When Should You Replace Your Night Guard?

By Heritage Dental - Katy

Are you ready to upgrade your oral health with a new custom-fitted night guard? While it might seem like any old mouthguard will do the trick in safeguarding your beautiful smile, investing in a custom-fitted nighttime device is essential to promoting optimal dental health. But how often should you replace it? This blog aims to answer that question and provide tips on finding the right night guard for your unique needs. Read on as we explore why getting a realistic timeline of when to update or switch out your current mouthguard is key.

The Damage Done By Bruxism 

Bruxism is a condition that causes people to clench or grind their teeth, usually during sleep. It can lead to numerous dental issues, including an increased risk of decay and enamel erosion due to the constant contact between the teeth and the grinding motion. The most common treatment for bruxism is the use of a custom night guard, which acts as a barrier between the upper and lower jaw and helps reduce tooth damage. 

How Often Should You Replace Your Custom Night Guard? 

Most dentists recommend replacing custom night guards every 1-2 years, depending on how often they are used. That said, signs that it’s time for a replacement may appear sooner if you notice any changes in the fit or shape of your mouthpiece over time. If it starts feeling looser or there is significant discoloration or cracking, it’s likely time for a new one. Additionally, if you notice any increased discomfort while wearing your custom night guard, it might also be time for a replacement.

How To Find The Right Night Guard?

Finding the right night guard is one of the most important steps you can take to preserve your dental health. While you may want to replace a custom-made nightguard, there are some vital considerations to keep in mind.

  • Start by considering what type of material best fits your needs – such as boil-and-bite guards that are designed for comfort and flexibility.
  • Look for a nightguard that fits easily into your mouth and has enough wiggle room, so you don’t feel like it’s choking your teeth or they’re rubbing against each other while wearing the guard.
  • Lastly, be sure to replace your night guard, as your dentist recommends, as wearing an outgrown or worn-down guard can cause jaw pain and misalignment. If needed, do consult with your dentist in case you have any questions regarding its usage or regular maintenance. They can help ensure that your dental care is up-to-date.   

Taking Care of Your Night Guard 

In addition to replacing them regularly, proper care for your custom night guards can help ensure that they last longer and remain in good condition over time. When not using them, make sure to store them in their protective case so that the material does not become damaged or scratched by other items in your bathroom cabinet or drawer. Additionally, cleaning them regularly with warm water will help keep them clean and free from bacteria buildup that could affect their quality over time. 

Keeping up with regular replacements of your custom night guard can help ensure that they remain in good condition over time and continue protecting your teeth against bruxism-related damage caused by grinding or clenching during sleep. Be sure to look out for signs that indicate it may be time for a replacement, such as changes in fit or shape, as well as discoloration or cracking on the surface of your night guard material. Additionally, proper care, such as storing when not in use and regular cleaning with warm water, will help keep them clean and free from bacteria buildup so they last longer too.