If you’ve been told you have bruxism by your dentist, if you’ve woken up to jaw pain or soreness, or if a partner has told you in the morning that you were grinding your teeth all night, it’s plain: you need a night guard.
A night guard is a clear retainer that fits in your mouth, separating your teeth and preventing you from grinding at night. It also discourages you from clenching your teeth at night by keeping your jaw in proper alignment, and minimizing jaw movement while you’re asleep.
However, if you’ve looked into a retainer before and balked at the price – or simply didn’t want to sit through getting impressions – you’ve probably taken a peek at those over-the-counter, one-size-fits-all night guards. These might seem like a simple and more practical choice, but allow us to explain how a store-bought night guard can even be detrimental to your oral health.
Why a Fitted Night Guard Is So Important
There are a few reasons Dr. Ramin Goshtasbi might determine you need to sleep with a night guard: it will help quell bruxism, he might suggest it as a preventive measure to protect teeth, you may have early signs of temporomandibular joint disorders, or it may help open your airway, enabling deeper levels of sleep.
A Fitted Night Guard… Fits
Seem obvious? Redundant? It is. An over-the-counter night guard isn’t made specifically for you, so not only will the retainer have gaps and spaces that should be filled by gum and teeth, it may slide around as you sleep, you may remove it accidentally, and it can rub against your gums and teeth, causing sensitive areas to form and even create sores on your gums.
A Dentist-Recommended Night Guard Addresses Your Needs
Your problem may be rooted in jaw misalignment. Perhaps it’s caused by a small airway. Maybe it’s just that you clench your teeth involuntarily, causing a sore jaw in the morning. By choosing a night guard that was crafted by Dr. Goshtasbi, you’re choosing a tool that will stop the specific issue you have.
Stop the Shift
An added bonus of having a night guard, especially if you’re a recent braces or Invisalign graduate, is that it doubles as a retainer. A store-bought night guard won’t keep your newly and perfectly aligned teeth from shifting, so in a decade, you’ll be back in the dentist’s chair, once again paying for expensive cosmetic dentistry procedures. Do yourself – and your wallet – a favor and get a fitted mouth guard.
The Perfect Fit
If you’ve noticed your teeth shifting, you’re waking up to a sore jaw, or you’ve begun to wear down or chip your teeth at night, it’s time to get a night guard. It can prevent bruxism from worsening, it can protect your teeth, it can treat your sleep apnea, and it’ll keep your teeth perfectly aligned.