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How to Adjust to Sleeping with a Night Grinding Guard

Posted by Lisa Edwards on

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There it sits, your night guard on the bedside table gathering dust. You know you are supposed to wear it, but you find it hideously unattractive, poorly fit, and you can’t get to sleep because you are gagging on the excess saliva drooling down your face. The truth is that bruxism can cause real damage to your teeth. You find yourself caught in the dilemma between a good night's rest and the harmful effects of bruxism. So, what to do? Read on for some helpful tips on how to adjust to sleeping through the night with a nightguard. It is possible.

  1. Choose a nightguard made of a thin material
    Many over the counter night guards can be bulky and uncomfortable. Discuss with your dentist which options are made of a thin material similar to Invisalign. An ultra-thin guard will take up less space in the mouth, and will be easier to get used to.
  2. Positioning
    Although most night grinding guards are fit on the upper teeth, there are some that are fitted to the lower teeth and some that can be fitted to either upper or lower. If you are struggling to find the right guard, this might be something to try. Many times it’s merely a function of whether it’s an upper or lower that determines the comfort and acceptance of the device.
  3. Custom Fit
    It should come as no surprise that a custom occlusal guard from your dentist is the the best solution, but they typically run anywhere from $400-$800. Every mouth is different, so a one-size-fits-all guard is a drawback when it comes to comfort. There is a new classification of night guard on the market that forms a custom comfort fit which is the best of both worlds. They are non-boil custom guards that can mold in a matter of minutes with no impressions.
  4. Keep it Clean
    Brush your teeth and your guard to keep them both free of bacteria. Without a routine cleaning, your mouth guard will likely begin to take on a foul odor and even start to grow mold. This is certainly not something that you will want to put into your mouth. Rest assured, your appliance will last longer and serve you better if you take proper care of it.
  5. Timing 
    Put the night guard in right before bed to minimize discomfort. Most people fall asleep in 5 minutes.
  6. Patience
    Hang in there for at least a month . After that, you’ve created a habit and you’ll will get used to wearing it. Trying it a few hours here and there inconsistently isn’t going to help you become accustomed to the night guard.

So, dust off that night guard and put it to good use. Give these 6 tips a try, in the big picture, you will save yourself time and money.