At Prairie Hawk Dental, we offer night guards, which are also referred to as occlusal guards, as a preventive device to help protect your oral health. Night guards are a type of removable dental appliance that you use while you are sleeping. Each night guard is custom-made using impressions taken by our dental care team at Prairie Hawk Dental. We recommend the occlusal guards to some of our patients who are at risk of dental damage or who have certain oral health conditions.
Getting a Customized Occlusal Guard
The process of getting a custom occlusal guard for your mouth is simple. Just two visits are needed. During the first visit, which can take place at the same time as teeth cleaning, we take impressions of your mouth. To take the impressions, we put a waxy or gel-like substance into a tray and gently press it onto your upper teeth. The tray will stay in your mouth for a few minutes while you sit still and relax in the treatment chair. We send the tray to our dental lab, where a team of professionals will construct your custom-fitting guard. On your second visit, the resin guard is ready for you to try on. If necessary, we can make slight changes to the thickness of the guard. We make sure that it fits and feels comfortable in your mouth.
How Occlusal Guards Protect Your Teeth
There are several ways that a night guard protects your teeth and jaws. If you clench your jaws while you sleep, you may wake up with pain, stiffness or soreness. The night guard helps keep your jaws apart and your facial muscles relaxed. If you are a nighttime teeth grinder, the night guard reduces the force of your upper teeth crunching down onto your lower teeth. Wearing the night guard may reduce your risk of chipping or cracking a tooth when grinding your teeth at night.
Who Should Consider Wearing a Mouth Guard At Night
People with bruxism should consider wearing a mouth guard at night. You might not be aware of grinding your teeth at night. If you have a sleep partner, they may be able to tell you if you grind at night. We can also check to see if there is excessive wear on your biting surfaces. You should also consider a guard if you have the temporomandibular joint disorder.
Caring for a Night Guard
Caring for a night guard is simple. Brush it once per day to remove saliva. Let it air dry on a clean surface while it is not in use. You can bring it into our dental practice for a more thorough cleaning during your regular checkups with us.