Ever wake up with a headache along with a sore jaw and teeth? If so, you may be suffering from teeth grinding and clenching.
What is teeth grinding?
This condition, also known as bruxism, causes you to tightly press your teeth against each other and move them back and forth. This often happens while sleeping and most people are unaware they are grinding their teeth.
Stress is often the cause of teeth grinding and symptoms include headaches, sore jaw and teeth, facial pain, and worn down or chipped teeth. Not fixing this problem can lead to further dental complications including, tooth loss and severe TMJ (temporomandibular joint dysfunction).
Teeth grinding is commonly diagnosed by orthodontists and is treated with a nightguard.
What is a night guard?
A nightguard, also known as a mouth guard, is a plastic appliance that is molded to fit your teeth. Wear this at night while sleeping and it prevents your top teeth from touching the bottom teeth. It’s a very effective way to prevent teeth grinding at night. In addition, a nightguard will relax the jaw muscles which in turn reduces headaches from the teeth grinding.
We receive many questions about whether a night guard can be worn with braces and Invisalign. The short answer is yes and no. Continue to find out more.
Can a night guard be worn with braces?
Yes. Braces can be worn with a nightguard if you grind your teeth at night. A mouth guard may also be prescribed if you wear braces and play contact sports or participate in strenuous outdoor activities.
Can a night guard be worn with Invisalign?
No. If you have Invisalign, you will not be able to wear a nightguard. However, Invisalign clear aligners can help prevent mild bruxism, as they serve as a protective barrier between your top and bottom teeth. It is important to note that if you wear Invisalign and grind your teeth at night, the clear aligners will wear down faster. Considering that most patients change their clear aligners every two weeks, this typically isn’t something to be too concerned with. But it can be a problem if you wear Invisalign as a long-term retainer.
A night guard can save patients further costs and complications
Wearing a night guard can be effective in reducing further dental care needs, as it helps prevent complications from bruxism. Purchasing a night guard now will help patients save money by avoiding unnecessary dental procedures. Teeth grinding can lead to severe jaw discomfort, chipped teeth, tooth loss, and may require costly restorative dental treatments such as root canals, crowns, and bridges.
Where can I get a night guard for braces?
Many patients can get night guards for braces through their orthodontist. Local drugstores also sell night guards, but we caution patients about purchasing these. While night guards sold at local pharmacies might be an affordable option, these night guards are not custom-fitted and might be bulky and uncomfortable to wear. In addition, these night guards are usually larger and have a higher chance of coming out during the night. Lastly, night guards for braces from the drugstore are usually made of a rubber-based material that promotes your teeth to clench and grind.
Considering purchasing a night guard?
If your sleep quality is suffering due to teeth grinding, and you would like more information about nightguards, please contact us at any of our locations in Montgomery, Wetumpka, or Millbrook! We would be happy to answer any questions you may have to ensure that your braces and teeth are protected at all times.