Specialized Mouth Gear: Night Guards, Sport Guard and Orthodontic Retainers

Specialized mouth gear includes night guards, sport guards and orthodontic retainers. Let’s start with night guards.

Night guards are often mistaken for sports guards but they are very different.

A dental night guard places your jaw in a restful position and prevents further damage to your jaw joints and teeth. Contact Coquitlam family dentist, Altitude Dental, to fit you for a custom guard.

The purpose of a night guard is to place your jaw in a restful position preventing further damage to the jaw joints and your teeth.

Clenching and/or grinding of the teeth (also known as burxism) is a very common condition. Some signs that you may be grinding your teeth are:

  • waking up with a sore jaw
  • a dull or throbbing headache
  • generalized tooth pain

However, you might be unaware that you are grinding your teeth because it happens most often at night while you are asleep.  Not only does grinding and clenching put tremendous pressure on your jaw joint, it can also start to alter and dame the cartilage that protects the jaw.

If the clenching or grinding occurs over a long period of time then it can start to damage the teeth and/or the jaw joints.  On the teeth, the enamel will start to wear away and the darker yellow dentin will start to show. In the jaw joint, the jaw joint bone will start to change shape and the cartilage that helps protect the jaw joint can be damaged.

People with damaged jaw joints can develop Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD) which affects the jaw, facial nerves, and facial joints and can result in pain and swelling around the jaw joints and up to the ear.

Bruxism (clenching and grinding your teeth) can cause irreversible damage to your teeth.  If your teeth aren’t protected from this jaw force, over time the enamel will wear away – this weakened enamel can start to chip and crack, leading to the need for restorative dental treatments.  If you cannot stop clenching or grinding your teeth or if you do not use a dental night guard custom designed for your mouth and teeth, then you may end up with more serious health issues over the long term.

Dental Night Guard – Protect your Teeth and Jaw

The best treatment for this issue – is early intervention and prevention.  We strongly recommend having an assessment of your teeth and your jaw joint to see if you could benefit from night guard protection.

To find out if a dental night guard is right for you, contact our office for a consultation with Dr. Vaida at Coquitlam’s Altitude Dental.

 

 

Orthodontic retainers

Why do you need an orthodontic retainer after your orthodontic treatment is complete?   Because retainers will help you keep your teeth in the corrected position.  You want to make sure that the effort, time and cost of moving your teeth into the best position for your mouth hold – your teeth can move position if they have the space to do so.

An orthodontic retainer is used to prevent your teeth from moving after your orthodontic treatment is completed. If you need a replacement retainer, contact Dr. Vaida at Altitude Dental in Coquitlam.  Please note, typically your orthodontist will help you select the best type of retainer for your mouth and teeth, contact us if you do not have an Orthodontist or you need a replacement for a lost, broken or worn retainer.

There are different types of orthodontic retainers.

Retainers are used to maintain the position of the teeth after orthodontic treatment.  Once the braces are off, you want to be sure that the teeth do not move out of the corrected position – for that, you need to wear a retainer. There are different types of orthodontic retainers. Teeth can be retained or held in position with the use of:

  • A small metal bar that is permanently (for a specific period of time) cemented to the back side of your teeth – this style is not very visible to others and is often used when the Orthodontist or Dentist feels that there is a higher risk of teeth movement.
  • A wire and acrylic retainer that can be removed (for example, the Hawley retainer) and can be ‘personalized’ through the use of colour in the plastic.
  • A plastic removable appliance that is worn at night (Essex retainer) – these are less visible (typically clear plastic) but not as durable if you are a ‘teeth grinder’.

Orthodontic treatment can take time, and money.  You want to make sure that after all the hard work you’ve done, and gone through, to correctly place your teeth – that they stay in place.  We provide a wide variety of retainers to fit specific needs – and to help prevent your teeth from moving out of position after your orthodontic treatment is complete.  Most often the type of retainer that will work best for your teeth and mouth is determined by your Orthodontist. If you are without an Orthodontist or need a replacement retainer, Dr. Vaida can help you with a good fitting, comfortable retainer.

If you are interested in specialized mouth gear, contact our office for a dental appointment – Coquitlam’s Altitude Dental has professional, friendly and caring staff to help you have the dental health you need and want. Or read more about other dental services available at Altitude Dental.