DIY Bite Guard

By Lavonda Abney

Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, can be a pain, literally. Teeth grinding can be caused by stress or misalignment of how the teeth fit together. Bruxism can lead to damaged or broken teeth, jaw disorders, osteoarthritis of the jaw, bone loss, periodontal disease, and headaches. Often dentists will prescribe a fitted mouth/bite guard to wear at night to protect the teeth. These bite guards can be very expensive if made by the dentist. Cheaper bite guards can be purchased from sporting good stores and easily molded to the teeth at home.

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Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, can be a pain, literally. Teeth grinding can be caused by stress or misalignment of how the teeth fit together. Bruxism can lead to damaged or broken teeth, jaw disorders, osteoarthritis of the jaw, bone loss, periodontal disease, and headaches. Often dentists will prescribe a fitted mouth/bite guard to wear at night to protect the teeth. These bite guards can be very expensive if made by the dentist. Cheaper bite guards can be purchased from sporting good stores and easily molded to the teeth at home.

Purchase a sport mouth guard from a local sporting goods store, pharmacy or super center. These mouth guards come in different sizes, so make sure to buy the appropriate size for the mouth.

Place water in a saucepan and heat to a boil.

With a spoon or tongs, dip the mouth guard into the hot water for about 30 seconds.

Feel the mouth guard to make sure it isn't too hot. Place mouth guard in the mouth, bite down hard and suck the guard into your teeth to make a proper fit.

Remove the guard, place in cold water allow to harden. Once the impression is hardened, the mouth guard will fit properly over the teeth and form a barrier between the upper and lower teeth to prevent damage from teeth grinding.

Tip

If proper fit is not obtained in first fitting it can be done again. If alterations need to be made, the mouth guard can be heated and cut to fit.

References

About the Author

Based in Kentucky, Lavonda Abney has been writing professionally since 2010. She covers do-it-yourself projects for several online publications.

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