If you are a chronic teeth grinder in your sleep, your dentist may ask you to wear a nighttime mouth splint to prevent further damage. These splints are individually fitted and sit over the top teeth to stop you grinding and potentially wearing, cracking or breaking the teeth.
Here are some tips to keep the splint in prime condition.
Rinse and cleanse the splint each morning as you remove it from your mouth.
The longer you leave between rinsing the splint and removal, the more time for a build-up of stinky bacteria. If you find you do get a buildup of odour, ensure that you are fully cleaning and flossing your teeth each night before sleep, and lightly brush the splint after your mouth brushing each morning. Food scraps can be a very attractive food source for stinky oral bacteria to build-up in the mouth and in the crevices of the splint.
You can also give the splint a soak once a week in a glass of denture cleaner, which helps clean and deodorise splints.
Do not let the splint fully dry out
As the splints are lined with a soft material, to keep the splint comfortable and close fitting in the mouth, it is important not to let the splint fully dry out. If you live in a particularly dry environment you may need to keep the splint in a glass of water. Your dentist most likely has provided you with a splint case, which will help the splint stay clean and in optimum conditions between uses.
Contact your dentist if the splint is not fitting correctly
If you are also having some repair work, particularly crowns or bite restoration, you may find that the new shape of some of your teeth affects the fit and comfort of the splint. It is important for you to contact you dentist if that does occur, as the fit may start to put unexpected pressure on other teeth on your mouth and make it uncomfortable as you go to sleep. If you are getting any dental work done, it is worth bringing your splint along so that your dentist adjusts the splint on the day.
A splint may initially seem an unusual addition to your sleep routine but soon becomes a standard part of the going to sleep routine. If you have any more questions about caring for your splint, ask your dentist for additional advice.
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