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Dental Night Guards vs. Sports Guards

Posted on 6/20/2016 by Nic Grasvik
A lime green a sports guard.Have you ever wondered about the difference between mouth guards that you wear for sports and those that you wear to sleep at night?

After all, they look the same - they are both made out of plastic. They even serve basically the same purposes to protect your teeth from damage.

So, if you suffer from bruxism, do you really need a special night guard, or can you just wear the mouth guard that you use when playing football?

The Difference is in the Material
One major difference between a dental night guard and a sports guard is the material that is used to fabricate the device. Night guards aren't as thick as sports guards, since when you are sleeping, you shouldn't worry about suffering a blow to the face that could dislodge your teeth.

For this reason, sports guards need to be made out of a thicker material - plus, it is made to extend to cover the entire jaw, including the gums, while a night guard will typically only be concerned about protecting the chewing surfaces of the teeth.

Different Methods of Dental Protection

Both types of guards will protect your teeth, but they do so in different ways. Night guards protect the tooth surfaces from wear and tear due to clenching and grinding, so they need to be made out of hard, acrylic plastic that will be able to withstand grinding forces over a long period of time.

On the other hand, a sports mouth guard will protect the teeth in the event of a hard, sudden impact, so it will be made from softer materials that can better absorb the force associated with a sudden impact.

Whether you need a night guard or a sports mouth guard, the best option is to get a custom guard created by your dentist. Contact our office today to get yours.


Dr. Nicholas Grasvik
4690 SW Hall Blvd
Beaverton, OR 97005


Easy to find in downtown Beaverton.
Lots of parking available

(503) 350-1234

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4690 SW Hall Blvd, Beaverton, OR 97005