From my regular visits to my dentist, she always advised me to customize my very own mouth guard as she pointed out that I have been grinding my teeth at night unknowingly and the rough edges of my teeth are the consequences of bruxism
However, the cost of customizing a set would set me back at about S$350 and procrastination led to a period where I no longer grind my teeth mainly because I was stress-free.
Recently, Mr R has been waking up many times through the night to hold my jaw
in an attempt to stop the teeth grinding
As a result, he has disturbed sleep and this caused him to be real tired for the last couple of weeks
What is Bruxism?
Involuntary habitual grinding of the teeth, typically during sleep.
“Most people probably grind and clench their teeth from time to time. Occasional teeth grinding, medically called bruxism, does not usually cause harm, but when teeth grinding occurs on a regular basis the teeth can be damaged and other oral health complications can arise.”
I felt really bad that he was affected and was adamant to source for solutions
(& alternatives to spending $350)
I came across this product on Qoo10 and decided to give it a go
after all, $44.90 was not too much of a consideration relative to $350
The Doctor’s Night Guard Mouthguard Protector for Bruxism
It comes in a One Size Fits All + Boiling Required kit
Basically, it’s a standard piece of mouthguard that you have to mould it to fit your own set of teeth
The Fitting Process
Boil water and dispense into a bowl
Using a spoon, place the guard top down (grooved side down) into the hot water for 3 minutes
After 3 minutes, use the spoon to remove the mouthguard from the hot water and place it on a plate with the sticky channel side up
The instructions advised me to let cool for 10 seconds before proceeding with the fitting
Just fit immediately!
Coz it really cools down fast
The fitting instructions made it look really easy
But I re-did it at least 5x coz I couldn’t get it to fit firmly on my top layer of teeth
The crux is:
to ensure that the boiling water is really hot and you bite super hard into the guard
Mold as fast as possible and hold it there for a good 3 minutes
You won’t be expecting this
This actually looks more comfortable than what I got
The package also comes with a storage case
The mouthguard is real chunky
It’s not comfortable at all
First few times of wearing makes me nauseous and salivate non stop
I slept with it and Mr R can still hear me grinding but it’s a squeaky sound as I grinded against the rubber piece instead of my own teeth
However, he only got woken up once instead of like 6 to 8 times
Falling asleep with it was tough
I guess it takes some getting use to
My mouth wasn’t able to close up entirely and I felt something heavy clenching in between all the time
My sleep was disturbed more than usual
I would say that the product achieved its objective:
protect my teeth from the effects of grinding, lessen the impact and allow my partner to sleep more soundly
However, I’m really dreading to put it on again tonight =(
Why Do People Grind Their Teeth?
Although teeth grinding can be caused by stress and anxiety, it often occurs during sleep and is more likely caused by an abnormal bite or missing or crooked teeth.
It can also be caused by a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea.
How Do I Find Out if I Grind My Teeth?
Because grinding often occurs during sleep, most people are unaware that they grind their teeth.
However, a dull, constant headache or sore jaw when you wake up is a telltale symptom of bruxism.
Many times people learn that they grind their teeth by their loved one who hears the grinding at night.
If you suspect you may be grinding your teeth, talk to your dentist.
He or she can examine your mouth and jaw for signs of bruxism, such as jaw tenderness and excessive wear on your teeth.
Why Is Teeth Grinding Harmful?
In some cases, chronic teeth grinding can result in a fracturing, loosening, or loss of teeth.
The chronic grinding may wear teeth down to stumps.
When these events happen, bridges, crowns, root canals,implants, partial dentures, and even complete dentures may be needed.
Not only can severe grinding damage teeth and result in tooth loss, it can also affect your jaws, cause or worsen TMD/TMJ, and even change the appearance of your face.
What Can I Do to Stop Grinding My Teeth?
Your dentist can fit you with a mouth guard to protect your teeth from grinding during sleep.
If stress is causing you to grind your teeth, ask your doctor or dentist about options to reduce your stress. Attending stress counseling, starting an exercise program, seeing a physical therapist, or obtaining a prescription for muscle relaxants are among some of the options that may be offered.
If a sleeping disorder is causing the grinding, treating it may reduce or eliminate the grinding habit.
Other tips to help you stop teeth grinding include:
- Avoid or cut back on foods and drinks that contain caffeine, such as colas, chocolate, and coffee.
- Avoid alcohol. Grinding tends to intensify after alcohol consumption.
- Do not chew on pencils or pens or anything that is not food. Avoid chewing gum as it allows your jaw muscles to get more used to clenching and makes you more likely to grind your teeth.
- Train yourself not to clench or grind your teeth. If you notice that you clench or grind during the day, position the tip of your tongue between your teeth. This practice trains your jaw muscles to relax.
- Relax your jaw muscles at night by holding a warm washcloth against your cheek in front of your earlobe.