What is a dental night guard?

A night guard is a dental appliance that looks somewhat like a mouthguard that is often worn by athletes who play contact sports, however a New York night guard is used by people who grind their teeth during the time they are sleeping. People who use a night guard are those who suffer from bruxism, the excessive grinding of the teeth and clenching of the jaw during sleep. This excessive grinding and clenching puts considerable unwanted pressure on the jaw which in turn can be the cause of TMJ, temporomandibular joint, problems as well as severe headaches, ear and neck pains and tooth wear.

A New York night guard is in the shape of a horseshoe, quite thin and transparent. The material that a night guard is made from is plastic; hard but moldable. The guard is designed to fit over either the upper or lower teeth; this allows the night guard to act somewhat like a cushion, absorbing any undue pressure that is caused by the grinding of the teeth and clenching of the jaw. A dental night guard can reduce inflammation of the jaw joint, reduce the possibility of damage to the tooth enamel as well as reduce gum irritation. Those that wear this appliance report that they sleep better and have less pain.

A night guard is not something that can be purchased over the counter, to be effective it must be custom made for the individual. To have a night guard made the patient will have to visit the dentist twice; during the first visit an impression is made of the teeth and a bite record is made. These are then used to produce the appliance. The patient returns a second time when the guard is fitted and the dentist makes any small adjustments.

A well maintained New York night guard can last up to ten years. The night guard should be kept clean and rinsed before and after use. The guard should be brushed but using a soft toothbrush and toothpaste or denture cleaner which is non-abrasive. To keep them fresh soaking in denture cleaner weekly is also a recommended part of maintenance and care.

Although a night guard can be quite costly, most people who wear one find it to be a safe, simple solution for protecting their teeth, jaw and gum from the effects of bruxism. Although the night guard may be expensive, over the long run it can save the cost of having the teeth capped as they wear down, a procedure far more expensive than the night guard.

To overcome the damaging effects of bruxism it is recommended that a New York night guard be worn. This appliance can be custom made and custom fitted by Dr. Shekib, Cosmetic Dentistry & Smile Makeovers. Visit us for details.

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