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 protects your smile while playing contact sports. A night guard stops you from grinding or clenching teeth while you sleep.

Since both behaviors put you at higher 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.

Night Guards Prevent Teeth Grinding

Do you grind your teeth at night? Many people are unaware of their teeth grinding (bruxism) until their dentist sees worn tooth enamel and other symptoms at their dental checkup. Teeth grinding can also be loud enough to wake up your partner.

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. A night mouth guard costs significantly less than the cost of restorative dentistry. If you suspect you have bruxism, you’ll want to ask your dentist about getting a mouth guard for teeth grinding. A night guard forms a protective layer between the upper and lower teeth so you won’t wake up in pain and wear down your teeth over time.

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.

Sports Guards 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. A 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 guard protects your smile if another player extends their arms to collect a rebound and accidently hits you in the mouth.

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

Dr. Helmus DDS at River Ridge Dentistry is dedicated to helping patients protect their smiles with custom mouth guards. To schedule an appointment with our dentist in Wyoming MI, call (616) 538-7320.