Wearing a teeth grinding mouth guard while sleeping is the best way to prevent problems such as tooth wear (attrition), receding gums, stressed jaw joints (TMJ) and tired jaw muscles. Mouth guards can be purchased over the counter or custom made.
A teeth grinding mouth guard that is custom made just for you by a dentist is best.
However, custom guards are more expensive than over the counter guards.
Since teeth grinding is a habit, wearing a mouth guard at night will help you break the cycle and protect your teeth.
Many find that after wearing a night guard for an extended time, they no longer clench or grind their teeth even when not wearing their guard.
There are several over-the-counter guards available. The Doctor's Night Guard is a well known and recommended brand.
Don't buy one that looks like something a football player would wear. No need to protect your teeth from outside trauma....just need to separate your upper and lower jaws.
You are less likely to wear a guard that is too bulky.
Custom teeth grinding guards are made by a dentist from impressions of your teeth.
They fit better, are thinner and more comfortable than OTC guards.
There are several varieties in a wide price range. Ask your dentist for advice.
Wearing a guard will help you prevent damage that is caused by teeth clenching and grinding.
Though this damage occurs gradually, it often requires expensive dental treatment to repair. When you compare the cost of a custom teeth grinding guards to one crown...you are still way ahead.
They do take some getting used to at first. You might start with your guard in your mouth and find it on the floor in the morning....but hang in there you'll get used to it.
If your custom guard is too tight or uncomfortable to wear, have it checked by your dentist. Sometimes a simple adjustment is needed.
Brush your guard with toothpaste. You can soak it in denture cleaner or vinegar and water if it needs extra cleaning.
Keep your guard in it's case away from your pets... They make great chew toys.
Always bring your guard to your dental check ups for a professional soaking and any needed adjustments.
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