Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a common dental problem that affects many people. It is a condition where a person clenches their jaw and grinds their teeth during sleep or even while awake. This can lead to various dental problems such as worn-down teeth, tooth sensitivity, jaw pain, headaches, and even TMJ disorders. Fortunately, there is a simple solution to prevent teeth grinding while sleeping: using a mouthguard.
Mouthguards are dental devices that are designed to protect your teeth and gums from damage caused by grinding and clenching. In this blog post, we'll discuss the different types of mouthguards available, how to choose the right one, and the benefits of using a mouthguard for teeth grinding while sleeping.
Types of Mouthguards
There are three types of mouthguards available: custom-made mouthguards from a dentist, over-the-counter mouthguards, and boil-and-bite mouthguards.
Custom-made mouthguards are created by a dentist to fit your teeth precisely. They are the most expensive option, but they offer the best protection against teeth grinding. Since they are custom-made, they are also the most comfortable to wear.
Over-the-counter mouthguards are readily available at drugstores and sporting goods stores. They are less expensive than custom-made mouthguards but offer less protection. They come in a one-size-fits-all design and may not fit well, leading to discomfort and less effective protection.
Boil-and-bite mouthguards are also available at drugstores and sporting goods stores. They are made of a thermoplastic material that softens when boiled and can be molded to fit your teeth. They are less expensive than custom-made mouthguards and offer better protection than over-the-counter mouthguards.
Choosing the Right Mouthguard
When selecting a mouthguard, there are several factors to consider. The first factor is the level of protection you need. If you grind your teeth severely, a custom-made mouthguard is the best option. However, if your teeth grinding is mild to moderate, an over-the-counter or boil-and-bite mouthguard may be sufficient.
The second factor is comfort. A mouthguard that is uncomfortable to wear can make it difficult to sleep, defeating the purpose of preventing teeth grinding. A custom-made mouthguard is the most comfortable option, but boil-and-bite mouthguards can also be comfortable if they fit well.
The third factor is cost. Custom-made mouthguards are the most expensive, followed by boil-and-bite mouthguards, and over-the-counter mouthguards are the least expensive. However, it's important to remember that a custom-made mouthguard can save you money in the long run by preventing dental problems caused by teeth grinding.
How to Use a Mouthguard
Proper instructions for wearing a mouthguard are essential for effectiveness and comfort. First, make sure the mouthguard is clean and dry before putting it in your mouth. Next, bite down on the mouthguard, allowing it to conform to your teeth. Make sure it covers your teeth and doesn't interfere with your breathing.
When you wake up in the morning, remove the mouthguard and rinse it with cold water. Brush it gently with a soft toothbrush and a mild soap. Store it in a clean, dry container.
To get the most out of your mouthguard, it's essential to use it consistently every night. If you forget to use it or skip a night, you may experience discomfort or dental problems caused by teeth grinding.
Benefits of Using a Mouthguard
Using a mouthguard for teeth grinding while sleeping offers several benefits. The first benefit is protection against dental problems caused by teeth grinding. Teeth grinding can cause dental problems such as worn-down teeth, tooth sensitivity, and even cracked teeth. Using a mouth
What is the recommended way to clean a mouthguard?
To maintain the cleanliness and effectiveness of your mouthguard, it's important to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Typically, mouthguards should be rinsed and gently brushed daily to remove debris and prevent bacterial buildup. However, some mouthguards require a gentler cleaning agent than toothpaste to avoid abrasion. Once cleaned, it's essential to let the mouthguard dry before storing it in a clean and dry case. Additionally, regular deep cleanings are necessary to remove any lingering bacteria. Non-abrasive denture cleaners, mouthwash, or hydrogen peroxide can be used for these cleanings, but it's important to follow the specific cleaning instructions provided with your mouthguard to ensure its proper care and maintenance.
Should I wear a mouthguard on my upper or lower teeth?
Whether to wear a mouthguard on the upper or lower teeth depends on the individual's preference and the type of mouthguard. Generally, custom-made mouthguards are advised to be worn on the upper teeth, as they offer better protection and stability. On the other hand, over-the-counter and boil-and-bite mouthguards can be worn on both upper and lower teeth. While some individuals may prefer wearing mouthguards on their lower teeth as it is less bulky and causes less interference with speaking and breathing. However, the decision on which teeth to wear the mouthguard is subjective and should be based on comfort and the level of protection required. It's always advisable to consult with a dentist to find the best mouthguard option and fit for your unique needs.
If you suffer from teeth grinding while sleeping, using a mouthguard is a simple and effective solution to prevent dental problems and improve your sleep quality. With the different types of mouthguards available and the factors to consider when selecting the right one, you can find a mouthguard that fits your needs and budget. By following proper instructions for use, cleaning, and maintenance, you can get the most out of your mouthguard and protect your teeth and gums from damage caused by teeth grinding. Don't let teeth grinding affect your dental health and quality of life. Consider using a mouthguard and consult with your dentist to find the best option for you.