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Home » Night Guard (Splints) & Sports Mouth Guards

Night Guard (Splints) & Sports Mouth Guards

A night guard (occlusal splint) can help protect your teeth from wear and damage caused by teeth grinding or clenching your jaw at night. Like sports mouth guards, a night splint should be moulded especially for you and made correctly by a dentist to ensure a good fit and avoid damaging your teeth. 

Teeth grinding

Grinding or clenching your teeth outside normal eating and chewing is called bruxism. You can read more about the possible causes and treatments for teeth grinding here. [LINK TO PAGE]

Aside from causing headaches and jaw discomfort, teeth grinding can also damage your teeth by wearing down the enamel and making your teeth more sensitive to hot and cold. Over time you may experience issues with the way your teeth meet and bite together. In severe cases, teeth may become loose or chipped.  

Benefits of wearing a night guard

A night guard (also known as an occlusal splint) is a special type of mouth guard worn at night. They are made from hard plastic that fits over the upper or lower teeth, leaving the gums exposed. The benefits of having a night guard fitted for you include:

  • Protect your teeth from wear and damage caused by grinding and clenching.

  • Relieve stress and soreness in the jaw joint and muscles of the face and mouth.

  • Ensure the most comfortable fit that will not rub on your tissues and gums.

Wearing a night guard will not necessarily stop the action of grinding or clenching your teeth – but it will help protect your teeth from further damage. Like all mouth guards, you should bring your night guard with you to any appointments so your dentist can check it regularly for wear and tear, and ensure it still fits properly in the mouth.

Sports mouth guards

Injuries to the face and mouth are common in many sports. We have seen cracked teeth, cut lips and tongues and even fractured jaws even from non-contact sports. These injuries can be painful and expensive to treat, resulting in years if not a lifetime of dental treatment.

A mouthguard works by absorbing some of the impact to the mouth, teeth and jaw if you are accidentally knocked in the face. Having your sports mouth guard fitted by a dentist is the best way to protect your teeth from severe injury playing sport.

Benefits of having your mouthguard fitted by a dentist

While it might be tempting to buy a do-it-yourself mouthguard from a chemist or sports shop for you or the kids, these mouthguards don’t offer the same protection. Wearing store bought mouth guards are only slightly better than no mouth guard at all – and in some cases may damage teeth and gums.

The benefits of having your mouthguard fitted by a dentist include:

  • Higher levels of protection for the whole mouth including teeth, jaw, lips and tongue

  • Moulded exactly to your teeth as they grow – especially important for child’s teeth

  • More comfortable to wear and easier to breathe and speak

  • Longer lasting if properly maintained

To make your custom fitted mouthguard, we take a 3D scan of your teeth. This ensures that your mouthguard fits your mouth correctly, making it more comfortable to wear and also easier to breathe and speak. This means you’re more likely to wear it during training as well as games.   

A custom-fitted mouthguard can last several seasons if you keep it safe. Always rinse and dry your mouthguard before returning it to its protective case. And remember to name both the mouthguard and case!