You Need a Dental Guard, but How Do You Choose?
If you’re aware that you grind your teeth, you probably also know that a dental guard from bruxism can help protect your teeth and reduce grinding. And you might even wear one. Whether you’re new to wearing a dental guard or ready to buy your 25th one, there are several factors to consider when choosing a dental guard for bruxism. You want to select one that will best protect your teeth.
Dental guards don’t last forever. Over time, it will wear out from constant grinding and need to be replaced, perhaps as often as every six months. Dental professionals advise replacing your dental guard when it begins to wear thin, or every five years, whichever comes first. When you do go to find that replacement, or your first dental guard, here are five things to consider before you buy:
- Durability: Grinding takes a toll. Your dental guard should be durable and reliable if it is going to truly protect your teeth. When you grind your teeth through the night, you apply a tremendous amount of pressure on the guard, and so you need a dental guard that is able to withstand it.
- Fit: One size does not fit all when it comes to dental guards. If your dental guard doesn’t fit right, it won’t do a good job — and may even harm your bite. The best thing you can do is to get a dental guard that is molded to fit your teeth individually. Of course, a custom fit usually requires more time and money, but the result is likely to be better. If you want a less expensive over-the-counter guard, try SleepRight’s ProRx Custom Dental Guard. It provides a thin, custom fit. However, if you have a severe case of bruxism, you will need a stronger, bulky guard to provide the optimum protection.
- Comfort: Remember, a dental guard should fit snugly and be comfortable. Guards that are too bulky or too loose can cause discomfort, difficulty speaking or breathing, and may even damage your tooth alignment.
- Material: Dental guards come in a variety of different materials and a range of thicknesses and densities. You should choose the material for your dental guard based on the severity of your bruxism. Usually, thin, lightweight dental guards will work for daytime wear to prevent clenching and light grinding. For teeth grinding that is severe and causing serious damage to your teeth, however, you will need a guard that is thicker and made of a much harder plastic material or rigid acrylic. Not matter which kind you choose, select one that is BPA- and latex-free.
- Price: Buying a custom dental guard from your dentist may cost as much as $500, but there are less expensive online and over-the-counter options that will work without your wallet taking a beating. SleepRight’s ProRx dental guard protects up to 10 times longer and provides a custom fit, so you’re not sacrificing quality for a less-expensive price.
If you suffer from bruxism, choosing a good dental guard is important. Consider the above list of considerations, and find the best dental guard for your needs. For more information on over-the-counter dental guards for bruxism, visit www.sleepright.com.