There are a variety of reasons why patients might be prescribed a night guard. It’s a mouthpiece that is fitted to the exact specifications of the mouth to combat the symptoms of TMJ, bruxism, and other dental problems. These mouthpieces are usually manufactured from hard or soft plastic and wearing one of them might require a short period of adjustment at first.
Since a night guard is meant to be worn at night, while you sleep, it can be a little jarring to go to bed with a foreign object inside of your mouth. But rest assured, you will quickly grow accustomed to wearing the device and the adjustment phase should be short. To help you manage during this time, here are a few tips to help you adjust to wearing your night guard.
You can request that your night guard be made of thinner materials so that the device doesn’t feel as thick and bulky inside of your mouth. That will make it easier to acclimate to as you wear it on a routine basis. If your dentist suggests you buy an over the counter version, you may have fewer options as to thickness and materials from which to choose.
Positioning of the Night Guard
Consult with your dentist about having a guard made for your lower teeth versus the upper. Though most night guards intended to stop bruxism or grinding of the teeth are fitted for the upper teeth, you may want to get a guard that goes on the lower teeth instead. Some patients find one more comfortable than the other and this could play a role in helping you find the one that’s right for you.
Placing the night guard in your mouth should be done prior to your bedtime. Putting it in before you get under the covers can give you time to get used to the feeling of the device so it won’t be as distracting to you once your head hits the pillow. When you do this is up to you but anywhere from five to fifteen minutes beforehand should do the trick.
Give it some time, you should get used to wearing your night guard through habitual wear. Most patients find wearing the mouthpiece second nature by thirty days’ time. But you must be diligent about wearing it every night to get fully comfortable with it. Using it periodically won’t be effective for solving your discomfort or your dental symptom for which it was prescribed.