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Do Night Guards Help Tongue Thrust

It’s common knowledge that losing your teeth can have serious consequences on your overall oral health. But did you know that the physical act of thrusting your tongue while you sleep can also be detrimental to your dental health? Tongue thrust happens when we sleep, and it puts pressure on our teeth and can cause more damage than we may realize. So what is tongue guard , and how can it be treated? Read this blog to learn more about tongue thrust and its causes, treatments, and prevention strategies.

Does a tongue guard help with sleep apnea?

There are many factors that can contribute to sleep apnea. When you see a doctor for sleep apnea, they’ll likely run tests and recommend a range of treatment options. One of those options is an oral appliance – more commonly known as a night guard. A tongue crib helps by allowing your tongue to rest in its natural position while you sleep, which relieves airway obstruction and can help alleviate snoring. But do tongue guards also help reduce tongue thrust? The short answer is yes—they can absolutely help reduce tongue thrust when worn at night while sleeping.

How does a tongue guard work?

A tongue guard is a piece of dental equipment that’s placed over your tongue to prevent you from moving it while you sleep. Sometimes, patients are fitted with night guards because they experience bruxism—the involuntary grinding of teeth that can occur during sleep. Often, night guards are used to treat TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder), which causes pain and discomfort in areas of your mouth and head. These symptoms might be reduced or eliminated when a patient uses a night guard on both sides for extended periods of time. There are also tongue thrust protectors, known as tongue cribs , which help lessen nighttime biting that can lead to tooth damage, especially in children who have not fully developed molars yet.

Tongue traction devices

The research seems to indicate that tongue-retaining devices, also known as tongue cribs, are not effective in reducing sleep bruxism. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends tongue thrust exercises instead. These involve actively moving your tongue out of its normal resting position while awake—something you can do several times a day. This technique is thought to stretch and strengthen muscles in and around your jaw, reducing how much they might tighten up during sleep. (Source: American Academy of Sleep Medicine)

Why do people use tongue braces/guards/traction devices?

To stop teeth grinding, also known as bruxism or clenching. Most commonly, a tongue crib/guard is used to prevent or treat tongue thrust. Tongue thrust occurs when a person’s tongue protrudes past their lower front teeth during sleep, often because of an unbalanced bite and/or habit of grinding their teeth (bruxism). When it occurs repeatedly throughout the night and your jaw is forced open in your sleep, it can become quite painful. A tongue crib prevents your mouth from opening wide enough for your tongue to push forward past your lower front teeth, thus preventing pain caused by bruxism.

How to choose a tongue guard

While in general it is not recommended to whiten your teeth while wearing a retainer or braces, some people can get away with it. Your orthodontist or dentist will give you advice on how long you can keep your trays on without causing damage. If you are one of those people that can wear their retainer and whiten their teeth at the same time, be aware that not all gels are created equal and what may be safe for one person’s oral health might cause issues with another person. You will want to consult your dentist to make sure it’s okay for you. Finally, if you do choose to whiten your teeth while wearing any type of orthodontic appliance, be sure to pay attention as well.

How much are tongue braces and how long do they last?

The cost of a tongue brace is similar to that of any other orthodontic treatment. You will be charged based on your location and insurance coverage, but on average you can expect to pay between $800 and $1,200. In addition to paying for braces and lab work, you will also have to pay for checkups twice a year (at about $40 each time). Fortunately, modern braces are made from high-quality stainless steel materials that last as long as 20 years! Once your teeth have moved into place, you should have them regularly checked every six months or so. The cost varies from location to location but is generally around $30 per appointment. Over time, it’s cheaper than wearing metal night guards every night!

What are the best types of tongue braces/guards/traction devices on the market today?

I’ll admit it—I’ve never worn a tongue guard myself, but I have come across quite a few people who swear by them. If you feel like your tongue thrusting is affecting your health and/or daily life, it’s definitely worth asking your dentist if a; others are effective immediately (but typically don’t last as long). Discuss with your dentist which type of device might work best for you based on how often and aggressively you thrust. Also ask if they’re covered by insurance and how much they cost up front versus ongoing.

What is a tongue brace used for?

A tongue brace is worn for correcting a tongue thrust and treating obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The tongue, like other muscles in your body, needs to be supported and stabilized. If you have an upper airway that is narrow because of excessive tissue on your tongue or other reasons, then you might experience symptoms related to sleep apnea. You may find it hard to breathe while sleeping or even wake up gasping for air. This is one of many conditions that can be resolved with a tongue brace.

Which mouthpiece is right for me (and my partner)?

Most dentists recommend using a mouth guard to treat sleep apnea. However, there are three main types: custom-fitted, boil-and-bite and over-the-counter. If you’re looking for an affordable option that is still comfortable and effective, an over-the-counter night guard is a good place to start. Some dental experts also think that if you choose to wear a lower jaw device at night, it might be smart to use one during your waking hours as well. This can help remind you not to clench your jaw—something that is extremely common in people with sleep apnea—which may increase effectiveness of your night guard treatment.

Can I get teeth whitening while wearing my retainer (or vice versa)?

You can get your teeth whitened while wearing your retainer, but you might need to make some adjustments to accommodate both. The two biggest things to consider are: 1) what kind of retainer you have (many custom retainers come with a set of replaceable, adhesive-backed teeth that are removed at night), and 2) what type of whitening treatment you’re undergoing. With chemical teeth whitening, it’s best not to wear your retainer for several hours before or after treatment. For non-abrasive bleaching methods like Zoom Whitening and LED light treatments, it’s fine if you wear your retainer during appointments—but be sure to remove it afterward and avoid using food or toothpaste on treated areas for several hours.

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