What to do after dental night guards?

Healing Your Smiles: Post-Op Instructions for Dental Night Guards

At Palmetto Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we’re committed to enhancing your oral health and comfort. Your new custom dental night guard is a significant step towards protecting your teeth and jaw from the effects of grinding or clenching (bruxism). Please follow these detailed post-operative instructions to ensure you get the most benefit from your night guard and maintain its condition. 

Initial Adjustment Period

  • Acclimation: It’s normal to experience a brief adjustment period when you first start wearing your night guard. You might notice increased saliva production or slight discomfort. These temporary reactions resolve within a few days as you get used to wearing your night guard.
  • Consistent Use: Wear your night guard every night, as consistent use is crucial for protecting your teeth and jaw from the pressure of grinding or clenching. If you have trouble adapting, wear it for a few hours each day until you feel comfortable sleeping with it.

Cleaning and Maintenance

  • Daily Cleaning: Clean your night guard each morning after use. Rinse it under cool or lukewarm water and brush it gently with a toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste or soap. Avoid hot water, as it can warp the material.
  • Deep Cleaning: Once a week, soak your night guard in an over-the-counter denture cleaner, following the product’s instructions, to remove any buildup. Rinse it thoroughly after washing.
  • Dry and Store: After cleaning, allow your night guard to dry completely before storing it in its case. This prevents bacterial growth. Keep the case clean and dry as well.
  • Avoid Chemicals: Do not use bleach or alcohol-based solutions to clean your night guard, as these can degrade the material.

Handling and Storage

  • Proper Storage: When not in use, always store your night guard in its ventilated case. This protects it from dust, damage, and pets that may be attracted to it.
  • Avoid Heat: Keep your night guard and its case away from direct sunlight and heat sources to prevent warping.
  • Traveling: When traveling, bring your night guard along to maintain your routine. Remember to keep it in its case for protection.

Monitoring and Adjustments

  • Fit and Comfort: Your night guard should fit snugly but comfortably. If it causes pain or irritation or if you notice any changes in fit, please contact us for an adjustment. Do not attempt to adjust the nightguard yourself.
  • Wear and Tear: Regularly inspect your night guard for signs of wear, such as thinning areas or tears. While durable, night guards will eventually need to be replaced due to normal wear.

Regular Dental Visits

  • Check-Ups: Bring your night guard to your regular dental check-ups at Palmetto Family and Cosmetic Dentistry. We can assess its fit, condition, and effectiveness, making any necessary adjustments.

Maximizing Benefits

  • Relaxation Techniques: Alongside using your night guard, consider incorporating stress-reduction techniques into your routine, as stress can contribute to grinding and clenching. Techniques such as mindfulness, yoga, and regular exercise can be beneficial.

Your dental night guard is valuable in protecting your teeth and jaw from the damaging effects of grinding and clenching. By following these comprehensive post-operative instructions, you can ensure its longevity and effectiveness. 

If you have any questions or concerns about your night guard, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Palmetto Family and Cosmetic Dentistry. We’re here to help you achieve and maintain optimal oral health.