We get asked this question often, and it’s not always easy to give an exact answer. We like to use the analogy of a pair of running shoes and an Olympic athlete. A standard pair of running shoes might last the typical person a couple of years, but an Olympic athlete only a couple months. The level of impact that you have on your night guard will naturally affect how long it will last. If you are someone who experiences severe grinding or clenching, the lifespan of your nightguard will be dramatically shortened.
When trying to get the longest lifespan out of a nightguard, it is important to make sure that you have the proper night guard for your type of clenching or grinding. Just like an Olympic athlete, having the right equipment is essential. If you have the proper night guard, it will typically last anywhere from 2-5 years. Visit SportingSmiles for more information.
We sometimes have customers say that they have had the same night guard for over 10 years. In these cases, they normally had a hard acrylic night guard. While this kind of longevity sounds fantastic, recent studies have shown that solid acrylic night guards can often do more harm than good. A night guard is deliberately designed to be softer than the teeth so that the guard will wear and protect the teeth from wear themselves. Naturally, though, this means that a good night guard will wear over time.
To get the longest life span out of a nightguard:
1 – Pick the correct night guard
Make sure that your guard is the correct type to handle your level of grinding or clenching. Your dentist should be able to tell you what level you are. Once you have that information, our team is here to help you make the right choice.
2 – Clean your night guard regularly
Just like any piece of equipment, keeping your night guard clean is essential to prolonging its lifespan. We recommend using a quality, specialized cleaner to disinfect and prevent yellowing. Do not use alcohol-based mouthwash as this will cause perishing.
This may seem like an obvious one, but the easiest way to lower the lifespan of your nightguard is to have it get chewed up by a beloved pet. It’s not their fault, but dogs absolutely love to chew on night guards. Make sure your guard is always in the case and out of reach of animals.
If you follow these three tips, then you can rest assured that you will get the most out of your nightguard. However, like all things in life it is impossible to protect against every eventuality. It’s always a good idea to have a duplicate of your nightguard in case one is lost. The backup can be worn while a replacement is being created, ensuring that you don’t do any damage to your teeth while you wait. For more information on the different types of teeth grinding guards visit SportingSmiles.