How Do I Know If My Night Guard Fits Properly?

If you’ve been diagnosed with TMJ disorder or bruxism (grinding and clenching your teeth), your dentist may prescribe a custom night guard. Custom night guards (oral appliances) are specifically manufactured to fit your mouth, protect your teeth, and eliminate strain on the temporomandibular joint (jaw joint). Getting used to sleeping with an oral appliance can take some time, but it should always fit snugly on your teeth. If you need to continually push it in place with your teeth or your tongue, the night guard is too loose. Read on for other ways to know that your night guard fits properly.


How Your Night Guard Should Fit

To confirm your night guard fits properly, run through this checklist:


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Risks of Teeth Grinding at Night

Grinding your teeth at night may not seem like a serious cause for concern, but it needs to be treated as soon as possible. The reason? Grinding your teeth isn’t just annoying for anyone sleeping in the room with you; it can lead to serious oral health conditions including:

Custom vs. Store-Bought Night Guard

There are plenty of oral appliances sold in grocery stores, pharmacies, and online. However, you should know that although over-the-counter night guards may be less expensive than a custom night guard, they may not help at all. In some cases, they may make your problems worse. Here are several reasons dentists don’t recommend store-bought night guards:


A custom night guard will be more expensive in the short-term, but more cost-effective in the long term as it will reduce risks of further damage to the teeth and jaw joint. 


Treatment for TMJ and Teeth Grinding in Holyoke, MA

If you’re suffering from jaw pain, headaches, or sore teeth and gums, it’s time to schedule a dental examination. Since 1974, Dr. Lalchandani, Founder of Oakdale Dental Associates has provided patients with comprehensive dental care, including custom night guards to treat bruxism and TMJ disorders. To schedule an appointment at our dental office in Holyoke, call 413-536-1782 or send us a message.

Differences Between Deep Cleaning And Regular Cleaning

Regular teeth cleaning helps dental patients improve their oral health. At least twice annually, dentists recommend that their patients visit the office for a dental cleaning and comprehensive oral examination. During these appointments, the dentist and hygienist check for signs of emerging problems, remove plaque and tartar, and polish the teeth to a beautiful shine.


Whether you need a deep or regular dental cleaning depends on your gum health. If you have healthy gums, a twice-annual cleaning and exam should be enough to keep your smile bright. However, if you have periodontal disease, deep cleaning becomes necessary.


Deep cleaning also goes by the term of scaling and root planing. Scaling and root planing are non-surgical procedures. They help to control periodontal disease by removing plaque and tartar from deep pockets between the teeth and gums as well as below the gumline.


If you have existing periodontal disease, your dentist will likely recommend that you receive a deep cleaning at least three to four times per year. These extra appointments can help to keep periodontal disease in check, though they cannot completely reverse its course.

Regular Cleaning Procedures

Routine dental cleaning typically follows these steps:


During a regular dental cleaning, the hygienist first examines your teeth and gums using a small mirror. If the hygienist detects a problem, they may need to call the dentist into the room to check it.


Next, the hygienist uses a simple dental instrument called a scaler to scrape plaque and tartar from the tooth surfaces. The hygienist cleans around the gum line and between the teeth.

If you have a great deal of tartar buildup, the hygienist may need to scrape longer. The best way to avoid this is by brushing and flossing daily, as recommended.


Next, the hygienist uses a special gritty toothpaste on a powerful electric brush. This toothpaste cleans away any remaining plaque and tartar and removes surface stains.


The hygienist will then floss your teeth, giving you important instructions on where you can improve your home flossing technique if necessary. They will also remove any remaining plaque or food from between your teeth.


The hygienist will carefully rinse your mouth with water to completely remove all traces of toothpaste. The rinse will also prepare your teeth for fluoride treatment.


Fluoride treatments are not just for children. They can help adults avoid cavities as well. The hygienist uses a foam, gel, or varnish to apply fluoride to your teeth.

Deep Cleaning Procedures

Patients with periodontal disease need deep cleaning in addition to regular cleaning protocols. Deep dental cleaning goes further when it comes to removing plaque and tartar. The dentist or hygienist will use local anesthesia to numb your gums for this procedure and ensure comfort.


The hygienist scales the teeth using a handheld metal scaler and an ultrasonic scaling device. The hygienist takes as much time as necessary to remove every particle of plaque and tartar, especially around the gum line.


Root planing happens next. The hygienist uses special instruments to reach into the periodontal pockets between the teeth and gums and clean below the gumline. After cleaning the root surface, the hygienist smooths it to help the healthy gum tissue adhere.

Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

To discover whether you may be a candidate for deep cleaning in addition to standard dental cleaning, please review the following possible symptoms of periodontal disease:

Consequences of Uncontrolled Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is a prevailing cause of tooth loss. When the gums recede due to constant inflammation and infection, the bone around the teeth begins to deteriorate, causing the teeth to loosen. Researchers also link gum disease to many systemic health problems, including stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attacks, and preterm birth.

Regular Vs. Deep Cleaning Frequency

Beginning in infancy, each patient should receive a standard cleaning at least twice a year. Periodontal patients must stay on a regular schedule for deep cleaning visits, usually three to four times yearly.

Call Oakdale Dental

Teeth cleaning can improve your dental health and brighten your smile. Please call our Holyoke, MA, office at 413-536-1782 to schedule an appointment for a cleaning, and we will advise you whether you need periodontal care as well.