Check us out on YouTube as we talk teeth #watchyourmouthSpanish
Check us out on YouTube as we talk teeth #watchyourmouthSpanish

How Long Do Dental Night Guards Last?

A man holding up a clear night guard, worn to protect his teeth.

Daily life can have you grinding your teeth and fighting headaches for a range of reasons. But you may need a night guard if you’re dealing with these issues even at night.

Night guards are an effective treatment option for several dental issues, including bruxism, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, and sleep apnea. They help protect your teeth and relieve symptoms such as jaw pain. Your dentist can provide a custom mouthguard, but many patients wonder how long these appliances last.

What Are Night Guards?

A night guard is a custom mouthguard designed to be worn during sleep. They’re made of malleable, soft materials that protect your teeth and ensure your jaw stays comfortable.

When you visit your dentist, they’ll determine whether a night guard is the right treatment for your needs. They’ll then create a custom appliance based on impressions of your teeth to provide the perfect fit.

While they take a bit of getting used to, these appliances are comfortable and highly effective. In fact, they can improve the quality of your sleep by addressing symptoms related to teeth grinding, TMJ disorder, and sleep apnea.

How Long Can You Expect Your Night Guards to Last?

Night guards aren’t designed to last forever. Instead, they wear down naturally over a period of time and are then replaced. They’re specifically designed with this in mind, so they are priced accordingly to make replacement easy for patients.

While they wear over time, the appliances are still strong and durable. With proper care, you can expect individual night guards to last between two to five years, depending on their specific construction and use.

It’s important to note that this timeframe refers to the custom night guards you can get from your dentist — not the over-the-counter appliances. These generic options are generally lower quality and provide a less comfortable fit. When dealing with serious dental issues, custom is the only way to go.

What Can I Do to Make Them Last Longer?

How long your night guard will last depends on its construction and how you care for it. Your dentist will provide clear instructions for hygiene maintenance to ensure that you get the most out of your oral appliances.

Keeping it clean is one of the top priorities. You can clean the mouthguard with toothpaste and a toothbrush to prevent bacteria from accumulating. Make sure to use a soft-bristled brush and non-abrasive toothpaste to prevent unnecessary wear.

You should also avoid cleaning your mouthguard with hot water. Go with warm instead. Excess heat can warp and deteriorate the soft material, leading to improper fit or cracks. Store your night guard in case every night to prevent excess drying and cracking.

Even with perfect care, your oral appliance eventually wears down. It’s standing up to teeth grinding and other issues, taking on the wear so that your teeth don’t have to. Once it is time to replace your night guard, you can simply visit your dentist.

Which Dental Issues Can This Treatment Help With?

The best way to find out whether a night guard is the right treatment option for you is to visit your dentist. They can determine the underlying cause behind the issues you’re facing and provide an effective treatment plan.

Bruxism is one of the most common issues that call for this type of oral appliance. It’s when you grind or clench your teeth during sleep, wearing them down over time. With a night guard, the layer of soft material between your upper and lower teeth prevents them from damaging each other overnight.

TMJ disorder is another potential reason for a night guard. The TMJ is responsible for opening and closing the jaw. It can carry a lot of stress and strain, and the position it’s in during sleep can be a factor. Holding it in the proper position can help alleviate symptoms.

Sleep apnea is a serious condition in which the airway relaxes during sleep, causing you to stop breathing and jolt awake suddenly. The proper oral appliance can hold your jaw in a position where the airway doesn’t relax, helping treat mild cases of sleep apnea.

Find the Right Solution for Your Dental Needs

If you experience jaw pain, headaches, tooth sensitivity, or noticeably worn teeth, then a night guard could be an effective treatment option. You can visit Dr. Brett Langston at Dental Implant and Aesthetic Specialists to find out more about potential treatments.

Serving the Atlanta community for over 50 years, our team can evaluate your smile and develop a custom treatment plan to protect your teeth and provide relief. Schedule an appointment to find the best solution for your dental needs today.