Differences Between Sports Guards and Night Guards Wyoming Dentist

It’s not uncommon for patients to confuse sports guards with night guards. While both of these oral appliances protect your teeth, they do so in different ways. A sports guard or mouth guard protects your smile while playing contact sports. A night guard stops you from grinding or clenching teeth while you sleep. 

Since both contact sports and grinding your teeth put you at high risk for tooth fractures and other oral health issues, you’ll want to talk to our Wyoming dentist at River Ridge Dentistry about getting a teeth guard that works for you. 

Night Guards Help Prevent Teeth Grinding

Do you grind your teeth at night? Many people are unaware of the condition called bruxism, in which they grind their teeth in their sleep. Sometimes people notice it from waking up with jaw pain, but usually, it’s not until their dentist sees worn tooth enamel and other symptoms during a dental cleaning. In some cases, teeth grinding could also be loud enough to wake up your partner. 

Common Symptoms of teeth grinding include:

  • Worn tooth enamel
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Jaw pain
  • Tired or tight jaw muscles
  • Headaches upon waking
  • Sleep disruption

If left untreated, bruxism can permanently damage your teeth and gums. If you suspect you have bruxism, you’ll want to ask your dentist about getting a mouth guard for teeth grinding right away. A night guard helps stop teeth grinding by working as a protective layer between the upper and lower teeth so you can’t grind them while you sleep. 

Once your dentist diagnoses you with bruxism, they will create a custom teeth grinding guard. During your first appointment, your dentist will take dental impressions and send them to the lab where your sleeping mouth guard will be made. When you come back for your second appointment, your night guard will be ready. Our dentist will check the fit of the appliance to make sure you’ll be able to sleep and breathe comfortably. 

How Much Do Night Guards Cost?

A night mouth guard costs significantly less than the cost of restorative dentistry. The price does vary though depending on the guard material, appointment visits, and insurance type. Typically, people expect to pay between $300-$500 dollars with a flex range of $200-$1,1000. 

A custom-fit night guard will serve you better than a mouth guard or store-bought night guard if you’re battling bruxism, though. Store-bought guards won’t fit to your mouth uniquely, so they run the risk of coming loose, waking you up in the night, or falling apart. A custom-fit night guard may cost more but it will be designed specifically for you and your teeth to best suit your needs.

Sports Guards Help Prevent Impact Injuries

Nothing interrupts the game more than needing an emergency dentist. If you play a contact sport, you’ll want to talk to your dentist about getting a custom mouth guard as soon as possible. Don’t regret waiting till your teeth are throbbing or knocked out! 

A custom sports guard protects upper teeth from impact injuries. For example, a football mouth guard protects your teeth and gums if you get tackled by a guy built like a refrigerator. Likewise, a basketball mouth guardprotects your smile if another player extends their arms to collect a rebound and accidentally hits you in the mouth.

Mouth guards can also be used for non-contact sports (like ice skating) where there’s still the risk of injury. Your dentist will help you find the best mouth guard for your smile and the activities you love. If you or your child has braces, your dentist may create a special mouth guard that protects both the upper and lower teeth. A mouth guard for braces will stop brackets and wires from cutting into your gums, cheeks, or tongue.

How Much Do Sports Mouth Guards Cost?

Custom sports mouth Guards are generally around $60.00 depending on your insurance and other dental needs. 

While sports mouth guards at the store are relatively cheap (around $20-$30) they’re not custom fit. This means that upon any sort of impact, they may not do the job you need them to. The improper fitting can also lead to things like a sore jaw, increased saliva, and trouble getting the mouth guard in and out. 

For information on mouth guard maintenance, check out our blog on When You Should Replace Your Mouth Guard >>

In Need of a Teeth Guard?

Whether it’s for a custom fit night guard or sports mouth guard, Dr. Helmus DDS at River Ridge Dentistry is dedicated to helping patients protect their smiles. Feel free to request an appointment with your dentist in Wyoming MI online or give us a call (616) 538-7320. We’re more than happy to help protect your teeth!