Night Guards

Night guards, also known as occlusal guards or mouthguards, are custom-made dental appliances designed to protect teeth from the effects of bruxism (teeth grinding) and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. Made from soft, flexible materials like acrylic or silicone, night guards are worn over the teeth during sleep to create a cushioning barrier that prevents the upper and lower teeth from grinding against each other.

By reducing pressure on the teeth and jaw joints, night guards alleviate discomfort, prevent dental damage, and promote restful sleep, improving overall oral health and quality of life for individuals affected by bruxism or TMJ disorders.

South Austin Dental Associates
South Austin Dental Associates

Did you know that night guards can help alleviate TMJ symptoms by reducing pressure on the jaw joint and muscles during sleep?

Bruxism Troubling You? Schedule Your Appointment for Night Guards.


Initial Consultation

During your initial appointment, you'll discuss your symptoms with the dentist, including any jaw pain, headaches, or tooth sensitivity that may indicate bruxism. The dentist will ask about your sleep habits and any previous treatments you've tried.

Dental Examination

The dentist will conduct a thorough examination of your teeth, gums, and jaw to assess the extent of any damage caused by bruxism. X-rays or other imaging may be taken to evaluate the condition of your teeth and jaw joint.

Impressions or Digital Scans

If a night guard is recommended, the dentist will take impressions or digital scans of your teeth to create a custom-fit appliance. These impressions or scans will capture the unique contours of your teeth and mouth for a precise fit.

Fitting and Adjustment

Once the night guard is fabricated, you'll return for a fitting appointment. The dentist will ensure that the night guard fits comfortably in your mouth. Any necessary adjustments will be made to ensure proper alignment and comfort.

Instructions and Follow-Up

The dentist will provide instructions on how to properly wear and care for your night guard. Follow-up appointments may be scheduled to monitor your progress and make any adjustments to the night guard if needed.

Different Types of Night Guards

Custom-fit night guards are precision-crafted dental appliances fabricated based on impressions of the patient's teeth. These night guards offer a tailored fit that conforms precisely to the individual's mouth shape and bite, providing optimal comfort and protection.

The custom-fit night guards provided by our dentist in Austin, TX, offer several advantages. Firstly, they provide superior comfort as they are molded to fit the unique contours of the patient's teeth and gums, minimizing interference with speech or breathing during sleep. Secondly, they provide maximum protection against teeth grinding and jaw clenching, reducing the risk of dental damage and discomfort. Additionally, custom-fit night guards are durable, made from high-quality materials, and fabricated with precision, ensuring long-lasting performance and effectiveness.

Over-the-counter night guards are pre-made, one-size-fits-all dental appliances available at pharmacies or online retailers without requiring a dental visit. While more affordable and accessible than custom-fit options, over-the-counter night guards may not provide the same comfort, fit, or effectiveness. They are typically cheaper than custom-fit options, making them a convenient choice for individuals on a budget.

However, they may cause discomfort or irritation for some users, particularly if they do not fit properly or interfere with standard sleep patterns. Additionally, over-the-counter night guards offer limited customization and may not provide optimal protection against teeth grinding and jaw clenching compared to custom-fit options.

Hybrid night guards combine the benefits of custom-fit and over-the-counter options, offering a compromise between customization and affordability. These night guards are typically fabricated using semi-custom trays that can be adjusted to fit the individual's mouth shape and bite.

Hybrid night guards provide a more customized fit than over-the-counter options, allowing adjustments to accommodate the individual's bite and comfort preferences. They offer enhanced comfort and protection while being more affordable than custom-fit options, making them an attractive choice for many patients. Additionally, hybrid night guards are available without needing a dental appointment, providing a convenient solution for individuals seeking adequate protection against bruxism and TMJ disorders.

South Austin Dental Associates

Did you know that, on average, a custom-made night guard can last between two to five years, while over-the-counter guards may need to be replaced more frequently?

Want to Learn More About Night Guards?

Frequently Asked Questions About Night Guards

  • Who needs a night guard?

    Night guards are recommended for individuals who grind or clench their teeth during sleep, a condition known as bruxism. Symptoms of bruxism include jaw pain, headaches, worn-down teeth, and enamel erosion.

  • How does a night guard work?

    A night guard acts as a cushion between the upper and lower teeth, preventing them from grinding against each other. It helps to distribute the forces of grinding and protect the teeth from damage.

  • Are night guards custom-made?

    While over-the-counter night guards are available, custom-made night guards, crafted by a dentist, offer a better fit and greater comfort. They are designed to specifically fit the contours of your teeth and mouth.

  • Can I wear a night guard if I have dental work (e.g., braces, crowns)?

    Night guards can often be worn with dental work, but it's important to consult your dentist for personalized advice. In some cases, adjustments may be needed to ensure a proper fit with dental appliances like braces or crowns.

  • How long do night guards last?

    The lifespan of a night guard varies depending on factors such as the severity of bruxism and the quality of the guard. On average, a custom-made night guard can last between two to five years, while over-the-counter guards may need to be replaced more frequently.

  • Do night guards require special care?

    Night guards should be cleaned regularly with a toothbrush and mild soap or denture cleaner. They should be stored in a clean, dry container when not in use to prevent bacteria growth.

South Austin Dental Associates

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