Nightguards, also known as occlusal splints or bite guards, are dental devices worn during sleep to protect the teeth and jaw from the effects of teeth grinding or clenching (bruxism). Here are some common types of nightguards:
1. Soft Nightguards
Soft nightguards are made of a soft, flexible material such as silicone or rubber. They provide a cushioning effect and can be more comfortable to wear for individuals with sensitive teeth or gums. Soft nightguards are generally recommended for mild to moderate bruxism.
2. Hard Nightguards
Hard nightguards, also known as acrylic nightguards, are made of a rigid, durable material. They offer better protection against teeth grinding and clenching and are suitable for individuals with more severe bruxism. Hard nightguards are custom-made by a dentist or dental laboratory to ensure a precise fit.
3. Dual Laminate Nightguards
Dual laminate nightguards combine the benefits of both soft and hard nightguards. They consist of a soft inner layer for cushioning and a hard outer layer for durability and protection. Dual laminate nightguards are often recommended for individuals with moderate to severe bruxism.
4. Hybrid Nightguards
Hybrid nightguards are a combination of a hard outer layer and a soft inner layer. They offer the benefits of both materials, providing comfort and durability. Hybrid nightguards are custom-made to fit each individual’s mouth.
5. Over-the-Counter Nightguards
Over-the-counter (OTC) nightguards are pre-fabricated, one-size-fits-all devices available at pharmacies or online. They are generally made of a soft, moldable material that can be adjusted to fit the teeth. OTC nightguards are more affordable but may not offer the same level of customization or effectiveness as custom-made nightguards.
It’s important to note that nightguards should be properly fitted and customized to ensure maximum comfort and protection. It is recommended to consult with a dentist who can assess your specific needs and provide you with the most appropriate type of nightguard for your condition.