Teeth grinding, bruxism, jaw pain and obstructive sleep apnea are just some of the reasons your dentist might prescribe you a mouthguard.
Also there are some easy to use and cheaper options out there that might help you with all of the above.
The problem is, that many people will have trouble to adjust and actually get the benefits out of using a night mouth guard.
In this case, effective tips for sleeping with a mouth guard might help you get used to the oral appliance faster.
The sooner you get used to it, the more comfortable you will be wearing it every night to bed. What happens next is obviously what you and your dentist had hoped for.
How Do You Know Whether You Need a Night Mouth Guard?
If you often wake up with a jawache or headache, it could be a sign that you're clenching or grinding your teeth at night. This condition is called bruxism, and it can cause serious damage to your teeth and jaw.
Over time, bruxism can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and even jaw fractures. One way to protect your teeth and jaw from bruxism is to sleep with a mouth guard.
Mouth guards are designed to create a barrier between your teeth, preventing them from coming into contact with each other. This can help to reduce the pain and damage caused by bruxism.
In addition, mouth guards can also be used to treat TMJ disorder, which is another condition that can cause jaw pain. Mouth guards can also help to reduce snoring by keeping your airway clear. In some cases, they may even be able to prevent sleep apnea.
If you're concerned about bruxism or TMJ disorder, talk to your dentist about whether a mouth guard would be right for you.
Is It Hard to Sleep with a Mouth Guard?
It can be hard to sleep with a mouthguard bought over the counter. Some of these are made of low-quality materials that make them uncomfortable to wear. In some cases, they can even cut into your gums’ soft tissue.
For this reason, it’s preferable to go for a high-quality mouthguard. Although boil-and-bite guards fit relatively well, frequent use can cause them to become weak and brittle.
For any of the symtomps described above, you can opt for the cheaper and relatively comfortable boil-and-bite option. In case you require a personalized mouthguard, talk to your oral health care provider about having one made.
How Do You Get Used to Sleeping with a Mouth Guard?
After exploring the link between sleep apnea and grinding, you will realize that one effective solution is to sleep with a mouthguard. Of course, the key to that is to know how to sleep with a mouth guard correctly.
Did you sleep okay with your mouthguard on? Some people might have, but for most, it can take some getting used to. Here is how you can make things easier for yourself:
1. Opt for High-Quality Materials
When it comes to your oral health, anything below second best is questionable. Some mouthguards can be bought cheap. And while low-cost, there is a good chance these products will not fit well. They might also be uncomfortably bulky.
As such, you want to use a mouthguard made of Invisalign. This is a thin, light, and high-quality material that takes up less space in the mouth. Not only will a guard made from Invisalign fit well, but it will also make it easier for you to know how to sleep with a mouth guard the right way.
2. Go for a Custom-made Guard
As you can guess, a custom-made mouthguard might cost you quite a bit more than a standard version. So, it will always be an individual choice whether a custom-made version is to be preferred over a high-quality standard version.
A personalized mouthguard is easier to get used to since it is structured around your specific needs and preferences. One that fits your specifications also molds to your mouth like a glove, so there will be no dealing with size issues.
You do not have to worry about it cutting into your mouth’s soft tissue like an over-the-counter product might. Your dentist can offer some tips for putting on this individualized mouthguard so that it is even easier for you to adjust to wearing it.
3. Position the Mouthguard Properly
While most mouthguards are made to fit the upper teeth, some are also molded for the lower teeth. You can even have one made to fit both the lower and upper sections of your teeth. You can probably see the struggle of finding a good fit where lower quality & price products are concerned.
To address this issue, make sure to have a mouthguard available for the lower and upper portions of your teeth. In this way, you can wear both or just the one you are most comfortable wearing.
4. Get the Timing Right
The best time to wear your mouthguard is right before bedtime. This not only helps mitigate discomfort but also reduces your chances of finding the item troublesome.
When you put the guard on just before bed, you give yourself enough time to adjust to the feeling of having it in your mouth.
5. Clean Your Mouthguard Daily
Something you put in your mouth every day should also be cleaned as frequently. Whenever you brush your teeth, you will need to do the same to your guard, so it does not get covered in bacteria.
Remember that bacteria can have your mouthguard smelling foul. Not cleaning mouthguards properly can also cause them to grow molds.
Take proper care of your mouthguards to extend their lifespan. Again, your dentist should be able to provide some useful information on this.
6. Be Patient
Eventually, you will get used to your new mouthguard. After waiting a couple of weeks up to a month, you may notice that it no longer bothers you as much as it did. In fact, wearing it to bed at night will start to feel like second nature to you.
Not using your mouthguard regularly will not accustom you to its feeling. As such, it will not achieve the goal it was meant for.
7. Match Your Mouthguard with a Quality Mattress
A mouthguard that is easy to fall asleep in can help treat sleep apnea better. When you have a comfortable mattress to pair with your customized mouthguard, your chances of having a good night’s sleep become significantly higher.
When buying these products, make sure to choose ones that cater specifically to your needs and preferences.
Can Night Guards Ruin Your Teeth?
No, they cannot. In fact, night guards are used for protecting the teeth from the powerful clenching force that would otherwise damage them. The force from all the grinding is what causes grooves to eventually form on your night guards.
In the absence of this oral appliance, your teeth’s enamel could be stripped off, leading to you having more sensitive teeth.
How Long Does It Take for a Mouth Guard to Work?
When you start using a mouthguard, you will notice immediately that symptoms of your condition will begin to dissipate. However, they will not all go at the same time. Also, your body will take time to adjust to your new bite.
Sometimes, it will take six weeks from the initial wearing of the guard to see significant improvements. By the three-month mark, all facial pain and jaw issues should resolve.
Mouthguards are used to treat a variety of dental health issues, most notably bruxism or teeth clenching and grinding. Once you decide to take this treatment route, make sure to go for a high-quality option since it ensures an exact fit.
Having a high-quality one will help you get used to the guard better. It will also make it easier for you to follow the rest of the tips for sleeping with a mouth guard, improving your chances of success.