Ryan M. Buckwalter, DDS, FICOI, FAGD

1420 Greenbrier Place
Charlottesville, VA 22901


7 Reasons You Need a Mouth Guard

Although your teeth must last a lifetime, many people begin to experience dental problems after a couple of decades. Up to 3 out of 10 people clench or grind their teeth while sleeping. This tendency—bruxism—can be insidious, as its symptoms develop gradually and often go unnoticed. Over time, clenching your jaw and grinding your teeth can cause wear on and even crack the enamel. Traumatic accidents can also result in these effects, or worse, in the blink of an eye. Fortunately, a mouth guard offers powerful protection for your teeth. Often, using one is essential, even for those who opt for uninsured dental care services.

Hillcrest Dental offers custom night guard and athletic guard services to all its patients in Charlottesville, VA. Bruxism is an ailment we can both work to repair and prevent. With our help, your teeth can withstand stress and trauma, and you’ll be smiling in no time. For more information, contact us today at (434) 973-2224.

Below, we go over 7 benefits of wearing a mouth guard:

1. Mitigating Stress Headaches

All that clenching and grinding creates significant muscle work, usually leaving a patient with soreness and headaches from a poor night of sleep. A mouth guard eliminates the strain, which helps reduce or eliminate headaches.

2. Getting Bettering Sleep

With less stress, headaches, and general discomfort, people sleep better. In other words, people can attain and retain a deep sleep, otherwise known as rapid eye movement—or REM—sleep. The body achieves its best healing and recovery during the REM stages of sleep.

3. Smiling More

How likely are you to smile during the day if your teeth are sensitive and your mouth is sore from the night? With a night guard, a patient is far more relaxed in the morning and thus more likely to smile that day. Moreover, smiling improves your disposition, appearance, and social interactions. 

4. Avoiding Costly Dental Repairs

A significant problem with teeth grinding is that it becomes a pattern. Folks diagnosed with bruxism tend to continue until they proactively stop. A night guard can help in patients’ pursuits. Moreover, a mouth guard can go a long way in preventing far more expensive dental work that might result from chronic jaw-clenching.

5. Preventing Dental Shifts

Believe it or not, even adult teeth can begin to shift under pressure. While they have long roots to anchor them in place, constant pressure from grinding and clenching can change the shape of an adult’s mouth. Again, a night guard breaks this pattern and path. This benefit is particularly significant for older patients, who would are prone to losing teeth after too much grinding.

6. Protecting from Accidents

A mouthguard is essential for any physical sport: football, rugby, martial arts, and more. Without athletic mouth protectors, getting hit in the mouth presents a serious disaster. Yet oral trauma is entirely preventable: custom mouth protectors are tailored to the wearer’s teeth and provide ample protection during gameplay. Just about all high-quality sports mouth protectors work as custom athletic guards.

7. Caring for Your Teeth

Even young kids can care for their dental mouth guard when instructed in the procedure. Not to mention, regular mouth guard maintenance avoids all common myths and complaints regarding taste. Just keep the guard clean every morning, and it’s good to go for the next night or game day. Protecting your teeth is easier than you might think.

Receive Uninsured Dental Care in Charlottesville, VA

When a dentist recommends a mouth guard, it’s usually because they can already see the signs of wear on a patient’s teeth from grinding and clenching. Don’t let your teeth succumb to stress or trauma. Talk to the dentists at Hillcrest Dental about our options for insured and uninsured dental care patients in Charlottesville, VA. We work with our patients on financing options to ensure everyone gets the treatment they deserve. To request an appointment, contact us online or call (434) 973-2224.

  • "I am very pleased with how my appointment went yesterday. Everyone was really friendly. They explained everything to me about the procedure and stayed late to assure I was comfortable with the work I had done. Dr Ryan Buckwalter and his assistants were awesome. I highly recommend them for any dental work. Thank you."

    Donnette M.

  • "I was having toothache pain in my lower jaw. I called the next day to make an appointment and was given an appointment time for the very next day. I saw Dr. Ryan, who is knowledgeable, caring and has great people skills with his patients. I made another appointment to come back and have the work done."

    Denise K.

  • “Dr. Buckwalter and his assistant did a wonderful job with our 8 year old today. While they were busy talking teeth, my 3 year old was enjoying his new lip balm and balloon! Finished up with a treat from Starbucks with our gift card. So glad our kiddos don’t fear the dentist. More like they want to keep stopping in."

    Logan D.

  • “Unbelievable experience with Dr. Ryan Buckwalter. Night and Day difference from my last dental experience with another dentist. I no longer fear the dentist!”

    David S.