Sports guards primarily act as a shock absorber. They protect your teeth and jaw joints from trauma that can be sustained while playing sports, which is a crucial component of concussion prevention.
Night guards are used to treat bruxism (teeth grinding) and clenching. Symptoms associated with grinding include headache, stress, anxiety, ear aches, and jaw joint pain. Many individuals are unaware that they grind or clench their teeth at night, but a lot of damage can occur without any symptoms.
Thin, transparent, and horseshoe-shaped, dental night guards are created from hard but moldable plastics. The night guard fits over either the upper or the lower teeth, creating a cushion between them and absorbing the impact of the grinding or clenching. Night guards can help reduce enamel damage, jaw joint inflammation, and irritation to the gums. Overall, most night guard wearers report they have less pain and sleep better.
In order to be truly effective, night guards need to be custom-made for each individual. It typically takes two dentist appointments to receive a night guard. During the initial visit, the dentist takes a bite record and makes an impression of the patient’s teeth. These will be used to create a customized night guard that allows for proper teeth alignment. During the second appointment, the patient gives the night guard a test run and the dentist makes any necessary adjustments.
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