How can I get used to wearing a mouthguard at night?

Q: I grind my teeth in my sleep, and my dentist says I should use a mouthguard. I bought a guard at the drugstore, but I couldn’t fall asleep with it in my mouth. What can I do?

A: It’s very important that you follow your dentist’s advice and wear a mouthguard while you sleep. Left untreated, nighttime teeth grinding – or bruxism – can lead to serious problems, including loss of teeth.

Because the mouthguards you can purchase at a drugstore aren’t custom fitted to fit your mouth, they can be rather uncomfortable to wear. (Over the counter guards that you shape by dropping them into boiling water don’t actually count as being custom fitted.) The athletic mouthguards that you can buy in a sporting goods store are even worse. They’re not meant to be worn overnight, and they’re too big and often have rather sharp edges.

A custom fitted mouthguard from your dentist’s office will be much more comfortable than an over the counter guard and it will do a better job of protecting your teeth. It may take a little getting used to at first, but some patients eventually get so used to wearing their guard at night that they have trouble falling asleep without it!

Dr. Natalie Khadavi sees patients in the Los Angeles area. Visit our website or give us a call at (310) 482-3971 for more information about how we can provide you and your family with healthy smiles that last a lifetime.

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