Night Guards vs. Sports Guards: What’s the Difference?

mouth guard

Kraklow Quality Dentistry is pleased to offer custom mouthguards to safeguard your smile. There are two types of guards with different designs: dental night guards and sports mouth guards. Both types of mouth protectors prevent dental injuries; however, they do so in different ways. 

What Are Night Guards?

Night grinding, a condition known as sleep bruxism, is troublesome and often health-damaging. You may not realize that you grind your teeth at night, but the symptoms will tell a different story. From morning headaches to jaw pain, tooth pain, cracked, fractured, or unevenly worn teeth, bruxism can devastate your oral health and impact your quality of life. 

Wearing a mouthguard during the night will safeguard your teeth and gums. The protective oral appliance will absorb the grinding and clenching forces, preventing damage to your teeth and jaws. You’ll also enjoy restful, rejuvenating sleep, free of grinding and pain. 

What Are Sports Guards?

Did you know that dental injuries are among the most common sports injuries? That’s why professional athletes are required to wear protective mouthguards. If you or a loved one are involved in high-impact or contact sports, consider a sports guard an essential component of your athletic gear. 

Studies show that athletes not wearing sports guards are 60 times more likely to suffer from damaged teeth and soft tissue injuries. According to the American Dental Association, mouthguards required in high school and college football prevent an estimated 200,000 dental injuries each year!

What Are the Types of Mouthguards?

The following are the basic types of mouthguards:

  • Stock Mouthguards: Sold online and at sporting goods stores, these mouthguards come ready to wear. However, they don’t provide a proper fit, are often bulky, and most do not offer adequate protection. 
  • Boil and Bite: Also available over the counter, these mouth protectors are customizable by placing them in hot water, then molding them to your teeth. Boil and bite mouthguards fit a little better than their stock counterparts but are still bulky and uncomfortable and don’t usually provide the needed protection. 
  • Custom-Fitted: The best mouthguards are those custom-created for you by your dentist from impressions of your teeth. They are made from high-quality material, providing an excellent fit and the best possible protection for your smile. 

Can You Wear Night Guards and Sports Guards Interchangeably?

Night and sports guards are designed differently and serve different purposes. They should never be worn interchangeably. 

Night Guards: Night guards are made of a thin but strong material that is essentially a physical barrier between the upper and lower teeth, preventing them from grinding against each other. The protective guards cover only the teeth with their chewing surfaces. Your night guard will protect your teeth and allow you to enjoy comfortable, undisturbed sleep. 

Sports Guards: Athletic dental guards are bulkier than night guards. They cover the front and back surfaces of the teeth and the gums for maximum protection. They are made from a soft and thick material designed to absorb high-intensity shocks resulting from blows to the face. Sports mouthguards should never be worn during sleep because they can alter your bite, leading to problems requiring invasive dental procedures. 

Night Guards and Sports Guards Near Me

Visit Kraklow Quality Dentistry in Milwaukee, WI, to learn more about safeguarding your smile with a custom mouthguard created exclusively for you from impressions of your mouth. Enjoy maximum comfort and protection. Call our office at 414-427-8565 to schedule your appointment today!