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Night Guards for Tooth and Smile Protection


A Fabulous Smile


Our Bellevue Cosmetic Dentists at Brookside Dental in Bellevue, Wa, recommend the acquisition and use of a night guard in certain instances when we set anterior porcelain veneers to keep them from being chipped or cracked.   The use of a night guard in some cases will help preserve the new smile that has been created with the porcelain veneers.  The reason or reasons that a night guard, which is sometimes called a bite guard, can protect your new teeth in several ways is because it is a custom made plastic shield that is designed to protect your individual smile.

Night guards usually are recommended by your Bellevue Cosmetic Dentist for any of several dentistry problems.  Bruxism is generally the most common reason that a night guard is recommended by your Seattle Cosmetic Dentist, which can be either grinding or clenching of the teeth.  This most often occurs at night, but may occur during the day.  It is a destructive habit that can cause damage to the teeth or to porcelain veneers and their supporting bone structure as well as the jaw joint.  Bruxism can wear the teeth down through the enamel and into the dentin of the teeth,  loosen the teeth by destroying the supporting bone or often can cause very sore jaws or jaw joints.  A night guard, which is worn at night, can help control these bruxism problems by distributing the biting forces more evenly around the mouth. Additionally, the night guard acts as a physical barrier to any potential direct physical friction or trauma between the teeth of the upper and lower jaws.

A Night guard can protect smiles by assisting loose teeth to become more stable to some degree.  It allows the teeth to rest when the biting forces are more evenly distributed during the bite and does not allow major jaw force to be exerted on the individual teeth. This may allow loose teeth to become more stable because they are not being moved or rubbed against on a regular basis by other teeth.

At Brookside Dental, we recommend the use of a night guard in certain instances after we place new anterior veneers are placed to protect the teeth and new porcelain veneer smiles from the problems that can result from bruxism.  The bite guard will assist to preserve and protect the overall beautiful appearance of any new smile that is created with anterior porcelain veneers.  Adjustments may be required for an existing night guard when any major dentistry is performed.  Generally, any night guard adjustments that are needed are usually minor and are easily done during a regular dentistry visit without a special visit to your Seattle area dentist.

Night Guard Assists in Bite Adjustment

For the teeth to function in a proper manner adjustment of the bite may be needed.  A night guard also is able to assist in the bite adjustment process and as well as it can help maintain the final bite position and tooth arrangement that is accomplished for the new bite.

Night Guard Initial Problems are Slight

When initially beginning to use a night guard, patients may notice several different things which can include more saliva in their mouth and speech that can be temporarily slurred or distorted.  Additionally, it may require little longer getting to sleep. These small annoyances usually will go away quickly and patients usually notice that their jaw muscles become more relaxed shortly after beginning to use their night guards which will help them rest and sleep much better. After adjusting to the night guard, many of our patients say, “I can’t sleep without my night guard.”

Night Guard General Care

Inspect and examine your night guard regularly for flaws, cracks or rough areas.  After using your night guard for some amount of time, shiny spots and wear grooves may appear on the biting surface and the edges may become rough.  Generally, these are just areas and marks that occur with normal wear. However, they should be examined regularly each time you have regular dental appointments to prevent any potential problems such as a broken night guard or sores in your mouth.  If there are any problems with the night guard, it usually can be repaired by your Bellevue Area Dentist, while in a very few instances a new appliance will have to be made for the patient.

Night guards should be cleaned on a regular basis each morning after using them by brushing them with a toothbrush and toothpaste.  There is no need to store them in any special solution because dry storage is just fine.  However, storage of night guards in the special box that they come in will help protect them from accidental breakage from small children and pets.  Many people tell us that their dog ate their night guard or someone sat on it and broke it along with other stories as to why they do not use it on a regular basis or do not have it for repair.  As one of our dentistry procedures in our Bellevue Dentist Office, we are able to clean night guards ultrasonically to remove any tartar that has accumulated on them and inspect them thoroughly to determine if any adjustments or repairs are needed.  Athletic mouth guards are made differently than night guards and have a different use which we will discuss in another blog post.

For additional information on Dentistry Night Guards, please call our Bellevue, WA, office at 425-643-2818.