Sports Mouthguards vs. Night Guards: Understanding the Differences for Safe Use

Last updated: August 24th, 2023

A sports mouthguard is designed to protect your teeth during physical activities where there's a risk of injury to the mouth.

While wearing a sports mouthguard at night isn't inherently harmful, it might not be the most effective or comfortable solution for nighttime use. If you are considering wearing a mouthguard at night, here are a few points to consider:

  1. Purpose: People typically wear a mouthguard at night to prevent teeth grinding or clenching, a condition known as bruxism. Mouthguards designed specifically for this purpose are often called night guards or occlusal splints.

  2. Fit: Sports mouthguards are generally bulkier and might not be as comfortable as night guards for extended wear. Night guards are designed to be worn for several hours and are often custom-fitted by a dentist for optimal comfort and protection.

  3. Effectiveness: A night guard is designed to evenly distribute the pressure across your teeth, minimizing the wear and potential damage caused by grinding or clenching. A sports mouthguard, on the other hand, is primarily designed to protect against impact and might not offer the same level of protection against the effects of bruxism.

  4. Material & Durability: Night guards tend to be made from durable materials that can withstand the force of grinding or clenching night after night. Sports mouthguards may wear out faster if used in this manner.

  5. Breathing & Comfort: Sleeping with a bulky sports mouthguard might be uncomfortable, and if it doesn't fit well, it can interfere with your ability to breathe comfortably.

If you suspect you have bruxism or another condition that requires a mouthguard during sleep, it's essential to see a dentist. They can provide guidance on the best type of protection for your specific needs and ensure it's appropriately fitted for comfort and effectiveness.

Related: Teeth Grinding: The Importance of Protective Mouthguards

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