Teeth clenching? Get a mouth guard to help this painful and potentially destructive condition. Getting a mouth guard is vital as even if it doesn’t immediately break the cycle of teeth clenching it will at least help to protect your teeth until you find your perfect solution for this problem. Some people find that wearing a mouth guard is enough to break the habit, while others will need to wear their mouth guard whilst trying out alternative ways of interrupting the cycle of teeth clenching.
Wearing a mouth guard will prevent your teeth from coming into contact and will lessen the chances of you cracking teeth through clenching. These mouth guards are also called night guards, bite guards, occlusal splints and bite plates, and can be made by your dentist or bought ready-made.
What can I expect from wearing a mouth guard?
Your mouth guard may fit over the top teeth or lower teeth, and they come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Some have bite pads which cover the back teeth, while others fit over all the teeth. Another kind made by your dentist fits over just the front teeth and might be useful for people with a strong gag reflex who find wearing a full mouth guard uncomfortable. Initially, the mouth guard may feel quite strange to wear, and it’s quite common for new users to find that they produce more saliva than normal. This may even make it difficult to sleep, but it’s worth persevering with as after a short while most people become thoroughly accustomed to the feeling of a night guard.
Custom-made or ready-made, which is better?
Custom-made-the advantage of custom made mouth guards is that they fit the mouth exactly and are adjusted by your dentist to be comfortable to wear which means you are far more likely to use this appliance. It will be made specifically to treat your condition which means it is designed to place your jaw into a comfortable position that relaxes the muscles.
The added advantage of having a mouth guard designed and made by your dental office is that your habit of teeth clenching will be thoroughly assessed, enabling the dentist to work out a suitable treatment plan for you. However the disadvantage of having a custom-made mouthguard is of course the cost. Custom-made mouth guards can cost hundreds of dollars, and this is a huge initial outlay for those who do not have sufficient dental insurance to cover this treatment. Having a mouthguard custom-made also involves two or three visits to your dental office which can be time-consuming and inconvenient.
Ready-made-the advantage of buying a ready-made mouth guard is that you can purchase a mouth guard from a wide variety of places, and you can even buy it over the Internet from the comfort of your own home. There are lots of different mouth guards available which can cost as little as $20. The choice can be quite bewildering but it’s best to choose one made from a flexible but durable material that can be trimmed and adapted to fit your mouth. While the fit from a ready-made mouth guard will not be as good as a custom-made guard, a little bit of time and effort spent adapting it can ensure an adequate fit that offers reasonable protection at an affordable price.