If you have bruxism (grinding of the teeth), your dentist is likely to recommend that you start wearing a custom mouth guard at night while you sleep. And, if you play competitive sports, you might think to yourself whether you could just wear your regular sports mouth guard and save yourself the additional expense.
While a sports mouth guard might provide a bit of protection from teeth grinding, it is really not an ideal solution and here’s why:
Different Structures – A custom night mouth guard that is made by your dentist is designed to protect the biting surface of the teeth from the effects of clenching and grinding. Since this is not a large area to protect, these mouth guards are smaller and fit comfortably in the mouth while you are sleeping.
Sports mouth guards on the other hand, are meant to protect the teeth from being damaged during an impact. They are therefore much larger and cover the full front surface of the teeth including part of the gums, making them less comfortable for sleeping.
Different Materials – Night mouth guards are made from a relatively hard fabricated material so that it is not worn down too quickly from teeth grinding.
Sports mouth guards are made of a much softer material because they need to absorb the blow of an impact. If subjected to regular teeth grinding, this type of mouth guard would wear down much more quickly.
Intended Wear Time – If the first two points didn’t convince you choose a proper bruxism night guard, this third one should. Sports mouth guards are meant to be worn a couple of hours at a time at most while night guards are meant to be worn about 8 hours at a time.
Since bacteria tends to breed in a warm moist environment (like inside your mouth guard), you definitely don’t want to wear a sports mouth guard that covers you gums for long periods of time.
Choosing the Right Mouth Guard
Both sports and night mouth guards play an important role when it comes to protecting your teeth, but the functions that they serve are different. If you grind your teeth at night, your best option is to listen to your dentist and get a custom night guard. Not only will it be more comfortable in your mouth while you sleep, but it will do the best job of protecting your teeth.
If you are interested in a custom night guard, contact Sapphire Dental today. It only takes a few minutes to make an impression of your teeth, but it can make a huge difference to your dental health.