Will My Night Guard Break My Braces or My Clear Aligners?

Will My Night Guard Break My Braces or My Clear Aligners?

The Brux Doc The Brux Doc
5 minute read

If you have braces or clear aligners (like Invisalign), you might be wondering whether they are compatible with a night guard. Maybe you are actually straightening your teeth to address some of the underlying issues that are causing you to grind your teeth, and, naturally, you want to make sure your teeth remain protected through the process.

I understand your worry. While good alignment is central to good long-term oral health, it’s also really important to make sure you don’t wind up chipping a tooth in the process of wearing your teeth down.

For some people, braces can even add temporarily to the tension and stress in the muscles around the mouth (which contributes to teeth grinding). This makes sense because there is so much shifting going on and because, well, there are a bunch of wires in the mouth.

Whatever the case, you want to be particularly careful when you are pairing your braces with a night guard (also known as a mouth guard).

A night guard may not be an option if you are using clear aligners.

If you have Invisalign or another version of clear aligners, you are probably supposed to wear them all day, every day except when eating or drinking. Doing this is crucial for the progress you want to make in shifting your teeth.

So, if you have aligners on top and bottom, a night guard is not going to fit into your routine until you are done with your treatment. The good news is that the aligners themselves can do a passable job of protecting your teeth.

And, if you only wear aligners on the top – or only on the bottom – you do have the option of getting a night guard for the other set of teeth, top or bottom.

You need to ask your orthodontist.

The first thing you need to do if you want to wear a night guard during teeth-straightening treatment is talk to your orthodontist. The orthodontist will be able to tell you if the night guard will affect the specific arrangement of braces in your mouth. Sometimes, if there are a lot of rubber bands in your treatment, it get hard to include a night guard.  However, most of the time, you will be able to wear a night guard with traditional braces. In fact, your orthodontist may advocate for this if you grind your teeth aggressively.

Get your mouth guard fitted with care.

We usually recommend saving money by taking your own mold of your mouth with our easy-to-use kit. However, if you are nervous about damaging your braces, you should get the mold taken by your dentist or, if you choose to take it on your own, have a friend on hand to assist. The friend will be able to see into your mouth better when placing and removing the mold.

Know that you will have to take molds multiple times over the course of your treatment, because the braces will be shifting your teeth and changing the way your night guard needs to fit.

Choose soft night guard material.

Because your teeth will be shifting, you want to get a night guard that isn’t too hard or inflexible. If you do, then the guard itself may actually be counteracting the pull of the braces. A soft night guard material will give a little as the teeth shift, allowing you to wear it comfortably for longer and ensuring that you are not hurting the work of the braces.

You will need to change your night guard more frequently.

That said, no single night guard will take you all the way through your braces treatment simply because your teeth should be in different places by the end of it from where they were in the beginning. So, you need to be very aware of how your night guard is fitting.

Put your night guard in and remove it with care every night and morning. Pay attention to places where it has begun to feel tight or loose. Any time, you feel like it is getting harder to put in or take out, get a new one.

Have a generic mouth guard as a backup.

We rarely recommend getting a generic night guard because they can slide around and, therefore, be more uncomfortable and less effective.

However, if you are wearing braces, it is likely that your custom night guard will stop fitting you well at some point and you will want to order a new one. While you’re waiting for that new one, you probably don’t want to wear the one that is starting to press against your braces in the wrong way.

So, in this instance, it’s good to try out a generic night guard (available at most drug stores) as a temporary placeholder. It won’t be the most comfortable, but it will be more protection than nothing at all.

Wearing a night guard will take some getting used to, but it shouldn’t be painful.

Wearing a night guard can be a little difficult to get used to, but if you are experiencing a lot of pain – like sores on the side of your mouth, extreme tenderness along your gum line, or tooth pain – then something isn’t right.  At TeethNightGuard, we want you to find a solution that quickly starts to feel like a natural part of your mouth while you sleep. If you have braces, choose one of our softer materials for your custom night guard .

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