We get asked this question often, and it’s hard to give an exact answer. We use the analogy of a pair of running shoes and an Olympic athlete. A standard pair of running shoes might last the typical person a couple years, but an Olympic athlete only a couple months. If you are a severe grinding\clencher the lifespan of the guard with be dramatically shortened.
When trying to get the longest lifespan out of a night guard it is important to make sure that you have the proper night guard for your type of clenching or grinding. If you have the proper night guard it will typically last 2-5 years.
We have customers say they had the same night guard for over 10 years. When this is said they normally had a hard acrylic night guard. Studies have shown that solid acrylic night guards did more harm than good. A night guard is designed to be softer then the teeth so that the guard will wear and protect the teeth from wear.
To get the longest life span our out a night guard:
2: Clean night guard regularly –Use a quality cleaner to disinfect and prevent yellowing. Do not use alcohol based mouthwash.
3: Store Guard Correctly – Dogs love to chew on night guards. Make sure your guard is always in the case and out of reach of animals.
It’s always a good idea to have a duplicate of night guard in case one is lost. The backup can be worn while a replacement is being created. For more information on the different types of teeth grinding guards visit http://www.sportingsmiles.com/
Occlusal Splint– Occlusal is the relationship between the upper and lower teeth.
Bite Guard- Your bite is another dental term for occlusal surface.
Night Guard– Since most people wear their teeth guard at night this term has become popular.
TMJ Guard– TMJ is the pain associated with jaw joint and surrounding muscles. Typically one of the first treatments for TMJ is to get a guard.
Bite Splint- Splint is a generic term that connects the teeth as one.
Bruxism Guard- Bruxism is the medical term for teeth grinding\clenching.
MouthGuard- Since the guard is in your mouth this term has originated. Mouthguard correctly used is the term for an athletic sports guard.
Sleep Guard- Similar to the term night guard, since the guard is worn while sleeping.
Teeth Grinding Guard- Teeth grinding guard and night guard are the two most common terms.
Dental Guards- This is a generic term for any type of guard that is used in the mouth.
This is just a few of the terms used for teeth grinding guards. There is often a mixture of the terms. Like Occlusal Guard, Bruxism Splint, Bite Guard, Sleep Splint, and Tmj Splint. No matter what term you are using, the guards do the same thing. They protect your teeth at night from teeth grinding\clenching. If your interested in purchasing please visit. http://www.SportingSmiles.com
Many people find themselves not wearing their night guard because they are bulky or cause them to gag. There are a few things that can be done to make the guard more comfortable.
Have a custom thermo-formed night guard that isn’t thicker than 3mm. From our testing at SportingSmiles we found that most people do not find the 3mm bulky, but some do find the 4mm to be bukly. If you find the 3mm to be to bulky there is also a thin 1mm hard night guard available.
The way the guard is trimmed will also affect the gag factor. You want to make sure the guard is thermo-formed, because this provides the tightest fit. Having a tight fit lets lab techs make the night guards with a lower profile and still have a tight fitting guard.
The length of the guard is also an important factor when dealing with comfort and gagging. If the guard is too long on the rear molars it can provoke gagging. Removing one or two molars can increase the comfort of the night guard.
Find a dentist and dental lab that is experienced in making night guards. There are many dentist/dental labs that aren’t familiar with the different type of materials and techniques that are now available for night guards. You want to do your research and make sure you are not spending hundreds of dollars on a guard that will end up sitting in a drawer because it is uncomfortable. At SportingSmiles we make thousands of teeth grinding guards every year and know the tricks to make the guards as comfortable as possible.