Sports Mouth-Guards vs Night-Guards

If you are affected by bruxism, there are a few remedies that you can try to resolve the problem. Of course, the most popular is a dental night guard. While it’s not really a guaranteed solution (it may stop your habit of teeth grinding), it can definitely help you prevent any possible damages to your teeth. You can wear one before you sleep and it will absorb all the clenching and grinding that you do when you’re asleep. You can find off-the-shelf night guards, but one that is custom-made by a dentist would be better. While also customized by a dentist, you should not confuse a night guard with a sports mouth-guard.  Not only are they made of different materials.  Each also serves its own purpose in the mouth that is different from the other.


A Closer Look at the Materials Used

Like we’ve already mentioned, a night-guard is designed to protect one’s teeth and jaw structures from the damaging effects of clenching and grinding during sleep. It is fabricated with a material that is not that thick but is durable enough to perform its function well.


A sports mouth-guard, on the other hand, is often made with a thicker and more rubbery material, and because of the purpose it serves, it extends to cover the entire jaw and gum tissue, so the entire mouth will be safe.  If you are an athlete and you are going to have a mouth guard made, you can choose to incorporate the colour of your team or even its logo.  Often, sports-guards are fabricated in such a way that they look like they’re part of the team uniform.  Different dyes are used to incorporate various colours.


How They Function

Both a sports mouth-guard and a night guard are made to protect your teeth. But they do it in different ways. A regular night guard protects the surface of the teeth from being worn down by grinding and clenching. On the other hand, athletes wear sports mouth guards primarily to protect their teeth in case of a hard and sudden impact. Therefore, a night guard, which is often made from acrylic plastic, is durable enough to withstand extended periods of grinding. A sports mouth-guard is often made from a softer material. This way, it can absorb force and sudden impacts. Also, a dental night guard just covers the occlusal surface of the teeth while a sports mouth-guard covers both gums and teeth.


Choose the Right Kind of Mouth-Guard

There are sports mouth-guards that are available commercially at some sports stores.  But they are different from the custom-made ones that are offered by Dr. Lean.  Needless to say, off-the-shelf appliances are both uncomfortable and not as effective as a dentist’s customized sports mouth-guards.  Of special note, annually, Dr. Lean and his partner attend the Toronto Maple Leafs training camp and make their professional mouth-guards which are available to our own patients, too.


The same goes with dental night-guards.  Those that are dentist-prescribed are of the higest quality and custom designed and fit for your personalized needs compared to pre-made stock sized over-the-counter appliances.  So, if you wear your sports-guard to combat the effect of bruxism instead of a night-guard, that is a compromised decision and we do not advise it.  It is still better to wear a night guard that is made exactly for that purpose.


You can always contact Pickering Square Dental if you have any inquiries about our sports-guards, mouth-guards, grinding appliances or night-guards.  Call us today!


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