Post-op Instructions: Night Guards
Purpose: A splint can help your lower jaw function better by repositioning it. This appliance will help to relax any of your jaw muscles which are in spasm and reduce any muscle pain. There are several things that can cause the lower jaw not to work properly including accidental trauma, developmental defects, peculiar oral habits, naturally occurring malocclusion (poor bite), psychological stress, clenching or bruxing of teeth, and other problems.
- Rationale: You have received an acrylic bite splint (occlusal splint). This treatment has been used for many years to keep the teeth from contacting while you sleep, and to allow the lower jaw to return to a comfortable hinge position without interference and guidance from the teeth. It is essential that you wear your night guard every night, and you may also wear it during the day if you find yourself clenching or grinding your teeth. When it’s not in your mouth, make sure your splint is placed in water to avoid warping.
- Cleaning the Splint: Food will accumulate under the splint. After brushing and flossing your teeth very thoroughly, brush and rinse the inside and outside of the splint, and return it to your mouth. Dental decay can be stimulated if you are not careful about the cleanliness of your mouth and splint. Fluoride-containing rinses or gels are useful when placed in your splint once per day if you have a high dental decay rate. Using a dental soak cleanser (ex: Polident) on a monthly basis will help keep the splint fresh.