If you wake up with tooth pain, headaches, or a sore jaw, chances are you are grinding your teeth at night. In many cases, this nighttime grinding is caused by misaligned teeth, but it can also be caused by stress, certain medications, and even sleep apnea. In cases of misaligned teeth, braces are often recommended to treat the condition, but they don’t protect your teeth from the grinding damage. But can you still wear a grinding guard with braces and how does it affect your orthodontic treatment?
Braces Can Help Improve Bruxism but It Gets Worse Before It Gets Better
If your teeth are misaligned, this could be the root cause of your teeth grinding. The good news is, in many cases, orthodontic treatment with braces is enough to stop your nighttime grinding. The bad news is, it often gets worse before it gets better. The slight movement and discomfort that comes with initial treatment with braces often cause increased grinding and clenching. Luckily, as your alignment changes, this begins to get better. However, you still need to protect your teeth during this time.
You Can Wear Grinding Guards with Braces, But the Wrong Guard Can Affect Treatment
The good news is that you can still wear grinding guards with braces. However, there are some things to consider when choosing a grinding guard for your braces.When it comes to grinding guards, you have three options: stock, boil and bite, and custom-fit. Stock guards are a one-size-fits-all option you can get at a local drugstore. While these are the least expensive option, they often don’t fit well and are uncomfortable. In addition, the poor fit can damage the brackets and wires on your teeth.
Boil-and bite varieties allow you to soften the guard material and then bite down for a more custom fit, though these can still be bulky and uncomfortable.
SportingSmiles offers the same high-quality, custom-fit grinding guards that your dentist does at a fraction of the price. Visit SportingSmiles today to learn more.
And having braces changes things up a little bit. Braces cause your teeth to move, changing your bite during treatment. This means that your guard will also have to change and adjust to your bite. If you continue to wear an older guard, it will feel uncomfortable as the fit is incorrect. In addition, a poor fitting guard can also work against the braces, slowing down the movement of your teeth and prolonging your treatment.
Another custom-fit option is orthodontic guards. These guards provide the same custom-fit protection and comfort, while still allowing for teeth movement and reducing damage to the braces. In addition, they can be adjusted as your teeth move.
Grinding Guards are Available for Top and Bottom Teeth
If you only have braces on your top or bottom teeth, you have another option when it comes to grinding guards. Grinding guards are available for both the top and the bottom teeth. So, for example, if you have braces on your top teeth only, you can have a grinding guard on the bottom teeth. This provides the protection to your teeth from grinding without worrying about alignment changes and the brackets and wires.
Teeth Grinding and Invisalign
Invisalign braces are a bit different, however. Because they are shaped similarly to a grinding guard, you are not able to wear a grinding guard over the Invisalign. While the Invisalign appliance will protect the surface of your teeth from grinding, they are not made for regular grinding. If you grind your teeth every night, your Invisalign braces will quickly wear through, often leaving holes. If you have severe bruxism or nighttime teeth grinding, chances are your orthodontist will advise against Invisalign.
Grinding Guards Reduce Sores from Braces
One big complaint from people wearing braces is sores or injuries to their cheeks from the brackets. These sores often develop during the night, especially is you grind your teeth and don’t know it. The good news is that a grinding guard can help reduce the occurrence of mouth sores.
How SportingSmiles Can Help Protect Your Teeth
While wearing braces may improve your teeth grinding over-time, protecting your teeth from damage is essential. The right teeth grinding guard offers that protection while still allowing for treatment to continue.
While SportingSmiles does not offer orthodontic grinding guards, we do offer a full range of custom-fit grinding guards, including top and bottom guards. If you only have braces on the top or bottom, we have a guard that will work for you. Once the braces come off, if you still experience teeth grinding, our custom-fit grinding guards are the same high-quality guards your dentist offers, but at a fraction of the price. For more information, visit our Teeth Grinding Guards page today.