What Is an Occlusal Guard and How Does It Work?

If you are prone to involuntary movements at night like grinding, biting, or clenching, your dentist or orthodontist may prescribe an occlusal guard. Also known as a nightguard, an occlusal guard protects your teeth from involuntary jaw movements by shielding the teeth from direct contact.

Occlusal guards do not prevent grinding and clenching, but they do protect the teeth from grinding up against one another. This can prevent issues like tooth damage, jaw pain, headaches, and countless others.

example of plastic occlusal guard e

Everything You Need To Know

About Occlusal Guards

An occlusal guard is a removable appliance worn while you sleep to prevent your teeth from getting damaged by involuntary movements like grinding or clenching. Not every dental patient needs an occlusal guard, but it can be crucial for individuals who need them to prevent further damage to their teeth and alleviate jaw, muscle, and joint pain.

This guide will explain what an occlusal guard is, how it works, the benefits associated with them, and when it may be necessary to get one.

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cleaning occlusal guard with toothbrush

The Complete Guide to

Occlusal Guard Cleaning

To maximize the lifespan of your occlusal guard, routine cleaning is recommended. Regularly cleaning your appliance can also protect you from bacteria build-up. You can use the same cleaning methods and cleaners for all types of mouthguards as they’ll sanitize any occlusal guard materials.

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kickboxer woman posing with sports mouth guard

Dental Injuries in

Sports and How to Prevent Them

According to the American Dental Assistants’ Association, around 15 million Americans suffer traumatic dental injuries each year. Around 1/3rd of those injuries occur in athletics, resulting in the loss of over five million teeth each year.

Learn how to protect your teeth from sports injuries by simply wearing a mouthguard.

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