It took me about two weeks to get used to my night guard. At first, I only wore it for a few hours after I went to sleep at night. Now, I sometimes wear it even during the day! The more you wear your night guard, the more comfortable it becomes. It should feel like an extension of your teeth after a few weeks.
First, make sure you have a good fit.
When your new night guard arrives, you should pop it in your mouth and make sure it fits snugly. You do not want your night guard to slip around or easily pop off your teeth. That would defeat the purpose altogether. If you can tell that you have a good fit, then you are set to start wearing your new mouth guard nightly.
You can expect tenderness for a little while.
You are introducing your mouth to something new and bulkier than it is used to experiencing when first wearing a night guard. If you have had braces or other orthodontic devices in your mouth, you probably know that there is an adjustment period. You might notice a little tenderness or a raised ridgeline where your night guard touches against the inside of your cheek at night. This is common and, unless it gets worse or remains painful, it is nothing to worry about.
Jaw soreness is also common.
The first week or two that you wear your new night guard, you might wake up with slightly a sore jaw. This is normal. Your jaw can no longer clench or grind in exactly the ways it used to do in the past. Your brain needs to adjust and start sending different instructions to those muscles. Your mouth and jaw will get used to the night guard over time. You will also notice that your teeth feel healthier and, for many, that you don't bite down as hard when you are awake.
Work up to wearing it all night.
You may have to work up to wearing your night guard all night. It's not uncommon for people to have a hard time getting used to a new mouth guard. If you find that your mouth guard is causing you pain initially, you may want to put a small amount of water on your guard before you put it in your mouth. This can make it feel less foreign when you first put it in. Try to start out each night with the night guard in and only remove it if you wake up with discomfort that is interrupting your sleep.
It takes time to adjust to wearing a night guard.
You should wear your night guard for a full week at least before deciding whether you need to make any adjustments. If you notice discomfort, you can take the night guard out and try again the next night. However, you don’t want to rely on this night after night. Make sure you start spending a full night wearing the mouth guard as soon as possible. Some people are tempted to trim their night guards at home to adjust fit. If you are working with a generic night guard, this might be okay. However, custom night guards are not designed to be adjusted at home. So, take the time to let your mouth adjust to the night guard.
If the fit is not right, consider a different design.
It's common for people to take up to three weeks to adjust to wearing a night guard, but, if you're still having problems after three weeks, talk with your dentist about other options or order a night guard with a different profile and fit. You can weigh the option of switching to your other set of teeth – i.e. if you have a night guard on the top, maybe you want to try one on the bottom instead, and vice versa. Bottom guards are good for those who experience a gag reflex when feeling something on the top of the mouth. Bottom guards are also often better tolerated by new users. However, a top guard is better for anyone who moves their tongue frequently while sleeping or feels particular about tongue placement.
Consider starting with a softer plastic.
When wearing a teeth night guard, harder plastic night guards are helpful for people who grind or clench very aggressively. Some people also prefer them because they last longer. The most popular night guards are made of medium density plastic because they combine longevity with comfort. However, if you have a particularly sensitive mouth, it is a good idea to start with a soft plastic night guard (with a slim profile). This night guard may not last quite as long, but it gets your mouth used to the presence of a night guard. Then, you can move up to a medium density mouth guard with your next order.
Replace your night guard as needed.
If you notice extensive wear and tear or cracking on your night guard, it is time to replace it. It’s important to replace your night guard in a timely fashion so your teeth don’t experience the wear and tear that you see on the mouth guard.
Make your transition as easy as possible by getting the right fit.
You always want to set yourself up for comfort and success by getting a custom made night guard. Although you can find generic night guards at the drug store, using them is usually a road to a lot of pain and hassle. You don’t want your night guard to slide around, bump against your gum line, or hit the top of your mouth. So, make sure you work with a dentist or order through TeethNightGuard.com to get a teeth night guard that will fit you perfectly.
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