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December 20, 2011
Hey plastic free folks. I have a question that I wonder if anybody else out there has grappled with.
My dentist says that I need to wear a night guard because I'm wearing down my teeth by grinding and clenching at night. I used to wear one and HATED it because I woke up with a headache every morning, so I finally just "went rogue" and stopped wearing it, and the headaches went away. I'm not sure if the headaches were caused by something leaching from the plastic (the thing tasted like a toxic waste dump) or if it just made me clench more than before.
Anyhow… that was 15 years ago and while my headaches are much better, apparently my teeth are not, so my new dentist really wants me to wear a night guard again. He swears that they use "better" plastics now that don't leach chemicals… but I am unconvinced. But he's got me scared that I'm going to lose my teeth if I don't wear some sort of a guard at night because my enamel is almost gone in spots.
So… I wonder if anybody has any information on this topic? Does anybody know what the "new groovy" plastic is made from? Or are there any alternatives? I was thinking silicone, but everything I've read says they aren't designed for nighttime use… anybody know more than that? I seriously loathe the idea of having a piece of plastic in my mouth all night every night, but I'm not wild about the idea of losing my teeth either.
Thanks in advance for any info or thoughts that anybody might have!
February 16, 2010
Believe it or not, I actually sleep with a mouthful of plastic. But it's not a night guard, it's Invisalign teeth straighteners, which are BPA-free, but I don't know anything else about the plastic in them. I started with them many years ago before the plastic-free thing, and I spent so much money, I don't want to risk crooked teeth again. But please do let us know anything you find out about what the mouth guards are made from. Can you find out the name of the company that makes them and contact them?
December 20, 2011
The dentist and two of his assistants said they'd contact the company and find out what exactly they are made out of… but that was over a week ago and it's been radio silence, so we'll see.
I'm heartened to know that even the queen of plastic-free living has to make a few exceptions for things like proper dental care!
I also have to wear a night guard to prevent wear on my teeth. I went to the dentist today for tooth cleaning and was told that I must be more faithful to my mouth guard (I don't wear it every night, as I should). The dental hygienist kept calling the guard "acrylic." I'll try to find out more about mine and pass it on. It is a rigid, hard plastic, not soft and chewy like some are.
I have the same problem. The plastic in my night guard causes me to have sinus problems which cause me drainage sinus drainage and a sore throat.. I told my dentist when I order the night guard that I needed one that was bpa and phthalate free. I have no way of knowing if the night guard I received, which coat me $500, is free of toxins. I do know that if I don't wear it, I don't have terrible sinus issues, but then I have noticeable grinding marks on my lower teeth, in time. I need a night guard that will not make me sick.
I am glad to know I am not alone in this battle between the health of my teeth and risking the money since I am not insured for dental or sleeping with plastic in my mouth every night! So far I have opted to risk my teeth without any negative results. I will gladly start to investigate any mouth guards without plastic if such a thing exists yet. If anything it is nice to know I am not alone and more heads are coming together to brainstorm.
i m in the same boat! It is creating a lot of anxiety for me as i also have sinus and sore throat problem when wearing the guard. My is about 2 years old so i m geting a new one but i remember the new one have even a stronger plastic taste. I really really hate everything about it but i can't live without it. My teeth will be too damage from grinding.
I would like to find an alterantive. What do you think could the night guard be made of? Rubber? Fabric? any thoughts? I believe the industry won't make anything that is health conscious so we have to make it ourselves… maybe we can brainstorm some ideas..
July 15, 2013
I have recently been wondering about plastic free mouth guards, but it sounds like there are no options :/
I don't have to wear one at night, but I take karate and participate in a lot of tournaments. We have to wear mouth guards while sparing and I'm not going to protest the plastic in that one because I want to keep all my teeth intact. It would be great if there was an alternative, hopefully someone comes up with one in the near future.
June 21, 2013
I have worn a night guard in the past and they do take time to break in (or we do, or both), but what improved for me was when I changed form a guard fitted to my upper teeth to one fitted to my lower teeth, and went from hard plastic (acrylic?) to soft (silicone). The upper teeth are more closely related to the palates (soft and hard), which are mobile 'suture joints' in the skull. Based on the movement of the CSF (cerebrospinal fluid), it is best not to lock down the upper teeth and prevent them from flexing as our head bones move in response to the 'tides' of the CSF. It is certainly possible that we have sensitivities to the plastics in these night guards, I don't discount that. It is also possible that some of the head pain and sinus-related reactions are because the skull and teeth are not static structures in our body and preventing them from moving during our most recuperative time (sleep!) could be causing some trouble too. Although the silicone night guard I had did eventually wear down and there were holes in the places where the tooth contact ground through the material, I was still able to sleep more easily knowing I was grinding down the guard rather than my teeth. I don't have the same dentist I did when I got it, so I'm unable to offer more detail about it, but wearing one on the lower teeth sure made a huge difference for me, a chronic headache sufferer. I'm sure I digested and/or hopefully passed small bits along the way, but I'm no worse for the wear as far as I know.
I hope we can all find ways to save our teeth without exposure to more toxicity, the silicone seemed like the best solution for me. In response to the question about using silicone overnight, I was told to wear mine at night. It was one that the dentist fitted to my teeth and checked at each cleaning visit, very different than the ones you can buy at the drugstore, far less bulky and quite comfortable to wear. Might be worth the investment, though of course what brought me here was searching on line for a home kit in order to save money!
I too have had problems with grinding and my dentist has made several devices for my teeth. One an upper hard plastic was so nasty that it had that same chemical waste dump taste. I complained to her and she thought it would go away. After a week or so I just couldn't wear it.
She outfitted me with a thin clear acrylic lower guard that I love. No taste, still can talk with it, light weight. But She's not happy with Grinding marks on it .
After a year or so she learned that improperly cured nightguards still leach chemical taste. She asked for my old one and re-cured it. Now it is better but still has a faint taste. She really thinks its a better fit but I too am very uneasy about having plastic leach into my system every night. She says it's BPA free but I'm uncomfortable with the faint toxic residue taste. Not sure if curing a third time will make it completely free of the taste.
I love my little lightweight acrylic. I had another one that broke eventually but was able to replace it. But if it were up to me I'd stay with the acrylic.
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