A nightguard is a thin clear plastic mouthpiece to wear on either your upper or lower teeth at night to prevent damage from grinding or clenching. It is custom made by Dr. Steffens to fit your teeth perfectly. The nightguard slips over the teeth in one jaw and prevents contact with the opposing teeth. The nightguard relieves some of the pressure of grinding and clenching. It also helps to reduce TMJ soreness and headaches. A nightguard, is an appliance much like a retainer, that people put in their mouths to protect their teeth while they are sleeping. Many people are unaware that they grind their teeth as it is usually done in the early stages of sleeping and may disturb your sleep partner. Some grinding is very loud while others make no sounds while bruxing and are unaware of the grinding until Dr. Steffens diagnoses the unusual wear patterns and spots on your teeth. Grinding causes discomfort.
Grinding may cause:
● cracks or fractures in your teeth
● damage to your dental restorations (fillings, crowns, inlays)
●looseness of your teeth
●sensitivity to hot and cold and pressure as the tooth enamel is worn away and exposes the underlying layer of dentin
● damage to the temporomandibular joint (which are the joints on either side of your mouth that connect the mandible or lower jaw to the skull)
●headaches, earaches, toothaches , facial muscle soreness and tenderness of the jaw joints
The total cost to replace your teeth, that may be damaged by grinding or clenching, may be up to 10 times more than the cost of a preventive nightguard. Protect your precious teeth with a nightguard made especially for you by Dr. Steffens and her team.
Caring for your nightguard
- Rinse before and after each use or brush with a soft toothbrush and toothpaste or a special night guard cleaner
- Clean the night guard in cool, soapy water and rinse thoroughly
- Transport the night guard in a sturdy container
- Never leave the night guard in the sun or in hot water
- Check for wear and tear regularly to see if it needs replacing