Nightguards in Huntsville, AL

Maintaining oral health encompasses more than daytime oral hygiene routines like brushing, flossing, dental cleanings, or whitening treatments. What about nighttime? Unfortunately, we can’t control what our body does while we sleep. Involuntary actions like teeth grinding or clenching during sleep can cause several dental issues. Many people grind or clench their teeth without realizing it and wake up with sore muscles, headaches, sensitive teeth, or broken dental restorations. Nightguards offer an effective solution, safeguarding your teeth while you sleep.

The Function of Nightguards

Nightguards in Huntsville, AL Chase Family DentistryA nightguard is a plastic dental appliance that covers your teeth as you sleep. They cushion your teeth from the forces of clenching and grinding, known as bruxism, and can alleviate symptoms of TMJ disorder. Certain types of nightguards can even help with snoring and sleep apnea.

Signs You May Need a Nightguard

You might benefit from a nightguard if you experience:

  • Chronic grinding that leads to tooth sensitivity
  • Unexplained chipped teeth
  • Sore jaw muscles
  • Frequent headaches or earaches
  • Difficulty opening and closing your mouth
  • Pain or discomfort while eating

Some of these symptoms are signs of not only bruxism but also TMJ disorder. Clenching and grinding your teeth at night strains your temporomandibular joint, which is the joint that connects your lower jaw to the rest of your skull and is involved with activities like eating and speaking. While TMJ disorder can be improved using a nightguard, comprehensive treatment may include medications or even surgery. Dr. Clayton can provide more information and a more accurate assessment of your situation when you visit Chase Family Dentistry for your consultation.

Choosing the Right Nightguard

There are two main types of nightguards: a professional nightguard custom-made for you by Chase Family Dentistry or a store-bought nightguard you need to adjust yourself. While over-the-counter “boil and bite” nightguards are cheap, they aren’t as effective or long-lasting as a professional nightguard. Custom nightguards from Dr. Clayton offer several advantages:

  • Tailored fit: Dr. Clayton creates a mold of your teeth and sends the specifications to a dental lab where technicians expertly craft your custom nightguard. As a result, your appliance will match your teeth and facial structure perfectly, ensuring better comfort and results. Store-bought nightguards are shaped by boiling them in hot water and trying to mold them to your teeth at home.
  • Higher quality: Professional nightguards are more durable and effective than their store-bought counterparts. On average, our custom nightguards last between 3 and 10 years.
  • Customizable: Custom nightguards come in various colors and styles, allowing you to personalize your appliance to match your personality.

Caring for Nightguards

You should put in your nightguard after brushing your teeth at night, taking it out as soon as you wake up. Proper care extends the life of the appliance. Be sure to clean it with cool water and a toothbrush after each use, and allow it to air dry. Avoid hot water, which can distort the plastic and change the nightguard’s fit. Monthly deep cleaning of the appliance is also essential for longevity.

Store your mouthguard in a protective case, away from heat and direct sunlight. Finally, bring your nightguard to your regular dental checkup so Dr. Clayton can evaluate its condition and let you know if it’s time to consider a replacement.

Choose a Professional Nightguard for Better Oral Health

If nighttime teeth grinding affects your sleep and overall well-being, consider a nightguard. Schedule a visit to Chase Family Dentistry and discover how a custom-fitted nightguard can enhance your sleep quality and daily life. Let Dr. Clayton guide you toward a healthier smile and a more comfortable, restful night.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you care for your nightguard properly, it should last years. However, it really comes down to the individual situation. Patients who are rougher on their appliance may need to replace their nightguard sooner than a more gentle patient. On average, a nightguard may last between three and ten years before needing replacement.

It is important to bring your nightguard to your regular dental appointments so Dr. Clayton can examine their condition and offer guidance.

While a professional nightguard will be more expensive than a store-bought one, it will fit better and last longer. Think of your nightguard the same way you think of your mattress—you’re going to spend a lot of time together, so if quality and comfort are important to you, a professional mouthguard is the way to go. For those who need assistance managing costs, we offer several financing options that make treatment more affordable.

If you occasionally forget to wear your custom nightguard, it may not result in immediate consequences. However, consistently neglecting to use it can lead to a resurgence of issues associated with teeth grinding or clenching. It’s important to maintain regular use of your nightguard to ensure ongoing protection and to mitigate these potential dental problems.