Friday, June 21, 2013

Supportive Spouses & Case Success!

Sitting at the front desk in our office, our Office Coordinator heard him say it loud and clear, "that thing is going to make you look so silly. Really? I mean it's just so sexy." The husband of a long time patient was speaking to his wife about her new night guard. It was just a common ribbing from one spouse to the other, simple teasing, joking really; no harm, no foul, right?

A major reason people treated by dentists are not successful with night guards and occlusal guard care is because they don't wear them, either enough or at all in some cases. Your guard may need checked and adjusted, bring it in! Many men and women we've spoken to admit they don't wear them because of their spouse.

An occlusal guard can help patients with a variety of dental
concerns including TMJ, bruxism, mobility and more. (Photo
from Total Care Dentistry)
Our immediate reaction might be considered rather harsh. We wonder if the unsupportive spouse would prefer to have a mate without natural teeth. In some cases, that could be the end result of untreated grinding (bruxism), TMJ, and other serious dental conditions.

According to Dr. Mary Dooley, there are different kinds of guards made for specific reasons individual to each patient. Custom made occlusal orthotics are very hard guards that help with the treatment of TMJ. Night guards help with patients who grind their teeth causing wear beyond what is typical, cracks in the teeth in some cases. Guards are also made for many patients to protect smile reconstruction. Guards are not only an investment in the restored comfort of patients, but also an insurance policy for the investment made in valuable treatment already performed.

We know the husband in our example wasn't trying to do permanent damage to his wife's psyche or teeth. Still, take a moment to consider your spouse. It's the smile that stares at you that you'll be enjoying (or not) later.

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