear, fractures, and enamel loss. However, it doesn’t address the root causes of bruxism, which might be stress, misaligned teeth, or other underlying medical conditions.
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Myth: Wearing a night guard is cumbersome and requires a lot of upkeep
Fact: Maintaining a night guard is relatively straightforward.
Taking care of your night guard is as simple as rinsing it every morning, letting it air dry, and storing it in its protective case. It’s a good idea to give it a deeper clean every week using a denture cleaner or a mild dish soap, ensuring that it’s thoroughly rinsed before the next use. With proper care, a good quality night guard can last for several years.
Myth: Children can’t use night guards
Fact: Night guards can be designed for children, too.
Teeth grinding isn’t exclusive to adults. If your child is showing signs of bruxism, such as worn-down teeth or complaints of jaw pain, a night guard may help. As with adults, it’s crucial to address the underlying cause while also providing protection to the teeth.
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Myth: Over-the-counter night guards are just as effective as custom-made ones
Fact: Custom-made night guards are tailored to fit the unique shape of your mouth and teeth, ensuring maximum effectiveness and comfort.
While over-the-counter night guards might be less expensive, they aren’t tailored to your specific dental needs. A custom fit ensures proper alignment, efficient prevention of grinding, and minimal discomfort.
Myth: Night guards can cause teeth to shift
Fact: When properly fitted, night guards should not cause teeth to shift.
A common concern is that wearing something in your mouth overnight might affect teeth alignment. However, a well-made, custom-fitted night guard holds the teeth in their place and prevents them from shifting.
Myth: Night guards are only for nighttime use
Fact: Night guards can also be used during the day for those who clench or grind their teeth due to stress.
Many people clench their teeth during the day, especially when stressed. An ultra-thin daytime guard, often thinner than the nighttime counterpart, can be useful in such scenarios.
Myth: If you’re only grinding occasionally, you don’t need a night guard
Fact: Even occasional grinding can cause significant dental issues over time.
Occasional grinding might not seem like a big deal, but it can lead to fractured teeth, enamel erosion, and jaw pain. It’s always best to consult with a dentist to evaluate the severity and decide on protective measures.
With the busting of these myths, the utility and importance of night guards become evident. They’re not just a remedy for nocturnal teeth grinders but a preventive tool that ensures the longevity of dental health for many individuals.
If you or someone you know has concerns about grinding, clenching, or other jaw disorders, don’t let myths and misconceptions stand in the way. Start taking proactive steps towards a restful and healthy night’s sleep.
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Buy a clenching mouth guard now from Clear Comfort Night Guards
Located in California, Clear Comfort Night Guards dental lab has been delivering night guards for teeth or jaw clenching for over a decade. They create custom teeth night guards for varying levels of bruxism at a reasonable price.
Reach out to them directly for more information on their clenching mouth guard online!
About the Author
Teresa J. Hernandez is a seasoned dental hygienist with over a decade of experience in the field. Her passion for oral health led her to share insights and debunk myths through her writings. Teresa’s expertise stems not only from her professional background but also from her personal journey combating bruxism. She’s dedicated to educating the public about the importance of preventive dental care and the nuances of everyday dental tools. When not peering into mouths or writing, Teresa enjoys hiking with her two dogs and experimenting with gourmet cooking, always ensuring she flosses after every meal!