Protect Your Teeth

Jerman Family Dentistry offers treatment to people struggling with teeth grinding (bruxism). Most people are unaware that they grind (also called bruxism) or clench their teeth as it usually happens when they are sleeping. People tend to go through phases of grinding their teeth, such as during times of stress.  It is during these times that you may need to wear an occlusal night guard to prevent doing permanent damage to your teeth.

What Is An Occlusal Guard?

An occlusal guard is a horseshoe shaped piece of plastic which is worn over the teeth to protect them against damage caused by clenching or grinding.  It works by creating a physical barrier between your upper and lower teeth so that you bite against the plastic rather than wearing down your teeth.

When Should I Wear My Occlusal Guard?

Occlusal guards are usually only worn at night when people are not able to stop themselves from grinding or clenching their teeth.  If you are a severe grinder, Jerman Family Dentistry may recommend that you wear it during the day, but this is not usually required.  If you know that you only grind your teeth when you’re stressed you may only need to wear it occasionally, such as for a few weeks leading up to exams or any other stressful event.

How Long Does An Occlusal Guard Last?

This all depends on the severity of your teeth grinding.  While severe grinders may need to replace their occlusal guard every year, other people may not need to replace theirs for many years.

Taking Care Of Your Occlusal Guard

When wearing your occlusal guard do not eat or drink anything other than water as this may discolor it.  After removing your occlusal guard in the morning, brush it with your toothbrush and rinse with cold water.  It is best not to use toothpaste to clean it as toothpaste is abrasive and may scratch the surface of the occlusal guard and make it appear cloudy.  Also, never rinse your occlusal guard with hot water as this can distort the shape and cause it to no longer fit.

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