Night guards have become increasingly popular in recent years as a practical solution for protecting teeth from nighttime grinding and clenching. If you suffer from bruxism or TMJ disorders, a night guard can be a game-changer, promoting better sleep and preventing long-term damage to your teeth. In this blog post, we will explore the world of night guards, their benefits, side effects, and recommend the best options for TMJ and clenching. Additionally, we will provide useful information about the cost of night guards in Singapore and offer tips on how to clean and maintain them.
What is a night guard for teeth?
A night guard is a tiny shield that embraces your teeth while you sleep, providing a cushion against the forces of grinding and clenching. It’s either a custom-made or ready-to-use device that fit comfortably over your upper or lower teeth, depending on your needs.
It is designed to create a protective barrier between the upper and lower teeth, minimising the effects of grinding or clenching. Night guards are typically made from durable materials such as acrylic or soft plastic, offering cushioning and support to the jaw muscles.
What are some night guard benefits?
Night guards are more than mere shields; they’re protectors of your dental health. Let’s dive into some of their benefits:
- Protection against tooth wear: Grinding and clenching can lead to enamel erosion and tooth sensitivity. By creating a barrier between your upper and lower teeth, night guards prevent direct contact during grinding or clenching, minimising the risk of tooth wear, chipping, and fractures.
- Pain relief: Individuals suffering from TMJ disorders or bruxism often experience jaw pain, headaches, and muscle soreness. A night guard helps alleviate these discomforts by distributing the pressure and reducing strain on the jaw joints.
- Better sleep quality: Teeth grinding can disrupt your sleep patterns, leaving you feeling tired and fatigued. With a night guard, you can enjoy uninterrupted slumber, waking up refreshed and ready to conquer the day.
- Minimising jaw muscle fatigue: The use of a night guard helps relax the jaw muscles, reducing fatigue and preventing tension.
What are some dental night guard side effects?
While night guards are generally safe to use, some individuals may experience mild side effects, such as:
- Temporary Discomfort: Initially, wearing a night guard might feel a bit strange or uncomfortable. However, with time, most people adjust to the sensation, and the discomfort fades away.
- Excessive Salivation: Some individuals may experience increased salivation initially. This is usually a temporary adjustment, and your mouth will adapt to the presence of the night guard over time.
- Speech Changes: Depending on the type of night guard and its fit, you might notice slight alterations in your speech. But fear not! With practice and perseverance, your tongue will adapt, and your speech will return to normal.
Best night guards for different conditions
Best night guards for TMJ
Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) can cause a great deal of pain and discomfort. Fortunately, there are night guards specifically designed to alleviate TMJ-related symptoms. Here are some recommended options:
- Custom-made night guards: These are crafted by dental professionals based on the specific measurements of your mouth, ensuring a perfect fit and optimal effectiveness.
- Dual-arch night guards: These guards cover both the upper and lower teeth, promoting proper jaw alignment and reducing TMJ-related symptoms.
- Soft night guards: For individuals with mild TMJ issues, soft night guards provide a gentle cushioning effect while minimising muscle tension and discomfort.
Best night guard for clenching
If you find yourself clenching your teeth during the day or night, a dedicated night guard can be your saving grace. The following options are effective in combating clenching:
- Hard acrylic night guards: Made from a rigid material, these guards provide a sturdy barrier against clenching forces, protecting your teeth from unnecessary wear and tear. They are especially suitable for individuals with a strong bite.
- Dual laminate night guards: Constructed with a hard outer shell and a soft inner layer, dual laminate night guards provide comfort while still offering sufficient protection against clenching forces.
- Self-adjusting night guards: These night guards use body heat to soften and adapt to the shape of your teeth, providing a custom fit and minimising discomfort caused by clenching.
How much do custom night guards cost?
The cost of a night guard in Singapore can vary depending on several factors, including the type of night guard and the dental clinic. In Singapore, you can expect to find a range of options:
- Over-the-counter night guards: These ready-made guards can cost anywhere between $30 to $100, making them a more budget-friendly choice. However, they may not provide the same level of comfort and customisation as their custom-fit counterparts.
- Custom-fit night guards: Crafted specifically for your teeth and jaw, custom-fit night guards typically range from $400 to $800. While they may come with a higher price tag, their precise fit and superior comfort make them well worth the investment.
Why do custom night guards cost more?
Custom night guards are specifically designed to fit your mouth and provide optimal comfort and protection. While they tend to be more expensive than over-the-counter options, they offer better quality and longevity. The cost of these guards depends on various factors, including the complexity of your case, the material used, and the dental clinic you visit. As mentioned earlier, custom-fit night guards in Singapore generally range from $400 to $800.
Here at WeSmile Dental, we aim to keep our prices affordable so as to ensure that dental necessities such as mouth guards are accessible to all. You may view our price list here or book an appointment with us to get a more accurate quotation from our dentists.
FAQs about night guards for teeth
How to clean a night guard for teeth?
Proper maintenance and regular cleaning are essential for prolonging the lifespan of your night guard and ensuring good oral hygiene. Follow these steps to clean your night mouth guard effectively:
- Rinse: After each use, rinse your night guard with cool or lukewarm water to remove any debris or saliva.
- Brush gently: Gently brush the night guard with a soft toothbrush and mild soap or non-abrasive toothpaste. Avoid using hot water or abrasive cleaners that can damage the guard’s surface.
- Soak: Consider soaking your night guard in a denture cleaner or a mixture of water and baking soda to help eliminate bacteria, stains and odours. Be sure to follow the instructions provided by your dentist.
- Store safely: Keep your night guard in a clean, dry container when not in use. Avoid leaving it in direct sunlight or hot temperatures, as this can cause warping
How long should I wear my night guard?
Night guards are typically worn during sleep to protect your teeth from grinding or clenching. It is recommended to wear them consistently every night to ensure maximum benefit and protection.
Can I wear a night guard if I have braces?
Yes, you can wear a night guard if you have braces. In fact, it is even more important to protect your teeth during orthodontic treatment, as grinding or clenching can damage the braces and hinder your progress. Consult your orthodontist for guidance on the best type of night guard for braces.
How often should I replace my night guard?
The lifespan of a night guard depends on various factors, including the quality of the material and the frequency of use. On average, night guards can last anywhere from 1 to 5 years. However, it is important to regularly inspect your night guard for signs of wear and tear and consult your dentist for guidance on when to replace it.
Can I wear a night guard if I have sensitive teeth?
Yes, a night guard can still be worn if you have sensitive teeth. However, it is essential to ensure that the night guard is properly fitted and made from a material that provides cushioning and protection without exacerbating sensitivity. Discuss your concerns with your dentist, who can recommend the best options for your specific needs.
Night guards for teeth – the practical solution for a peaceful night’s sleep
Investing in a night guard for teeth can be a game-changer when it comes to safeguarding your dental health and improving your quality of life. By creating a protective barrier against grinding and clenching forces, night guards help prevent tooth damage, alleviate pain, and promote restful sleep.
Whether you’re dealing with TMJ issues or clenching, there’s a night guard out there that’s perfect for you. From custom-fit guards tailored by dental professionals to ready-to-use options for budget-conscious individuals, the key is finding the right balance of comfort, effectiveness, and affordability.
Remember, maintaining proper oral hygiene extends to your night guard as well. Clean and care for it regularly to ensure its longevity and keep your smile shining bright.
So, take charge of your dental well-being, bid farewell to nighttime teeth troubles, and embrace the protection and comfort offered by a night guard. Book a consultation with our experienced dentists today and receive tailored recommendations of the right night guard for your condition and dental health. Your pearly whites will thank you for it!