Do I Need to Wear a Night Guard?

June 3, 2021 Kalamazoo Smiles

night guard kalamazoo mi dentist

Bruxism is a dental condition that causes you to grind or clench your teeth while you sleep. If left untreated, you may end up with worn tooth enamel, cracked teeth, jaw pain, morning headaches, and other symptoms. If this describes your situation, our dentist in Kalamazoo, MI, may recommend that you wear a custom night guard.

Here’s what you need to know.

What’s a Night Guard?

A custom night guard is an oral appliance that you wear while you sleep. This provides a protective barrier between your upper and lower teeth. That way, you won’t be able to grind or clench your teeth while you sleep.

While you can buy a generic guard at the store, it won’t offer the same level of protection as a custom appliance from your dentist. It also won’t be as comfortable.

If your teeth grinding guard is uncomfortable, you won’t want to wear it. Even if you make the conscious choice to wear your night guard, you may unconsciously remove it while you sleep if it’s uncomfortable.

Do I Have Bruxism?

It’s often hard to tell if you have bruxism because you’re asleep while you’re grinding or clenching your teeth. But your partner may be able to tell if they hear your teeth squeaking while you sleep.

To get an official diagnosis of bruxism, you’ll need to schedule an appointment with our Kalamazoo dentist.

Schedule an appointment with us if you’re experiencing:

  • Worn tooth enamel
  • Cracked teeth
  • Chipped teeth
  • Tooth pain
  • Jaw pain when you wake up
  • Headache when you wake up

How Do I Get a Custom Night Guard?

To get a custom night guard, you’ll need to schedule an appointment with our dentist in Kalamazoo, Michigan. In general, it’ll take two appointments for you to get your custom guard.

During your first appointment, we’ll take dental impressions and send them to the lab. The lab will then use your impressions to create a custom night guard. This appliance will fit perfectly over the contours of your teeth and gums. That way, you’ll be able to avoid tooth damage and sleep comfortably.

Your night guard will be ready when you come in for your second appointment with us. During your visit, we’ll check the fit of your guard to make sure that it fits well.

Once you get your night guard, you’ll need to wear it every night to avoid any further damage to your smile.

It’s relatively easy to prevent damage to your smile. But your custom guard will only work when you wear it.

How is a Night Guard Different From a Sports Guard?

In general, a sports mouth guard is made out of a thicker material that’s designed to absorb the impact of being hit in the face. A night guard, on the other hand, is designed to prevent your upper and lower teeth from making contact while you sleep so you can avoid the damaging effects of bruxism.

Each type of guard has a different purpose, which is why they’re not interchangeable. To get a night guard, you’ll need to schedule an appointment with us to ensure a comfortable appliance that won’t interrupt your sleep.

Request an Appointment With Dr. Bandos

Dr. Katherine Bandos is an experienced dentist in Kalamazoo, Michigan. As such, she’d be more than happy to help you manage your bruxism symptoms so you can get a good night’s sleep. To request an appointment, please call Kalamazoo Smiles at (269) 353-3700. You may also fill out our online contact form and someone from our office will reach out to you soon.

This blog post has been updated.

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