Hard Night Guard VS Soft Night Guard

Why Do I Need a Night Guard?

Bruxism can be treated using various methods, but a night guard is a popular and non-invasive option. A guard is designed to protect your teeth while also reducing the symptoms of bruxism. You can choose between soft night guards and hard night guards. Read on to learn more about a soft night guard vs hard night guards.

When teeth and gums are subjected to greater-than-average force from clenching and grinding, this can cause all-day discomfort and also lead to disrupted sleep patterns. Grinding and clenching can happen at any time of day or night, and this can start or stop at any point in one's life. Bruxism is more common than most people realize; it is more evident under immense stress.

Long-term bruxism does eventually lead to flattened or shortened teeth. These issues will cause an irregular bite, leading to further dental problems.

Soft Night Guard

A soft night guard is manufactured from soft, pliable rubber materials such as silicone or plastic that are more flexible than hard night guards. This type of night guard is often used if you have mild bruxism or don't grind but clench your teeth. Soft night guards are more comfortable, but they aren't always as long-lasting. Even though they are less expensive than hard night guards, they don't provide the same level of protection.

Soft night guards, which are readily available at local drug stores, worsen bruxism because the jaws naturally prefer to chew soft items. These night guards protect teeth, but they can exacerbate muscle and joint discomfort by making these muscles work harder when you should be relaxing.

Hard Night Guard

Hard night guards are most effective for people who grind their teeth a lot. They are incredibly stiff and constructed of tough materials such as acrylic. This type of night guard must be custom-fit utilizing a dental mold or a self-impression mold. An impression is used to create a unique guard that will fit only your mouth.

Hard guards are not easily bent and will not feel flexible in your mouth. They usually are more helpful in protecting your teeth, but they're also more expensive. Durability gives hard night guards the advantage over soft night guards; they are more durable since they can withstand more abuse.

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Hard vs. Soft Night Guard

Pros of Soft and Hard Night Guards

Soft Night Guards

  • Most people find that they offer the best comfort
  • Easy to wear and easy to get used to
  • In your mouth, it may feel less bulky or intrusive
  • It can be easily purchased at your local drug store
  • Cost-effective solution
  • A good option for first-time users

Hard Night Guards

  • Designed specifically for you to offer complete coverage and protection
  • Durable, especially in severe cases of bruxism
  • Due to their durability, they have a longer life span
  • Little to no jaw movement
  • Promotes better sleep

Cons of Soft and Hard Night Guards

Soft Night Guards

  • Much shorter life span
  • Used as a preventative measure for mild grinding and clenching
  • Could lead to more clenching, grinding, or chewing
  • Can cause further jaw muscle discomfort
  • It may not be a proper fit

Hard Night Guards

  • Due to the acrylic used, they are very rigid
  • Can be uncomfortable
  • They are more costly
  • Take longer to get used to

How Do I Know Which Night Guard to Choose?

If you think you are grinding your teeth, it is best to see a dentist about your concerns. Your oral professional will advise whether you are a mild grinder or a severe one. Most dentists do not recommend over-the-counter guards, but they can be a short-term solution while addressing the cause of your grinding.

With severe cases of grinding, it is best to opt for a custom-fit guard. This will offer your teeth protection and alleviate some of the other issues caused by grinding and clenching.

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Where Can I Get Advice on Night Guards?

While finding the right guard can be challenging at times, our team at WatchMyMouth makes this a smooth and straightforward process. Our kits come with instructions and are easy to use. We make a custom-fit guard designed specifically for your mouth with the impression you send us.

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Here at WatchMyMouth, we provide an affordable solution for our customers with a custom-made mouthguard that is perfectly molded to the shape of your teeth. Contact us for more information and take the step to care for your teeth today!

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