How Safe Are Teeth Night Guards?

How Safe Are Teeth Night Guards?

The Brux Doc The Brux Doc
5 minute read

If you grind your teeth, you might be wondering whether you should get yourself a night guard. One of the looming questions is often: how safe is it to wear one? Maybe you’re worried about the materials or about the possibility of choking on it during the night.

There is good news and bad. There are some things to look out for when choosing your night guard. But all in all, the benefits far outweigh anything else. Let’s set your mind at ease by addressing some of these concerns.

Your night guard is only as safe as the materials used to make it.

It is important to choose a night guard that is made from safe materials. This will ensure that no dangerous chemicals leach out of the night guard when you wear them every night. The main material of concern that you will want to avoid in a night guard is BPA.

BPA is used to harden plastic, and it was frequently used in baby bottles, plastic water bottles, and other plastic products before it was found to be associated with early onset puberty, infertility, and obesity. Those effects are due to the interactions that BPA can have with the body’s natural hormones.

Phthalates can also be a concern because they are not chemically bound to the material they are part of, so they can be released into the body. Prolonged exposure to phthalates may incur a risk of damage to the liver, kidneys, lungs, or reproductive system.

If you have allergies to latex or silicone, you may also need to avoid night guards that include these compounds, though they are not toxic. TeethNightGuard never uses BPA, latex, or phthalates in its production of night guards.

A well-fitted night guards should not be a choking hazard.

Another concern is the possibility that a night guard could become a choking hazard if it is dislodged during sleep. As with any piece of medical equipment, there is a small risk that a night guard may cause an injury. However, the likelihood of this occurring is quite low and practically nonexistent if your night guard is custom-fitted for your mouth.

The danger mainly arises only if you let your night guard begin to fall apart without replacing it. If you do that, you run the risk of having a piece of the night guard break off during the night. For that to happen, however, your night guard would have to be in seriously bad shape and clearly in need of replacement.

This is not to say that a night guard might not create a choking reflex (this is a physical response triggered in the throat) if you have a sensitive top of your mouth. Some people find they have to choose a night guard for their bottom teeth instead of their top teeth for greater comfort.

A night guard rarely affects your bite.

You may worry that your night guard could negatively affect your bite or jaw position over time. However, even though a night guard might require an adjustment of the jaw while you have it in, the adjustment should be very slight and have no lasting effects.

If you feel any new jaw discomfort after starting to wear a new night guard, try choosing a night guard with a slimmer profile  (thinner more flexible material).

If you have loose or broken teeth, you should have them fixed before getting a night guard.

There are certain circumstances in which is better to put off or take a break from wearing your night guard. If you have a broken tooth or one of your teeth is loose, you will want to take a break from your night guard until the problem is fixed.

If you are worried that a night guard will damage work you have had done, such as veneers or bonding, you should know that the reverse is generally true: your night guard will actually do a great job of protecting the work you have had done to your teeth.

To protect your teeth, you should replace your night guard every few months.

As mentioned earlier, a damaged night guard can pose risks, such as breaking apart and creating a choking hazard. However, a damaged night guard can harm you in more ways than that.

Over time, your night will show signs of wear and tear, such as scratches and rough areas. These areas make good breeding grounds for bacteria, which increases the bacteria that can cause cavities in your mouth. These rough spots also create friction against your teeth, which damages the enamel and can worsen if your night guard is getting looser as it wears out.

It is good practice to replace your night guard every six to nine months though you may need to do so more frequently if you are a particularly aggressive teeth grinder.

If you have more questions about whether you need a night guard or how to fit your night guard properly, visit the TeethNightGuard blog .

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