How Safe Is Your Night Guard
Mouthguards are devices that are used to protect your teeth from grinding or clenching while sleeping. They play an important role in protecting your teeth, tongue and soft tissues from high-impact activities, especially when participating in sports. They can also help prevent other sleep-related symptoms such as obstructive sleep apnea and snoring. Mouthguards are tried and tested to prevent tooth injury and jaw fractures. The type of mouth guard you choose depends on your budget and lifestyle.
Let’s look more closely at what mouth guards and night guards are made of especially if you have concerns about material safety. Getting a closer look at what materials are used in crafting mouthguards and what makes them effective will help you understand how this product works. When purchasing a mouth guard, be sure to look for these materials on their packaging or leaflet.
Ethylene vinyl acetate (often referred to as EVA) is a copolymer of vinyl acetate and ethylene. This rubber-like bendable material is frequently used to create soft dental night guards. It also demonstrates a good response to shock absorption and heat. The rubbery EVA material is soft, flexible and elastic. It is ideal for light teeth grinding and for persons with sensitive teeth because of its softness and flexibility, which help improve the cushioning of the mouth. EVA is not considered a carcinogen by NTP, ACGIH, IARC and OSHA, and it has no known negative effects on human health. EVA has shown good results in dissipating force and has demonstrated great protection capability.
Thermoplastics are materials that can be easily remolded, reshaped or recycled. They are widely used in the fields of healthcare, food, automotive, air defense and other fields. The properties of thermoplastic are highly useful for carrying liquids, gasses and even for conducting electricity. It is a flexible material with excellent UV and chemical resistance compared to other flexible materials. It is an environmentally safe material and extensively used by many people.
Thermoplastic night guards are perfect for heavy grinders and clenchers because they are made of strong, robust acrylic material. The result is a hard night guard that resembles an acrylic night guard. These nightguards offer a solid barrier of defense in between your upper and lower teeth. Since they are custom-fit night guards, they will provide incredible protection and comfort.
Thermoplastic night guards are an excellent substitute for traditional acrylic night guards. Traditional hard night guards might feel uncomfortable and stiff, but thermoplastic night guards provide a comfortable fit due to the material’s special properties. Because a soft night guard is made of soft, flexible material, some people often want to chew on them. As such, a thermoplastic night guard is the best choice.
When you think about what a mouth guard has to go through in its lifetime – being cleaned and washed over and over again — that mouthguard has to be durable and can withstand the test of time. The material within thermoplastic night guards tend to soften when placed in warm water, creating a perfectly formed fit for your teeth.
Also known as MMA, methyl methacrylate is a chemical commonly used in nail salons for acrylic nails before it was found to cause severe nail irritation. It was not until the late 1970s that salons were allowed to use MMA as an ingredient for acrylic nails. Methyl methacrylate is now utilized to manufacture plexiglass, signs, siding for buildings, bathroom fixtures and bone replacement cement.
According to the EPA, methyl methacrylate is used safely in many consumer items. It is categorized as a non-carcinogenic substance, which means that exposure to it for any length of time will not cause cancer in people. Methacrylate Producers Association provides information on the safety of this material for dental consumers as well. Acrylic devices manufactured by professional dental labs go through proper curing processes so there is no risk of hazardous exposure. Also, note that soft night guards are MMA-free.
What materials to watch out for
BPA is a chemical that is used to make hard plastics. It is most commonly found in water bottles, food cans, and other plastic containers, as well as dental sealants. Several studies show the negative consequences of BPA exposure to baby’s health.
High amounts of BPA have been linked to heart disease, infertility, premature puberty, obesity, diabetes, hormonal changes, and behavioral and cognitive disorders. Majority of Americans are thought to have some BPA in their bodies. However, the threat posed by BPA is still widely disputed by researchers because many of them believe that its health risk is low.
The American Dental Association reports BPA is not the main ingredient found in modern dental materials. However, trace amounts may be present in some dental sealants and composites, but it is not found in most night guard materials. ClearClub produces BPA-free night guards, sports guards and multi-color guards.
Phthalates are the subject of a fact sheet published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). CDC stated that although the health effects of exposure to phthalate are still relatively unknown, but in animals, it has affected their ability to reproduce despite the minimal exposure.
Most people are exposed to phthalates when they eat and drink foods that come into contact with containers and products containing phthalates. To a lesser extent, exposure can occur when breathing air containing phthalate vapors or dust contaminated with phthalate particles. Due to their hand-to-mouth habits, young children may be more likely than adults to be exposed to phthalate particles in dust. When phthalates enter a person's body, they are broken down into metabolites, which are easily excreted by urination.
CDC provides a list of items that contain phthalates:
- Waterproofing agents
- Automotive plastics
- Nail polish
- Hair sprays
ClearClub’s custom night guard does not contain phthalates.
Not all night guards are latex-free mouthguards. Most dental mouth guards and night guards are not made of latex. Some people suffer from mild to severe latex allergies. It is unknown exactly why some people are allergic to latex, but the Mayo Clinic notes that continuous contact with the material may increase your sensitivity to it.
You might be allergic to latex if you experienced a rash or other symptoms after coming into touch with the material. Each person’s response to latex allergy may vary. The Cleveland Clinic states that symptoms may show up immediately or after a few hours. Some people might get a moderate allergic reaction to latex, such as itchy rash, sneezing or runny nose, while others may have a severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis. Contact dermatitis is also a common symptom.
Why it matters
Your health is important. Before mouth guards are made available to the general public, they should undergo thorough testing and approval.
If a company goes the extra mile to use safe materials, they will undoubtedly reveal it to you. And if not, that’s a red flag! Be sure to do your research to make sure what you’re getting is safe. With ClearClub, you don’t have to worry. All of our mouth guards are made with safe materials because we provide only the best.