What is a night guard?
Have you considered having a night guard made for your teeth to protect them while you sleep? By looking at the enamel on your teeth, our team at Something To Smile About can tell if you are putting extra stress, pressure, and strain on your teeth. You may not even be aware that you are doing it. Bruxism (or nighttime teeth grinding) is very common for people of all ages.
Grinding your teeth at night may sound harmless, but it can break down the enamel of your teeth or slowly destroy dental work you have had done on your teeth. Not to mention, bruxism can be the culprit behind your headaches, tooth pain, gum inflammation, or unexplainable pain in your neck and jaw. Dr. Kevin Boulard, our general dentist, offers custom night guards made with high-quality, medical-grade materials to fit comfortably in your mouth. With an oral appliance to protect your teeth, the quality of your sleep can improve, too. To hear more about custom night guards at Something To Smile About, set up an appointment at our Merrimack, NH facility.
"After delaying dental care for over a year, I found Dr. Boulard and have had two visits with his practice. I could not be more pleased! The staff is friendly and competent and showed deep concern for my needs and well being. After experiencing the intolerance and contempt the medical community at large has for those who cannot safely wear a face mask, I am overjoyed at the treatment and respect I received here. After my dental surgery, I got a follow-up call from Dr. Boulard himself, which I thought was so nice and caring. These folks stand head and shoulders above the rest and I am so grateful to have found them!"- L.P. / Office Visit / Jun 10, 2021
"I’ve been a patient with Dr. Boulard for 14 years. I wouldn’t trust anyone else with my teeth! Always makes me feel comfortable and never a painful experience. I love the fact that they have high tech scanners so I never gag, no more gunky impressions. and they have up to date technology, with the option of also getting Invisalign. The rest of the staff is lovely and the office manager, Olga, is amazing! They are so efficient and well mannered. I highly recommend!"- D.S. / Google / May 24, 2021
"The entire staff at Something to Smile About is absolutely amazing. I have severe dental anxiety due to some terrible experiences with other dentists, and they really listened to all of my concerns and did everything they could to make me more comfortable. I have had a couple of rounds of dental work there now, and I don't feel a thing from beginning to end. Dr. Boulard is the best at what he does!"- K.W. / Google / May 15, 2021
"I just started going to Dr. Kevin Boulard after my family dentist, whom I've been with my ENTIRE life, retired."- K.W. / Facebook / Feb 13, 2021
"The staff is so amazing and caring. Takes time to listen to the concerns of the patient. Keeps them comfortable as can be in a dentist office."- T.D. / Facebook / Jul 08, 2020
Who needs a night guard?
You may need a night guard if you have one or all of the following indicators of teeth grinding:
- You experience frequent headaches or pain in your face or neck
- You are not sleeping well
- You wake up with a swollen face
- You frequently have unexplainable loose teeth or fillings, tooth sensitivity, and/or broken restorations to replace
- You find chips in the enamel of your teeth
- You have a receding gumline
Teeth grinding and clenching at night are usually caused by stress, but it may also be the result of allergies, misaligned teeth, a sleep disorder, or temporomandibular joint disorder (called TMD). While Dr. Boulard provides you with a bruxism diagnosis, he will also try to find out the cause. Then, he can couple your night guard with another treatment for more effective results.
Dr. Boulard's Approach for Bruxism
To make your night guard, Dr. Boulard will take an iTero® digital impression of your teeth and digital x-rays to make a blueprint of your custom night guard. Next, he will send your information to a dental laboratory where your night guard will be crafted out of high-quality materials. After your night guard is complete and sent back to us, you will return to have it fitted. Dr. Boulard may make small adjustments so that it fits properly and comfortably. We will also give you specific instructions on how to care for your night guard so it will last many years.
Taking care of your teeth with a night guard
For maximum night guard efficiency, you will need to wear your custom-made oral appliance each night. Your night guard should relieve or eliminate the discomfort and dental issues caused by bruxism, but if it does not, please contact our office. Dr. Boulard may need to consider additional issues or try other treatments. To keep your mouth and night guard healthy, we recommend that you clean and care for both prior to and after each use. Your night guard should be brought with you to future appointments for Dr. Boulard to assess and make adjustments or replacements as needed.
Night Guards FAQ
Can wearing a night guard be bad for your teeth?
No, not at all. A custom-made night guard created by Dr. Boulard helps prevent wearing and damage to your teeth caused by bruxism or grinding.
Do night guards cause cavities?
In general, they don't. It is a common misconception that wearing night guards causes cavities, but this can be avoided by practicing proper oral hygiene and regular cleaning of your night guard. Cavities only become a risk if you don't clean your night guard.
Does a night guard cure bruxism?
No, it doesn't. A night guard only prevents damage to your teeth caused by bruxism.
How do you care for a night guard?
- Thoroughly rinse after wearing
- Brush and clean with a toothbrush (toothpaste is not necessary)
- Dry your night guard on a soft towel or paper towel
- Store your night guard in its case
- Once a month, give your night guard a deep cleaning with nonabrasive denture cleaner or a mixture of white vinegar and hydrogen peroxide
Beating Bruxism with Dr. Boulard
Teeth grinding can cause pain and discomfort in a variety of ways. Night guards are a great option to diminish the stress that results from the unpleasant symptoms of nighttime bruxism and jaw clenching. Specialized night guards from Something To Smile About can also improve the overall health of your mouth and deter future complications in the structure of your teeth. If this sounds like a solution to your teeth grinding at night or if you are interested in learning more, contact our team in Merrimack, NH to book a consultation with Dr. Boulard.