Protect Your Teeth with a Nightguard

If you have frequent head or jaw aches, worn tooth enamel, or cracked teeth, your dentist may recommend a nightguard. These devices, usually made of plastic, protect your teeth and dental work from wear and tear. They also provide relief for a condition called bruxism, which is clenching or grinding your teeth to the point of discomfort and damage.

Many dentists believe that negative emotions such as stress contribute to bruxism. Are you a Type A personality who just can’t let it go or are you overextended in your daily life? If so, you may need a few relaxation techniques and a nightguard. Many people underestimate bruxism. When you clench or grind your teeth, it wears away the enamel and the pressure can make you teeth loose, sensitive or cracked.

A nightguard helps you relax your jaw and reduce some of the tension caused by clenched teeth. While you are at rest the natural position of your lips is to be together and your teeth are slightly parted. The nightguard aligns your jaw properly and provides a cushion between your teeth. Instead of damaging your teeth, you just wear out the nightguard.

It may seem odd to have a piece of plastic in your mouth, but a properly fitted nightguard allows you to talk and breathe normally. Wear it only on your upper or lower teeth, depending on which feels the most comfortable to you. Start by putting it on for a few hours when you are awake to get used to the feel and placement of it. It should not be painful or uncomfortable.

Nightguards are available over the counter and many patients try several to find the most comfortably fitting brand. A custom-fitted nightguard made by your dentist is the best choice because it is made especially for your mouth. Though nightguards may seem expensive, many insurance companies cover the cost of them because they prevent more expensive problems from occurring.

For more information about nightguards or other preventive dental treatments, please contact us.


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