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Mouth Guards

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Night Guards

For people who experience tooth wear from grinding/clenching their teeth at night or have TMD (temporomandibular joint dysfunction), a night guard or bite splint is a very beneficial appliance. It can help alleviate symptoms and prevent further damage to the teeth and jaw joint.

A night guard is an occlusal appliance made from acrylic that is worn overnight. It then protects the teeth during grinding and clenching as the teeth are hitting the acrylic barrier and not the opposing teeth. Therefore, the wear happens to the acrylic and not the teeth. It can also help with jaw alignment and address uneven tooth wear.

For TMD issues, it has been shown that the splint can help relax the chewing muscles which reduce tooth wear (even when it isn’t being worn).

To make a nightguard, impressions are taken of the teeth along with a record of the bite and sent to the lab so they can custom-make this appliance. They are made out of either hard acrylic or a type that softens under warm water. These custom-made mouthguards are much better fitting than those purchased at the drug store.

Rehabilitating a mouth that has excessive tooth-wear can be a very costly treatment plan so it is important to be proactive with regards to grinding and clenching.


Sports Guards

Sports that involve body contact or fast-moving objects like baseballs can result in injury to the jaws or teeth (fracture or complete loss of a tooth). To help prevent injury to both the hard (bone and teeth) and soft (gums, cheeks and lips) tissues, we can make a sports guard that is custom-fit to cover the patient’s teeth.

The custom-fit guards are more comfortable than the boil and bite type available at the drug store and they are also more protective and often last longer. The Pro-form mouth guards that are made at Hometown Dental offer optimum protection, fit and comfort and do not restrict athletes’ breathing and performance. Most can also speak well with the guard in place. Athletes are more likely to keep the guard in if it fits well and is comfortable.

To make the sports guard, we first take an impression of the upper teeth to then make a model replica of the patient’s teeth and jaw. It is on this model that we form the mouthguard out of sheets of rubbery plastic by using heat and vacuum pressure. Once the plastic cools, the sports guard is trimmed to the optimal shape and then polished on the edges. This is done in our office and there are several colour options available. We might even match your sports team jerseys!

Note: Sports guards for children often need to be replaced every 1-2 years as their jaws grow and the teeth are changing.

Written by Hometown Dental Okotoks

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