What’s the difference between a mouthguard and a night guard? Do I need both?” you might want to ask your Epping Dentist.
The short answer is that you might need neither, one, or both guards, but let’s unpack them a bit so you can see what they’re used for.
You’re more likely to have heard of a mouth guard. People wear one on their upper teeth while playing contact sports, particularly for all the football codes, hockey, boxing, and karate — and perhaps gymnastics — to protect their teeth, lips and face jaw from injury.
A night guard is different. People wear one at night while sleeping to protect their teeth from the unconscious pressure and grinding of clenched teeth during sleep.
So, unless you play a contact sport, you don’t need to wear a mouthguard – and if you don’t grind your teeth during sleep, you don’t need to wear a night guard!
But just think for a moment. Is there an avid sports fan in your family who should be wearing a mouth guard? How do you know you aren’t clenching and grinding your teeth at night?
We at your Epping Dentist are often the first to spot the signs of teeth grinding during regular checkups – we know what teeth damage looks like. But you may become suspicious if you experience pain, tenderness or tightness in your jaw or neck on waking up each day, a dull headache, or ears that feel gummed up or sore. You may also suspect someone else in your family grinds their teeth if you hear scraping noises while they are asleep.
If you are grinding your teeth at night, it is very important to contact us so we can take steps to protect your teeth and long-term oral health. A night guard is often suitable for this as it will cushion your teeth from clenching and stop them from grinding against each other. We can customise a night guard for you, which will be more comfortable and effective than a store-bought one.
We can also customise a mouthguard for you, which may be best if you are involved in a lot of contact sport weekly – or wear braces or have fixed bridge work. It will then be customised to protect your appliance and protect your lips and cheeks. Our professional help is best in this situation.
Otherwise, you could purchase one from a sports store. Those are semi-customised by being softened at first in boiling water before being inserted to mould to your teeth and jaw.
Remove a removable appliance during any contact sport.
Please follow up with us at your Epping Dentist about any concerns you have about a mouth guard or a night guard — it is way better in the long term to settle those concerns.
To find out more, please click this link for an appointment with us: