A nightguard is a retainer-like piece of firm or soft plastic that is worn on the upper or lower teeth to protect you from biting your mouth. Since everyone’s teeth are different, a nightguard is custom-made for each individual by shaping it to suit your teeth without being unpleasant or bulky. It has several names; therefore, when you hear your cosmetic dentist Anaheim talk about a mouthguard, bite splint, occlusal guard, nocturnal bite plate, or dental guard, they refer to the same thing.

Various types of nightguards


Nightguards are categorized based on the materials from which they are made:

  1.     Hard nightguards: These types are made of acrylic and are used to treat TMJ disorders, as well as extreme teeth grinding and clenching. The bite alters when the muscles relax because the lower jaw positions itself in a healthy centric posture; thus, adjustments to the guard’s bite will enable your jaw and muscles to relax. Hard nightguards are also the most durable since they are composed of sturdy substances.
  2.     Soft nightguards: These types of nightguards are made of soft plastic and will not damage the teeth if you grind your teeth hard. Despite being more flexible than the others, these guards are still contoured to fit your mouth. Due to the soft nature of these guards, you may feel a greater desire to bite down on the guard or grind your teeth. This can lead to a shorter lifespan of the guard, so their warranties are brief.

Factors to consider when selecting between a lower or upper nightguard

Since you may wear a nightguard on either the top or bottom set of teeth, you might wonder which is ideal for optimum protection against grinding. Some of the aspects you should consider when making that decision are:

  1.     Comfort

An unpleasant nightguard is unlikely to enter your mouth as you hate wearing it; hence it won’t help you. Remember that you will be spending the night with a gadget in your mouth; thus, comfort should be top of your list. A lower mouthguard is recommended if you grind your teeth unconsciously during the day since it is less visible, assisting you in avoiding attracting attention.

Additionally, a lower nightguard is appropriate if you have a sensitive gag reflex. However, an upper nightguard is typically more intrusive since it is bigger and heavier than the lower nightguard.

  1.     Teeth condition

The state of your teeth should play a role in establishing the appropriate nightguard. Since a custom-made nightguard is created from your teeth impression, you should select a pair that doesn’t contain too many teeth missing or crooked. That way, you will have a finer fit.

When to see your doctor

Unless you visit a specialist, who can diagnose you with bruxism, it is difficult to determine if the headaches, tooth sensitivity, or TMJ are caused by teeth grinding and clenching in your sleep. Furthermore, dentists prescribe a custom-made nightguard, and there is no way to obtain one without an oral hygiene expert’s help.

Night guards are advantageous to dental health because they keep your teeth from rubbing together when you clench the jaw or grind your teeth. If you are considering a nightguard, see your dentist to determine if it is the ideal therapy approach. Call AppleTree Dental or book your consultation online to find out which type of nightguard suits you.