4.28.2021

Is a Night Guard and Mouth Guard the Same Thing?

Have you found yourself desperately googling “Mouth guard night” after visiting the dentist, or staring at your sports mouthguard and questioning “Can I use a sport mouthguard at night?”, wonder no more. We are here to answer your pressing questions about night guards and mouth guards.

What is a Mouthguard?

Traditionally, a mouthguard is used to cushion your face and protect your teeth and gums from blows. This way you can hopefully minimize the risk of broken teeth or any injuries to your gums, tongue, and lips. In general, they will be placed on the upper row of teeth. A sports mouthguard will cover your teeth and gums.

What is a Nightguard?

While your typical mouthguard is used for protection during the day, particularly during sports events, a mouth guard worn at night is used to put up a barrier between your upper and lower row of teeth. If you clench your jaw or grind your teeth at night, a night guard will help to cushion your jaw, thus protecting the muscles in the jaw. One of the key differences between a sports mouthguard and a nightguard is that a nightguard will not cover your gums.

Can you use a sports mouth guard to aid in teeth grinding?

If you have bruxism aka teeth grinding, you will not be able to use your sports mouth guard for teeth grinding. A sports mouthguard is different from a nightguard. Because the purpose is different, the design is also different, and therefore using the incorrect type of mouthguard could lead to injury.

Be careful to consult with your dentist or orthodontist before picking up any old mouthguard to make sure you are using the correct type.

Can I use a sport mouthguard at night?

When you wear your sports mouthguard for practice or for a sports game you are only covering your gums for a couple of hours. Because of the different design between a sports mouthguard and a night mouthguard, you do not want to wear the sports mouthguard at night. A nigh tguard only covers your teeth while a sports mouthguard covers a greater part of your mouth and gum. It is not healthy to have your gums covered for an extended period of time, and so it is recommended not to use a sports mouthguard at night.

Can you make your own night guard?

If money is an issue and you are not sure you can afford a custom dentist night guard, you may find yourself looking up different ways to DIY a nightguard. If you do you’ll quickly find various youtube links on how to melt a sports guard and then DIY fit it to your mouth. Although it might be possible, it is not the safest or wisest choice. If you have questions about the cost of night gaurds you can contact us.

What can I use as a temporary mouth guard?

While waiting for your custom mouth guard to be created, there are over-the-counter mouthguard potions available. If you have between $10-$100 you should be able to find an OTC night guard to suit your temporary needs.

Your best bet is to get a custom fit nightguard

If you are looking into getting a nightguard to help you with your jaw clenching at night, or your teeth grinding, your dental health is not the right place to try to DIY your treatments. While you may want to be saving money, putting your health at risk is not the right time to pinch pennies.

Getting a custom fit night guard ensures your teeth are getting the correct care, and you will avoid damaging your gums or taking unnecessary risks for melted plastic, or using a sports mouthguard at night time.

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