Custom designed mouth guards and night guards are made of plastic and molded to fit the shape of your teeth. Mouth guards are flexible and are recommended to protect the jaw and teeth during physical activity and sports such as boxing, football, basketball, or other activities where your mouth may get hit. In addition, these guards protect the soft tissues of your tongue, lips and cheek lining.
Night guards are recommended for patients who clench and/or grind their teeth at night. If you wake in the morning with headaches, have flat teeth, break teeth easily and/or have notches in your teeth at the gum line you may be a grinder and/or clencher. Night guards protect the teeth and jaw joint from the damage caused by grinding and/or clenching.
If you have decided a guard is right for you, the dentist will take an impression of your teeth which will then be sent to a lab to make a custom fit guard for you. On average, night guards last between 3 and 10 years. Mouth guards may need to be replaced more often if fabricated for a growing child.