What is the difference between a night guard and a sports guard?
A night guard is used to protect the teeth and bone from clenching and grinding during sleep. This does not stop the habit of teeth clenching and grinding, but it helps prevent possible damage to your teeth. A night guard is an oral appliance that a patient wears during sleep to help absorb the force from clenching and grinding.
A sports mouthguard can be purchased at most sporting goods stores. Store-bought mouth guards cannot be altered and require you to keep your mouth clenched for maximum protection. PlaySafe sports guards can be made in our office. This type of sports guard is made using an exact duplication of your mouth and will stay in place with no effort.
Both a nightguard and a sports mouthguard are meant to protect teeth, but they protect in different ways.
The night guards are used to protect the surface of teeth and protect it from being worn down from continuous grinding and clenching. The main motive to wear a sports mouthguard is to protect the teeth and mouth in case of sudden, hard impact. A night guard is made from durable hard plastic. This will last for a longer period of time against grinding whereas a soft mouthguard is made from a softer material that can take up all the force or unexpected impact. The night guard is used to cover the biting surface of your teeth. A sports mouthguard should cover your teeth including your gums.
It is safe to say that purchasing a store-bought guard is a compromised choice. The best solution is to have a professional nightguard or sports mouthguard made for the optimum protection of your teeth.