Today I brought in my friend Dr. Bilal Saib, DDS (Pronounced Bill-Al) aka Dr. B to talk about what a “night guard” does, why a good fitting guard is so important, what to expect in the impression and placement process and what to look for in a dentist who is recommending one, when you decide it’s time to invest it’s important to know what can happen in the mouth if someone decides to wear a “night guard” (both good and bad).

Thankfully Dr. B walks us though the differences.


Protecting your teeth from the strong forces of grinding may be important if you are trying to avoid teeth that break, crack, become sensitive, prematurely yellow or gums that recede. Also, much of the pain and destruction in the muscles of the head, neck and jaw joints can change when wearing a properly fitted guard, but can be worse if the guard isn’t properly fitted to your mouth, and adjusted as the muscles relax and begin to change.

Dr. B and I spend a lot of time talking about this!

As a travelling hygienist, I’ve had the opportunity to work in hundreds of offices, which means I’ve seen thousands of people that have night guards, yet they don’t wear them due to discomfort or even feeling like it makes them grind more. Fortunately, I’ve also worked in offices where I have seen correctly fitting guards change people’s lives and provide comfort from pain and destruction of the mouth.

That’s what drew me to Dr. B. He’s one of those dentists who “get it”, and I am so thankful that he sat down today to give us some insight about why not all night guards are created equally.

The ones I’ve seen work most often are like the ones Dr. B provides his patients and advocates for.

These guards are meticulously created and adjusted for the patient as their muscles relax, and their bite changes. They often are more expensive, but by the end of today’s episode I hope you will have a better understanding as to why, and you’ll be wanting to seek out a dentist that thinks this way too for yourself.

When Dr. B isn’t being interviewed for podcasts, he’s busy interviewing people for his own podcast “The Passionate Dentist”, or changing lives and smiles in his dental practice Chapel Hill Advanced Dentistry in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Guards are called by many names. Occlusal guard, night guard, mouth guard for teeth grinding, dental guard, nocturnal bite plate and bite splint are the most common terms used. There are many different reasons that someone may be needing a guard, but the bottom line is you want to make sure that the person performing the service is someone that is looking at all the pieces to the puzzle of why you need one.

Thanks Dr. B for your insight, we appreciate you!

You can learn more about Dr. Bilal Saib at:

Chapel Hill Advanced Dentistry

The Passionate Dentist