Everything you need to know about night guards and teeth grinding 

Our teeth put up with a lot. They chew our food, they’re covered by different types of drinks, and sometimes they’re knocked about while playing sport. But they can also bear the brunt of stress in the form of teeth grinding, too. So, what can you do to fix it? Read on! 

What causes teeth grinding? 

Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is an involuntary reaction that involves clenching and grinding of the teeth. It usually occurs while sleeping and is commonly caused by stress, anxiety or concentration.  

Most people don’t notice they grind their teeth, with the issue often picked up by a person’s parent or partner during sleep.  

Teeth grinding can result in a tense or sore jaw and mouth upon waking, while more serious impacts can include sensitive teeth and cracked or chipped enamel– which is why it’s important to seek treatment. 

Why do I grind my teeth at night with braces? 

If you’ve recently got braces, grinding can also be a result of your mouth getting used to its new feel. As your mouth adjusts and your teeth start to align, the grinding should stop. If it doesn’t, you should speak with your orthodontist. 

How do I stop clenching my teeth at night with braces? 

The first step to is to talk to your orthodontist. They can help decide the best course of treatment for you. This might include:  

  • Getting a night guard  
  • Adjusting your braces if required 
  • Assessing and fixing any other teeth-related issues 
  • Managing stress 

What is the difference between a retainer and a night guard? 

A retainer is a removable plastic or wire mouthguard-like appliance that is used to keep your teeth in place after they have been shifted during orthodontic treatment. An orthodontist will usually recommend a retainer be worn for a period of time after braces to keep your teeth from moving. 

A night guard, while similar in looks and materials, is used purely to protect your teeth from grinding. They can be bought off-the-shelf or made to order by an orthodontist and are only worn at night or while sleeping. 

Can a night guard shift your teeth? 

The purpose of a night guard is to create a barrier between your teeth, so they don’t grind together – not to shift them. But there is a chance your teeth may move if your night guard isn’t custom made to your mouth. You should not feel any pain or serious discomfort with a night guard. 

What are the benefits of a custom night guard? 

Having a night guard custom made means it will be perfectly fitted to your mouth. This is done by taking moulds of your teeth to make an exact replica that sits over the top, decreasing any chance of discomfort or ill-fitting. It also eliminates the likelihood of your teeth shifting as a result. But it can then stop your braces from moving your teeth….. 

You can find an orthodontist near you and book an appointment for your child – no referral necessary

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