Night Guard Care
One of the ways we treat temporomandibular disorder (TMD) is through the use of a night guard. Patients find relief from symptoms such as jaw, head and facial pain after wearing the night guard while they sleep. The more they wear the appliance, the better their jaw feels and functions. Since the night guard has an important job to do, we’ve included guidelines on how to care for it properly.
Made of acrylic resin, mouth guards are worn to prevent the back teeth of the upper and lower jaw from touching each other. TMD can be caused by the clenching and grinding of the back teeth, and the night guard makes that impossible. It relieves pressure on the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) reducing symptoms like pain, discomfort while eating, and popping and clicking noises associated with the jaw.
Night guards are a breeding ground for bacteria. That’s why you should make sure that it is clean and dry when not using it. It will prevent your guard from becoming discolored and keep it odor-free.
- Clean the appliance in the morning using a toothbrush and toothpaste. Gently brush the entire appliance and rinse it with cool water. Do not use hot water as it might damage the plastic.
- Leave the mouth guard out to dry thoroughly. Make sure to clean your case, as well. It can also collect bacteria, dust and other unwanted debris.
- Once a week, soak it for up to 10 minutes in antiseptic mouthwash for a deeper clean.
Over time, the night guard fit might change due to age or structural changes in your teeth or jaw. When this happens, you should contact us. You shouldn’t continue to wear the appliance if it feels like something has changed and is not quite right with the fit. Also, this is not a sign that your treatment is complete. We will work closely with you to determine when it is appropriate to change your appliance or complete treatment.
We are happy to help patients in the Denton, MD area find relief from their TMD symptoms. Please call our office to schedule a consultation if you notice signs of this common oral condition.