A whitening tray looks almost identical to a nightguard, and both whitening trays and night guards are orthodontic appliances that enhance your dental health and appearance. If you have had whitening trays, you may be wondering if you can use the trays as a night guard as well.
While the dental appliances may look the same, they are not created for the same reasons. Whitening trays are made to hold whitening agents, and night guards are manufactured to protect your teeth from grinding and clenching.
What is a Teeth Whitening Tray?
A teeth whitening tray is a tray that is custom designed by your dentist when you seek teeth whitening in NE Calgary. The tray is molded to your mouth structure so that when you place the whitening gel inside the tray and place it over your teeth, it properly applies the gel to the surfaces of your teeth and does not leave patchy results. While whitening trays are an excellent way to enhance your smile, they are solely made for that purpose. Whitening trays are not made of thick or durable material.
What is a Night Guard?
A night guard is an orthodontic appliance provided by an orthodontist near you to reduce the effects of clenching and grinding. When individuals clench and grind their teeth at night, it causes pain and tension in their face and jaws, along with damage to their teeth. This is where a night guard comes in.
A night guard works by creating a barrier between the upper and lower teeth, therefore reducing the harmful effects of grinding such as tooth damage and jaw pain.
Can A Whitening Tray be Used as a Night Guard?
Even though teeth whitening trays and night guards look similar, they are not the same. Here are some reasons why you shouldn’t use a whitening tray as a night guard:
- Whitening trays are looser than night guards and can slide around during your sleep, therefore not providing consistent and effective protection.
- Whitening trays don’t cover the entire biting surfaces and only cover the visible portion of your smile, meaning they don’t cover your molars. This can cause uneven pressure and worsen your painful symptoms. Over a long period of time, this can even cause permanent changes to your teeth that will require more extensive orthodontic work down the line.
- Whitening trays are not as durable as night guards because they are only made to hold the whitening gel, not to protect your teeth from harm.
Where to Find a Night Guard
If you have already undergone teeth whitening near you but have realized that you also require a night guard for clenching and grinding, you will need to find a nightguard that will adequately protect your teeth. While there are many options for over-the-counter night guards, the best place to get a nightguard is from an orthodontist in NE Calgary.
When you visit Totally Orthodontics, our team of dedicated dental professionals will be happy to sit with you to discuss your options for night guards. We offer custom-night guards to provide our patients with optimal protection and comfort. Our dentist will take impressions of your teeth and send them over to a dental laboratory to create a perfect mouthguard for your needs.
If you have noticed that you are experiencing any painful symptoms associating with clenching and grinding, you may need a nightguard. Don’t live with pain; contact our team at Totally Orthodontics to book a consultation today!