You only have one set of adult teeth, and they need to last until you are 80, 90, or beyond. The actions you take towards your teeth today will either benefit you or harm you in the future. Of course, good dental care starts with seeing a dentist regularly. You should go in for cleanings and checkups, and any other time you think something might be amiss with your teeth. Education is important when it comes to any aspect of your health, so start reading the articles on this website to educate yourself about dentists and dental care. We promise that when you're 80 and you still have your teeth, you won't regret the time spent.
Dental night guards can do wonders for people who struggle with TMJ pain or worn teeth caused by bruxism (nighttime teeth clenching and grinding). You may have little doubt that you need one of these devices. When you compare the price of a dentist-fitted night guard against cheaper over-the-counter products, however, you may wonder why you might go ahead and choose the more professional option. Here are three major reasons to pay that extra money.
1. Fit Quality
As you may have already experienced for years of grinding or clenching, pressure on tooth surfaces can can lead to permanent damage. In addition to the wear that reduces your chewing surfaces, you can actually develop cracks or breaks in your teeth.
Unfortunately, a night guard that offers a less-than-perfect fit can contribute to the problem instead of resolving it. A night guard that doesn't distribute pressure evenly can leave you with the same kinds of damage that would've sustained with no night guard at all. By contrast, your dentist can fashion a night guard from precise impressions of your teeth, ensuring that the device will distribute pressure properly.
2. Durability and Longevity
It should come as no surprise that night guards made of cheaper materials won't hold up to wear and tear as well as night guards made from higher-quality plastics. The life expectancy of over-the-counter night guards is generally measured in months, as opposed to the five years or more you might expect from a custom-made night guard. Over many years, the cost difference evens out as you keep having to replace the cheaper models.
The thinner plastics used in over-the-counter dental guards make them easy for users to mold to their teeth — but they also raise the potential for sudden destruction. If you suffer from severe bruxism, you can actually bite all the way through the thin plastic, leaving your teeth completely unprotected. Your dentist can offer night guards made of harder plastics specifically designed to resist these forces.
If you've worn a dentist-made night guard in the past, you may have been struck by how easy it was to forget that the device was even in your mouth. The perfect fit achieved by these night guards helps them stay in place while ensuring that they use no more material than necessary.
When you step down an over-the-counter night guard, you'll understand right away why you paid so little money for it. these products tend to be much bulkier than their customized cousins, taking up more space in your mouth and possibly even making it impossible to keep your lips closed. The resulting discomfort may force you to discard the device in favor of something better.
When it comes to the health and comfort of your teeth, you don't want to skimp on the quality of your dental solutions. Contact your dentist and ask about your night guard options, from available materials to convenient payment arrangements.