What is a mouth guard?
At first glance a mouth guard might look like a retainer, but they are actually very different. Mouth guards are meant to fit over your teeth to help prevent issues related to bruxism (teeth grinding). Night guards are custom fitted by your dental professional.
How does a mouth guard work?
If you grind your teeth at night (or bruxism to give it its medical name), you may have been recommended to wear a mouth guard. Their main purpose is to protect your teeth by providing a barrier between your upper and lower teeth. At their most basic level, are guards that you place over your upper and/or lower teeth when you go to sleep. Depending on how severely you grind your teeth, you may be advised to wear a guard made of harder plastic. These are designed to offer better protection for your teeth and may also last longer.
Why should I use a mouth guard?
While there are many reasons why people grind their teeth, such as anxiety, sleep disorders, the potential harm to your teeth is the same. You may not even be aware you’re doing it, but the constant grinding wears down your teeth, causing your enamel to wear down, and potentially exposing more vulnerable parts of your teeth or weakening them. Mouth guards provide the protection your teeth need and may also help relieve some of the other symptoms.
How should I care for a mouth guard?
Just like retainers, it’s important to care for your mouth guard on a daily basis. Regular cleaning will reduce plaque bacteria build up that can cause bad breath and discoloration.
Using a professional removable dental appliance solution like Polident ProGuard & Retainer Cleanser can be a convenient and easy way to help ensure your retainer, aligner or mouth guard is clean.* These dissolvable tablets are gentle enough for daily use and specially designed with Crystal Clear technology to lift stains and effectively clean and freshen, and are proven to kill 99.99% of odor-causing bacteria in just 3 minutes.**
* When used daily, as directed
*Always follow the instructions on the package.
**In laboratory tests
So now that you know the difference between mouth guards, aligners and retainers, you can consult with your dentist to determine the right choice for you.