Bruxism & Night Mouthguards
Night mouthguards aren’t necessary for everybody, but those with certain habits or medical conditions may greatly benefit from their use. If you snore, grind your teeth while sleeping, or have mild sleep apnea, for example, a mouthguard might be right for you. Lincoln Smiles can assess your needs, help you choose a mouthguard, and teach you how to properly care for it.
Types of Mouthguards
Mouthguards come in three main types, stock, boil-and-bite, and custom-made. The best type for you will depend on your reason for needing a mouthguard as well as your financial availability.
Stock mouthguards are ready-made and are the most widely available and the most affordable type of mouthguard. Sold at many drug stores and retail establishments, these preformed mouth protectors generally come in three different sizes: small, medium, and large. This type of mouthguard does not adapt to your mouth and teeth, and it usually only stays in place with a closed mouth. The least effective type, stock mouthguards can be bulky and awkward, making it difficult to speak.
While slightly more expensive, boil-and-bite mouthguards are far more effective than stock mouthguards. They come in one size and, as the name suggests, this type is boiled in water to soften it, then placed in the mouth for you to bite down on. Then, you use your tongue and fingers to mold the mouthguard in shape to fit the structure of your mouth.
Custom-made mouthguards are just that - mouthguards created for your specific mouth. We take impressions of your teeth, and then use those impressions to create a mouthguard specific to the structure of your teeth and mouth. While more expensive than the other types, custom-made mouthguards are generally the most effective and longest-lasting. They also tend to be more comfortable than stock or boil-and-bite mouthguards.
How Do I Care for My Mouthguard?
Proper care for your mouthguard is crucial. Cleaning it regularly and storing it properly when not in use will help keep your mouthguard free of bacteria and damage, prolonging its use. To get the most out of your mouthguard, rinse it with mouthwash or cool water before putting it in and after taking it out. You can also clean it with a toothbrush and toothpaste after each use. Store your mouthguard in a hard, ventilated container between uses to allow it to dry out.
Custom mouthguards generally last a couple years, while the stock and boil-and-bite types will likely need to be replaced more frequently. It’s important to inspect your mouthguard regularly for holes, tears, or any other signs of damage, and replace it if any damage is found. You should also replace your mouthguard if it becomes loose or uncomfortable.
Additionally, we recommend bringing your night mouthguard to your visits with us so we can make sure it fits properly.
Regardless of the type you choose, a mouthguard should feel comfortable in your mouth without restricting your breathing or your speech, and it should be easy to clean and durable. Let Lincoln Smiles assess your night mouthguard needs and answer any questions you may have. Call us at 916-543-8800 today to schedule an appointment.