Nightguards or Occlusal guard
The purpose of an occlusal night guard is to protect teeth against cracking due to grinding or clenching the teeth. The occlusal guard, which usually are worn overnight when nighttime clenching most commonly occurs, also is useful in protecting against damage done to the surface of the teeth such as scratching and chipping. It helps the jaw relax, which lessens the instances of clenching or grinding teeth.
The occlusal night guard is made with clear acrylic resin that is molded to fit the individual. It is common that patients are fitted for either the top or the bottom teeth, depending on where the most damage is done. Sometimes patients are given the occlusal night guard for the bottom and top row of teeth, when the possible damage may be greater. Some occlusal guards partially cover the teeth, while others cover the entire tooth.