What is a Bite Guard?

What is a Bite Guard?

A bite guard goes by many other names – night guard, mouthguard, night grinding guard, stress guard. No matter the name though, the function is the same: to protect your teeth from getting damaged as a result of teeth grinding. Your dentist at Campbell & Williams Family Dental in Highland Village, TX can provide you with a quality, custom-fitted bite guard to keep your teeth protected.

Which guard is right for you?

There are several types of bite guards available, and you’ll have to take your needs into consideration with the many options to choose from when selecting one.

  • Hard or soft material: Hard acrylic night guards are recommended for moderate to extreme cases of teeth grinding. It is more durable than a soft material, but does not allow for changes to the teeth. This may be a factor if you plan on having dental work done in the near future. Soft night guards, on the other hand, can wear down much faster than hard ones and may even encourage teeth grinding. If you choose a soft material, be aware of the terms of the warranty and pay close attention to any pain in your temporomandibular joint (TMJ).
  • Upper or lower: Unless you have missing teeth or are planning on having dental work done that may change your dental anatomy, this choice depends mainly on personal preference. There are also night guards available that are re-moldable and can be formed to the upper or lower teeth.
  • Custom or over-the-counter: Custom-fit bite guards made in a dental lab using impressions taken of your teeth are the most comfortable and offer the best protection because they are uniquely fitted to your mouth. However, they take time to make, can be bulky, and are the most expensive option. Bite guards can also be custom-fit without having an impression taken. This type of bite guard is a newer type of technology made from a perforated material that allows water and air to pass through with ease. They are available online or in some drugstores and are more affordable than dental custom-made guards. Over-the-counter bite guards are the most affordable option, but provide the least in terms of comfort and protection.

Avoid toxic materials

When choosing a bite guard to suit your needs, be sure that it is free of hazardous or toxic materials. Substances to be on the lookout for include:

  • BPA
  • Latex
  • PVC
  • Phthalates

Always read the label and ask your dentist or dental lab to supply this information if it’s not provided.

No matter what you want to call it, if you need protection from teeth grinding, see your dentist at Campbell & Williams Family Dental in Highland Village, TX to discuss getting a bite guard.