A night-guard is a slim, plastic insert that fits over the teeth, covering the biting surfaces. Night-guards form a protective layer between the upper and lower jaw, absorbing heavy forces and reducing tooth damage.
Night-guards are custom made and specially designed to use while sleeping.
Grinding Teeth While Sleeping
Most people clench and grind their teeth without knowing it. Sleep is when the highest forces are exerted on teeth. This leads to wearing away of vital tooth structure, cracked teeth, muscle tension resulting in headaches and longer-term jaw joint degradation. Using a night-guard while sleeping aims to prevent much of this type of damage.
What to expect when getting a night-guard
The dentist will take an impression of your teeth to make the night-guard. Once made (allow 2-3 weeks), the dentist will fit it for you and show you how to properly clean and care for your new night-guard. Night-guards will show signs of wear over time and need replacing every few years.