If you grind your teeth and are thinking about getting a night guard, here's what you need to know.
If you are one of the 10% of Americans who grind their teeth at night, chances are you need a night guard. A night guard is a device you wear in your mouth while you sleep that physically prevents contact between your upper and lower teeth, saving you from the sore achy jaw, sensitive teeth, and headaches that are caused by teeth grinding and clenching—a condition known as bruxism. An often unconscious habit, bruxism can generate tremendous force causing broken teeth, loosening of fillings, and potential loss of tooth enamel. It can also cause teeth to become very sensitive to hot and cold foods and liquids. Additional signs of grinding and clenching include sore facial muscles, morning headaches, and neck and ear pain.
A night guard is an effective way to protect your teeth. However, not all night guards are created equal. Not only is it important to choose a night guard made from the materials that are the best fit for you and the severity of your condition, but it is equally important to ensure your device is free from harmful chemicals. Here are some considerations when choosing a night guard right for you.
Ingredients to Avoid: BPA, Latex, and Phthalates
When it comes to choosing a night guard, you have a lot of options. Here are some ingredients to avoid while choosing your night guard.
BPA, or bisphenol A, is a chemical used to make products rigid and clear and is often found in products like water bottles, food cans, other plastic containers, and even some night guards. Unfortunately, BPA can leach out of products and put people at risk for negative health effects. Not only has BPA been known to disrupt hormones in both children and adults, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has also suspected it may be linked to such health issues as cancer, fertility disruption, brain and behavioral problems, obesity, diabetes, and asthma. These risks are especially high in infants, fetuses, and children. Therefore, it is best to avoid any night guard containing BPA, especially since these products are in your mouth for many hours each day.
Another material to avoid is latex due to the prevalence of latex allergies. If you have a latex allergy, consult your dentist or the night guard’s manufacturer to ensure yours is latex-free. It is wise to exercise caution as some products are marketed as being latex-free when, in fact, they are not. This is the case with some night guards that simply state they are made of silicone. Unfortunately, these silicone-based guards often contain trace amounts of other materials, such as latex or even BPA. Always double-check packaging or consult a professional before purchasing a night guard if you have a latex allergy.
Phthalates are often used to soften plastics, making them flexible but hard to break. Also known as plasticizers, these chemicals are cause for concern as they are known to continually release into air, foods, and liquids. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry has declared that it is not safe for children to use dental guards that contain phthalates. Even adults who use a night guard can be exposed to phthalates if they are made with plastic that contains the chemical. This is why it is important to purchase a night guard free from phthalates.
How to Choose A Safe, Effective Night Guard
Now that you know to avoid night guards containing harmful chemicals like BPA, latex, and phthalates, here is what to look for when picking out the right night guard for yourself—all of which can be found at our site, which has specialized in creating safe, custom night guards for over 15 years.
The Best Materials
Night guards are most commonly made from a combination of acrylic and rubber known as polyurethane. Acrylic is hard, clear, and affordable plastic while rubber provides a cushioning layer between the acrylic and your teeth. If properly taken care of, polyurethane night guards can last a long time. Likewise, these night guards provide the best balance between comfort and durability, whereas acrylic-only night guards can often crack, cause discomfort, and can even affect the way your teeth fit together.
Night guards can also be made of polyvinyl acetate, a material that is not only more affordable than many other materials but is commonly more durable. Night guards made from this material are best suited for people with excess bruxism and for whom softer materials would be less effective. Polyvinyl acetate night guards can be less flexible and more difficult to mold than their silicone and acrylic counterparts.
The night guards with the most comfortable fit and greatest flexibility are often made from silicone. Silicone is easy to mold and very rubbery, making it the ideal choice for someone with mild bruxism. Since they are not as rugged as those made from other materials, silicone nightguards tend not to last as long and are best suited for short-term use.
A Custom Fit
Though you can purchase night guards over the counter at drug stores, it is not recommended. Not only are drug store night guards extremely difficult to fit to your teeth, but they are often bulky and unstable when being worn—causing great discomfort and even harm to your teeth and mouth. Not to mention, they are made from inferior materials that aren’t nearly as durable as custom-fit night guards.
A professionally custom-made dental night guard is sure to fit properly, be comfortable, and last longer. And if purchased from teethnightguard.com, it is guaranteed to be made from hygienic materials free of BPA, latex, and phthalates. From thin and soft models to the toughest, most durable devices, teethnightguard.com has night guards perfect for every level of bruxism—all custom-fitted to your mouth for maximum comfort and effectiveness. Talk to your dentist and visit teethnightguard.com today to put a stop to the harmful effects of night grinding.
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EXTRA DURABLE CUSTOM NIGHT GUARD - MAXIMUM DURABILITY AND COMFORT - MOST RECOMMENDED
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