How Often Should You Replace Your Night Guard?

When we lay our heads down at night to sleep, often our bodies keep ongoing. Tension in your jaw as well as signs of grinding on your teeth can point to problems occurring in your sleep. Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a habitual condition that leads individuals to subconsciously clench and grind their teeth. Typically, bruxism doesn’t require treatment but more severe cases can lead to headaches, tooth damage, and even jaw disorders.

For individuals looking to protect themselves from bruxism, consider a night guard.

What Is a Night Guard?

If you struggle with jaw stiffness or cold sensitivities, your teeth are likely to be damaged by bruxism. Treating and addressing the effects of bruxism can be a simple task with the help of a night guard. Night Guards are custom-made to fit your exact bite.

Signs you might need a mouth guard at night

  • Flattened, Fractured, Chipped, or Loose Teeth
  • Tooth Pain and Sensitivity
  • Headache Beginning in the Temples
  • Poor Sleep
  • Teeth Grinding Loud Enough to Wake a Partner

Kawveh Nofallah DMD utilizes ISO-certified materials that are non-allergenic and BPA-free to ensure that his clients have the protection that they need when they need it.

How Often Should I Replace My Night Guard?

It stands to reason that a night guard can go through some pretty intense use on a nightly basis. Depending on the severity of their bruxism, individuals can grind their teeth unconsciously up to 250lbs of pressure — directly targeted at their molars. While mouth guards are made from materials that can last for up to five years, frequency of use as well as severity can change the equation on when you should replace your guard.

Every night guard will vary by brand, durability, material, and type. Some will last longer than others but the signs that they should be changed are common throughout. Before deciding how often to replace night guard purchases, be sure to catch sight of the following signs.

  • Wear and Tear – If you notice any cracks within the night guard, you are probably due to have the guard replaced. Pay special attention to the back of the guard as your molars will apply the most pressure at night.
  • Deformation – Pressure and frequent use can turn even the sturdiest of night guards into a deformed mess. While most night guards are expected to last up to five years, they can become deformed far sooner than that. If you notice your night guard starting to lose its shape, consider contacting your local dentist to have the product replaced.
  • Doesn’t Provide Full Coverage – In order for a night guard to become effective at treating bruxism, it must be perfectly fit to your mouth. In the event that a night guard does not have a perfect fit, it may not provide the full depth of coverage that you require.

How to Care For Your Night Guard

If you’ve made it this far then the odds are good you want to take care of your teeth. A common problem exacerbated by anxiety and stress, taking care of your night guard can be your first line of defense against bruxism. Unfortunately, you’ll have to replace your night guard far sooner than you may otherwise have to should you forget to properly take care of the item.

Here are a few ways that you can help to take care and extend the shelf life of your night guard all at the same time. 

  • Practice Wearing Your Guard – The first time that you wear your night guard, you will probably be uncomfortable. Consider wearing your night guard during the day to get accustomed to the feeling. A custom-fit guard should provide absolute comfort.
  • Clean After Use – Clean your night guard every morning by rinsing it with warm water. You can also use a soft toothbrush and a small amount of toothpaste to scrub the device clean.
  • Soak Your Case  – Your night guard’s case can become just as dirty as your night guard. Consider soaking the case in a cleaning solution consisting of soap and warm water to stave off potential bacterial growth.  While we don’t recommend soaking the guard itself, we can help when you bring it with you to your routine hygiene appointments by placing it in our office cleaner to remove bacteria.

Dr. Nofallah opened his renowned restorative and cosmetic dental practice in 2009. Dr. Nofallah is a proud member of the American Dental Association, West Coast District Dental Association, and the Florida Dental Association.

To get a custom-fit night guard of your own, contact Dr. Kawveh Nofallah for an appointment!

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