Nightguards, or grinding guards, protect the teeth from the constant grinding and clenching associated with bruxism. You wear a nightguard to protect the surface of your teeth from the damage caused by grinding. Unfortunately, while night guards are made to withstand the pressure of your teeth grinding, they will not last forever. How long a nightguard lasts depends on a variety of different factors, including the severity of your grinding and the type of guard. Let’s take a closer look at guards and how long they typically last.
What Affects the Durability of a Night Guard?
As we said, there are many different things that can affect how long your night guard or grinding guard will last. These include:
- The Severity of Grinding – How you grind your teeth plays a big part in the durability of your night guard. If you have mild grinding, your guard will probably last longer. Those with severe grinding are more likely to go through a guard quicker. The guard you choose must match your level of grinding to ensure the best durability.
- Type of Night Guard – There are three main types of night guards: soft, hard, and dual laminate. The type of guard should match your grinding. For example, a soft guard is designed for those that have mild grinding. If you have severe nighttime grinding, you will grind through a soft guard quickly.
- How You Care for the Guard – How you care for your guard will make a big difference when it comes to durability. Regular cleaning and proper storage are essential. If you don’t clean your guard correctly, bacteria can grow and break down the guard. Washing in HOT water can also soften the plastic, causing the guard to lose shape.
- Eating or Drinking with Your Guard – Eating or drinking while your guard is in place can affect the material of the guard. Food and drink can cause discoloration, cause the guard to become brittle, and food particles can accumulate and contribute to bacterial growth.
- Dental Work of Alignment Changes – Dental work, such as fillings, veneers, or a lost tooth can affect the way that your guard fits. While this doesn’t mean the guard has failed, it will require a replacement guard.
The Type of Guard Makes a Difference in How Long it Lasts
When it comes to the durability of night guards, the type of guard you have makes a difference. There are three main guards available: soft, hard, and dual laminate. Let’s take a look at each guard and how long they typically last.
- Soft – Soft guards are made from a soft material and designed for people with mild bruxism. Because the patient’s grinding is minimal, these are not made for long-term durability. The typical lifespan of a soft guard is six months to a year.
- Dual Laminate – Dual laminate guards have two layers of material and target those with moderate to severe grinding and light clenching. The inner layer is a soft material, similar to a soft guard. The outer layer is a harder external surface made to withstand increased pressure from tooth grinding. The average lifespan for a dual laminate is nine months to five years.
- Hard – Hard guards are designed for those with moderate to severe grinding and are made from a harder and more durable material. This is the most durable night guard option and the lifespan is one year to five or more years. At SportingSmiles, we offer a flexible hard guard that has the density and durability of a hard guard but is still flexible like a soft guard. Check out the Custom Flexible Super Hard Night Guard
When your nightguard starts showing signs of wear, visit SportingSmiles for a high-quality, low-cost replacement teeth grinding guard.
Not everything lasts forever but choosing the right night guard and taking good care of it can help extend its lifespan. For more information on night guards, how they can help protect your teeth, and how we can offer the same high-quality guards as your dentist at a fraction of the price, visit SportingSmiles today.