Taking care of your teeth is an often overlooked aspect of your overall health. Sure, you may brush and floss your teeth regularly, but there is more to your oral health than just cleanliness.

One specific problem to look out for is bruxism which refers to clenching or grinding one’s teeth. Those don’t happen only during night time contrary to popular belief; they can happen when we are awake, while thinking, reading, or even exercising. The forces from bruxism often lead to wear of the teeth and sometimes could be accompanied by headaches or muscle tenderness/spasm. To address this issue, guards or nightguards more specifically are utilized. In this post, we’ll discuss what night guards are, how they can help with bruxism issues, and how to get one at a dentist in San Francisco.

What are Night Guards?

Night guards are molded mouth guards that help lessen the impact of clenching and/or grinding that occur specifically while you’re asleep and sometimes they reduce the frequency of clenching/grinding as well. Think of the mouth guards that boxers usually wear in the ring, but thinner and shaped to conform to the individual grooves of your teeth.  

Night guards cushion the rows of your teeth to reduce tension in your jaw when teeth grinding occurs as well as to preserve the healthy tooth enamel that usually gets chipped away. There are several different designs for the night guards; they can be made for upper or lower teeth. And they can be made with hard or soft plastic, depending on the issue at hand and the anatomy of the mouth. 

Night guards are to be worn typically every night to reduce the issues that come from bruxism. Since the night guards are crafted specifically to fit your teeth, you shouldn’t feel any discomfort with regular use.

How Can Night Guards Help Me?

Night guards work by acting as a protective barrier for your teeth in the event of any teeth grinding that might occur at night. Despite being made out of a thin membrane, night guards cushion the rows of your teeth to reduce tension in your jaw when teeth grinding occurs as well as to preserve the healthy tooth enamel that usually gets chipped away.

Another issue worth noticing is that with bruxism, you might find the alignment of your teeth changing over time if not treated properly. This can affect the overall look of your smile. Night guards are a simple intervention to prevent this & at least capture to moment and not allow further shifting.

Where Can I Get Night Guards?

Night guards are available either over-the-counter or through your local dental clinic. While over-the-counter might be a popular choice for those looking for a quick inexpensive fix to their teeth grinding (not clenching by the way), it’s best to seek professional services to get the best fit for your mouth. This can ensure that your night guard best aligns with your individual teeth and provides the most comfort. If you’re in the San Francisco area, visit Soothing Dental and ask about night guards to ensure you keep your smile the best it can be.

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