Do you clench or grind your teeth during your sleep? Do you or your children play contact sports? These activities put stress on your teeth and mouth and could be the source of the pain or soreness you experience. Bruxism or the grinding of your teeth at night is a common problem and can cause further wearing of your teeth especially the molars or back teeth, where most of the pressure is exerted while clenching or grinding. With contact sports, your teeth and mouth are more exposed to accidents or traumas due to the intensity and frequency of the contact. In these cases, your dentist will probably recommend a mouth guard or night guard, which is a protective device used on your upper or lower teeth to protect them.
The mouth guard or night guard is designed to absorb the impact and force of a contact and protect your teeth, as well as become a barrier between your lower and upper teeth that can reduce the pressure and wear when you clench or grind your teeth. There are different types of mouth guards available and can be worn by adults and children alike.
Types of Mouth Guards:
- Stock Mouth Guard: this type of mouth guard comes in certain sizes and can be purchased at pharmacies or sports stores. They are made of pre-formed plastic, which can sometimes feel bulky or uncomfortable to wear because the fit won’t be perfect.
- Boil-and-Bite Mouth Guard: this type of mouth guard is similar to the Stock Mouth Guard as it can be found in pharmacies and sports stores. The difference is that you can boil the mouth guard to soften the material and mold it to your bite for a better fit.
- Custom-made Mouth Guard: this type offers the most protection and comfort because your dentist creates a mouth guard or night guard, tailored to your measurements. While this is the expensive option, it also gives you the best results.
If you are interested in getting a mouth guard for your child or a night guard to protect your teeth against clenching and grinding, please visit us at Old Town Orange Dental Group at 532 E. Chapman Ave., Orange CA, 92866 or call us at (714) 997-9030 to make an appointment today!