Protecting your teeth or your adolescent or teen’s teeth can be tricky. Certain foods and certain activities put teeth at a higher risk for things like decay, damage and even trauma. Thankfully, preventative visits and regular cleanings can help reverse the effects of surgery or staining foods. Similarly, night guards and sports guards can protect teeth from grinding while sleeping and while playing contact sports, respectively.
It’s estimated that anywhere between 8% to 31% of the population suffers from bruxism, the involuntary clenching or grinding of teeth at night. Untreated night grinding may seem harmless enough if it’s mild and you’re unconscious while it’s happening, but a dentist will notice the excessive wear and damage to your teeth that results from this habit. It’s a condition that is not only uncomfortable and a possible cause for headaches and jaw disorders, but also puts your teeth at risk for breakage, chips and other oral health concerns.
Getting at the root cause of bruxism can be difficult, and could involve factors like stress, genetics, other medications or age. For this reason, one of the best treatments comes in the form of a preventative solution: the night guard.
Night guards are a great and practical way to protect your teeth or your child’s teeth while sleeping. They are custom made to fit the wearer and are designed to allow for comfortable sleeping and breathing, all while preventing the upper teeth from grinding against the lower teeth. During your initial appointment at Smiles at the square, we’ll assess your concerns and answer any questions you may have about this solution. If we determine that a custom night guard is the right solution for you, we’ll take dental impressions to ensure we get the exact right fit for your mouth. Then, on your next visit, your custom night guard will be ready and after we’ve assured it fits properly, effectively and comfortable, you can begin to use it.
Similarly, sports guards work by cushioning the teeth to protect them from damage. In the case of high-contact sports, the risk is not so much from repeated wear and tear as it is trauma to the mouth due to impact. For sports like soccer, football, hockey and more, it’s much easier (and less painful!) to get a custom-fit protective mouth guard than it is to replace several teeth that have been knocked out or damaged in a sporting event. Sports guards may even be recommended for non-contact sports that still involve a risk of falling, such as gymnastics, skating, and equestrian eventing.
To learn more about our custom night guard and sports guard solutions, contact our office to set up an appointment.