Night Guards are utilized to help protect enamel and prevent pain or damage caused from nighttime grinding, also known as bruxing. Night guards are known to reduce irritation to the gums and to alleviate severe tooth, jaw, or facial muscle pain. There are three kinds of night guards; hard, hard/soft, and soft. They are made with extremely dense material that reduces the chance of breakage and offers a porous surface that lessens odor, bacteria growth, plaque, and discoloration.
Soft night guards should be prescribed to light grinding patients, but is more suitable for clenching rather than grinding. These are for patients who do not suffer from the unfortunate habit on a nightly basis or do not have a significant degree of the habit. The soft night guard is made from a soft thermoplastic that offers a comfortable and easy solution for clenching but is less durable than other options.
Hard/Soft night guards are perfect for patients with moderate or a little more severe grinding habits throughout the night. This option offers the best results for the patients in comfort and durability. This night guard material consists of a 1mm soft polyurethane inner layer that rests comfortably against teeth and gums while offering 2.5mm of hard clear co-polyester outer layer that offers durability and bonds the acrylic.
Hard night guards should be chosen for patients with heavy to severe grinding. It’s made from acrylic; a clear, hard plastic that is heat cured for maximum strength and are rigid with absolutely no flexibility. Hard night guards aid in protecting teeth as well as other vital structures by creating a protective barrier between upper and lower teeth. The overall thickness of a night guard is about 2.5mm and it can be easily repaired or added to if you need to adjust the vertical