Bruxism is a dental problem whose symptoms includes teeth grinding and jaw clenching; it is a common condition that general affects both kids and adults. While teeth grinding can occasionally occur during the day, it is most commonly experienced during the night when a person is a sleep. When you visit a dentist with this complaint, you will almost always be treated using a dental night guard; this is a special gadget that is worn either on the upper or lower teeth so as to provide a cushion between the teeth in order to prevent teeth grinding.
Sometimes teeth grinding occurs as a result of stress but in children it is most likely as a result of teeth development. For both kids and adults, the problem occurs when the jaw muscles become tight and the upper and lower teeth grind over each other or slide repeatedly. Some of the most common problems that are associated with this condition include ear and jaw pain in addition to the damaging of the jaw joint, damage to the teeth and serious headaches.
Dental night guards are made using different materials but the most common ones are acrylic and plastic. Even though both materials are equally effective, acrylic dental night guards are less flexible and tend to stay in place better and are therefore more effective in preventing teeth grinding. The only thing you will have to contend with when you choose acrylic night guards is the higher cost when compared to the plastic ones. You can easily buy dental night guards over the counter but most people prefer custom made ones that will most likely fit better and will be more effective. If a person wears a dental night guard that doesn’t fit their moth properly you can be sure that they will be quite uncomfortable; dentists don’t recommend over the counter dental night guards.
There are dental night guards that are custom made that are sold in drug stores or online that a patient can use at home; these are normally made of plastic. The patient will place the night guard in boiling water so that it becomes moldable. Once it cools down to a point that it will not burn them, the person will place it on their upper or lower teeth and let it stay for a few minutes; this enables the device to cool into the correct shape of the person’s dental formula.
However, if you want the best results using a dental night guard, it is always recommended that you consult your regular dentist. The dentist has the training and experience to make the best impression of your teeth and create a night guard that will custom fit your teeth correctly. In the case of children, they may need to get new molds periodically because their mouths are growing and changing.