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Teeth grinding, also called bruxism, is a common condition in which an individual clenches or grinds their teeth. With an estimated prevalence rate among adults between 8% to 31.4%, you may grind your teeth at night and not be aware of it. While the cause of the condition is not always clear, the effects can be uncomfortable, including jaw pain, tooth damage, and headaches.
While there is not a cure for bruxism, many medical providers recommend mouthguards or night guards to help limit overnight grinding and clenching and their associated consequences. These protective devices cover the teeth to shield against potential damage.
We’ll share our top picks, explain what to look for in a mouthguard, and answer some of the questions you may have before making your purchase.
While some users find relief from a mouthguard, they’re not right for everyone. If you think you may be grinding your teeth at night, talk with your dentist or medical provider to explore possible causes and treatment options.
Smile Brilliant Night Guard
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The Smile Brilliant Night Guard balances softness and durability. It is crafted with a custom fit for additional comfort. Each mouthguard measures 2mm thick. The material should hold up to heavy grinding for around 3 months of nightly use.
Three package options are available, containing one, two, or four custom-fitted night guards with travel cases. The company recommends you select a package based on your level of grinding, with heavier teeth grinders needing additional mouthguards so that they can replace the one they use more often.
When a customer places their order, they will first receive a free impression kit to take a mold of their teeth at home. The molding process takes around 15 minutes. Then, the customer ships the impression to a lab in a prepaid envelope, and the lab produces a custom mouthguard.
Smile Brilliant saves each impression in a digitalized format, so reordering is a quick and straightforward process. Replacement mouthguards are available at a lower price than the initial purchase. Customers may use funds from HSA or FSA accounts for first-time payments and reorders.
The Smile Brilliant Night Guard comes with a 45-day trial. Customers receive a full refund of the purchase price minus shipping fees if they’re not satisfied.
Pro Teeth Hybrid Night Guard
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The Pro Teeth Guard Hybrid Night Guard is one of the most comfortable models available. A soft inner layer helps ensure a comfortable fit, while the hard outer layer effectively prevents grinding. This guard is a great choice if you have moderate bruxism.
The Hybrid Night Guard measures 2mm thick, and is made from elasticized acrylic that softens in water for easy fit adjustment. Designs for men and women are available. Pro Teeth Guard mouthguards are made by a professional dental lab. The customer orders the night guard online and receives an impression kit in the mail. Once they take their impressions, they send them back in a prepaid return envelope and receive their custom mouthguard.
You can pay for the Hybrid Night Guard with your HSA or FSA card at checkout. The company offers a 110% money-back guarantee. If you aren’t satisfied during the first 60 days, you can return your mouthguard for a full refund of the purchase price plus an extra 10%. Adjustments are also free during the first 60 days. The mouthguard is protected by a 1-year warranty against structural defects.
Best for Severe Grinding
JS Dental Lab Extra Durable Guard
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Most anti-bruxism mouthguards measure between 1mm and 2mm thick, making them suitable for people with light to moderate teeth grinding. Those with more severe symptoms may need a stronger device such as the Extra Durable Guard from JS Dental Labs. Measuring 3mm thick and formed from an FDA-cleared thermoplastic polyester, the guard essentially acts as a shock absorber whenever you grind or clench. While the guard is robust, the material is fairly flexible and shouldn’t feel too rigid.
You can choose from upper or lower trays. Customization is simple and straightforward. After receiving your kit in the mail, you’ll make an impression at home — this process can be completed in a matter of minutes — and send it back to JS Dental Labs. Most people receive their finished mouthguard within 5 business days. The guard is available in clear and turquoise designs. You can wear the guard with dentures or dental implants,
The Extra Durable Guard comes with a 365-night trial period, which is quite generous compared to trials offered by competing brands. Standard shipping costs $1, but JS Dental Labs deducts this charge from your purchase after the trial ends.
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The Chomper Labs Night Guard is custom made to fit the user’s teeth, and four unique selections are available. This allows for greater personalization to better fit the individual’s needs.
The Soft model measures 3mm thick and uses a flexible, rubber-like material. It is designed for moderate clenching or light grinding. Measuring 2.5mm thick, the Hybrid is soft on the inside and hard on the outside to protect against moderate to heavy grinding. The 2mm thick Hard option consists of rigid copolyester material to hold up to heavy to severe grinding. The Retainer also uses a hard material. It measures 1mm to 1.5mm thick and is intended to protect against grinding while preventing the teeth from shifting.
As a full-service dental lab, customers can contact Chomper Labs for additional customization options. Chomper Labs can adjust the thickness or use special materials to accommodate customers.
After a shopper places their order, they’ll receive an impression kit to take a mold of their teeth at home. They then use the included prepaid envelope to send the mold to the lab, which will custom-make the mouthguard and finish it by hand for a more precise fit.
If the customer decides their Chomper Labs mouthguard isn’t right for them during the first 100 days, Chomper Labs will make adjustments or issue a replacement at no charge. If the customer isn’t satisfied after the adjustment or replacement, they can return the product for a full refund within this trial period, minus shipping costs.
Each custom mouthguard also comes with a 6-month warranty. Chomper Labs maintains impressions for two years to simplify reordering.
Best Custom Options
Sporting Smiles Teeth Grinding Night Guard
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Since bruxism symptoms vary from person to person, no single mouthguard will accommodate everyone. Sporting Smiles offers 6 individual guards, each with a unique design tailored for different types of grinding and clenching. You can also select your guard based on how hard or soft the material feels, and how much of the guard is visible when your teeth are exposed.
The Super Hard Flexible Guard is Sporting Smiles’ best-selling appliance. Measuring 3mm thick, this guard is best suited to people with severe bruxism and holds up well due to its durable composition. If you are looking for similar strength with less visibility, this guard is also available in a “back-cut” design that doesn’t cover your front teeth. If your main issue is heavy clenching, the Soft Teeth Grinding Guard is also 3mm thick but more flexible.
Another option is the Dual Laminate Guard, which has a hard outer casing and a soft inner tray to help curb heavy grinding. This guard is available in standard and back-cut styles, as well. Lastly, the Hard Grinding Guard has an exceptionally thin 1mm profile and is best suited to people with light bruxism symptoms. This model only covers the bottom half of your teeth, so it’s less visible. No matter which guard you choose, your impression is kept on file whenever you’re ready to replace the device or switch to a new design.
As with other custom-fitted mouthguards, you’ll select between a device for your upper or lower teeth and Sporting Smiles mails you an impression kit. A helpful video on the company’s website guides you through the customization process. The kit includes two impression kits in case the mold isn’t perfect on the first try. Most people receive their finished guard within 15 business days, but you can pay for expedited shipping if needed. All orders come with 30-day warranties, during which you can return the guard for a full refund if you aren’t satisfied.
Best Subscription Options
Remi Custom Night Guard
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With the Remi Custom Night Guard, customers can choose between a one-time purchase or a Remi Club membership. With the membership, new mouthguards are delivered once every 6 months for a discounted price. Those frequently purchasing new nightguards may prefer this subscribe-and-save option.
After purchasing the Custom Night Guard, Remi ships you two impression kits in case you make a mistake taking your first impression. Depending on how hard you grind your teeth, you can choose between three thicknesses – 1, 1.3, and 2 millimeters. The kit comes with an information card to help you make your decision. The company stores your impression and preferences to ensure you get the same fit with every purchase.
Purchases come with both a top and bottom mouthguard, so you can try both to see which works best. You can request just one or the other on subsequent purchases. The mouthguard is made from hard-soft plastic that is dental-grade and free from Bisphenol A (BPA). Mouthguards are also compatible with the brand’s teeth whitening gel.
Remi offers a 30-day guarantee where you can test the fit of the mouthguard and request a new impression kit for free. Customers living in all 50 states receive free shipping.
Best for Light to Moderate Grinding
Sentinel Soft Dental Night Guard
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Sentinel’s Soft Dental Night Guard comes in three thicknesses, 1 mm, 2mm, and 3 mm, that cater to people with varying needs for bruxism intervention. The appliance is composed of comfortable, flexible plastic for those who experience light teeth grinding. The night guard does not contain BPA, silicon, latex, or phthalates.
You can choose between a larger and smaller size, and your purchase will include a kit that allows you to create an impression at home, as well as a prepaid shipping label for mailing the completed mold. While you can choose between mouthguards for the upper or lower teeth, you can take impressions of both to ensure a proper fit and contact between your teeth. Sentinel warns that people who wear braces, spacers, and other orthodontic appliances should not use the mouthguard.
The Soft Dental Night Guard is competitively priced for a custom-fitted mouthguard, and you’ll receive a complimentary storage case with your order. All U.S. orders qualify for shipping. Sentinel also offers a 30-day trial period with full refunds for customers who initiate returns. If properly cleaned and cared for, the mouthguard should last up to three years before a replacement is needed.
Best Design for Front Teeth
SmartGuard RX Dental Guard
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While a mouthguard for teeth grinding is an important purchase you shouldn’t necessarily skimp on, you can save some money if you don’t want or need a custom-fitted device. The SmartGuard RX Dental Guard is a boil-and-bite mouthpiece made from flexible thermoplastic. You’ll use hot water to soften the material, and cold water to preserve the impression — a detailed instructional video can be found on SmartGuard RX’s website. This process allows you to instantly customize the guard at home, rather than waiting for a lab to prepare and mail it to you.
Unlike other anti-bruxism mouthguards that mold around your upper and lower teeth, the Dental Guard only covers your top two front teeth. This limited coverage may be more comfortable for sleeping. The guard does not contain any latex or BPA, and has been cleared by the Food and Drug Administration.
The Dental Guard has been approved for adults 18 or older, but some people should not use the device. These include anyone with braces, dentures, or dental implants, as well as those with loose teeth or medical conditions like TMJ. You should speak to a dentist before using the guard if you have loose fillings or caps, gum disease, or two or more teeth missing.
Each order includes two customizable molds and a storage container. Even with two guards, the cost is significantly lower compared to custom-fitted mouthpieces. SmartGuard RX backs the Dental guard with a 3-year “no-grind-through” guarantee.
Best Mouthguards for Teeth Grinding Video
Watch the video below to get an in-depth review of some of our favorite mouthguards for bruxism.
Causes and Symptoms of Teeth Grinding
Teeth grinding can have far-reaching symptoms, and the root cause may not be obvious. The American Dental Association (ADA) reports that some common symptoms include jaw soreness, dull headaches, painful or loose teeth, and fractured teeth.
While the exact causes of teeth grinding are not entirely clear, the ADA cites stress as a potential trigger for adults, and mouth irritation, misaligned teeth, and allergies as possible contributing factors for children.
If you suspect you are (or your child is) grinding or clenching during the night, talk to your dentist or doctor to learn more.
How to Choose a Mouthguard for Teeth Grinding
While all mouthguards for teeth grinding address the same problem, they vary widely in design. This may make certain mouthguards more appropriate for some sleepers than others.
What to Consider When Purchasing a Mouthguard
Mouthguards differ in their fit, materials, comfort, durability, style, and price. Understanding the differences can help you select the most comfortable and protective model for you.
Fit is one of the most critical criteria that affects a mouthguard’s comfort and usability. A mouthguard that is too thick may feel bulky in the mouth, while one that is too loose may be difficult to keep in place throughout the night. While one-size-fits-all models are available, many sleepers prefer custom-fit varieties to ensure the mouthguard stays put without taking up too much space.
Most mouthguards are made of durable, heat-cured plastic, though some use acrylic materials. Reputable labs should use safe, high-quality components that stand up to testing. Customers with latex allergies may want to read the product description carefully to ensure the mouthguard is latex-free, while some shoppers may also prefer to look for a BPA-free option.
Comfort is subjective, but it may depend on the fit, materials, and style of the mouthguard. Custom fits are often the most comfortable since they are crafted for the individual’s mouth. Some sleepers may prefer the feel of soft mouthguards, while others may like a rigid design. The style and shape of the mouthguard can also affect the feel, since some may be bulkier than others. Some models may be built for enhanced comfort, with modifications to take up less space in the mouth.
Mouthguards are built to hold up to grinding and clenching, but how long they last will depend on their durability. Those intended for heavy or severe grinding will likely be the most durable, while those designed for light grinding may wear out more quickly, especially when subjected to moderate to severe grinding.
Generally, heavy teeth grinders may need to replace their mouthguards more often for continued protection. Many custom mouthguard manufacturers take this into account and keep the customer’s teeth impressions on file for easy replacement. These services also typically charge less for subsequent mouthguards.
Manufacturers produce different styles and types of mouthguards to accommodate diverse needs and preferences. The most notable variation is often how the mouthguard is fitted to the teeth, either as a boil-and-bite, custom, or one-size-fits-all model.
Purchasing a mouthguard for teeth grinding online is usually more affordable than buying one from your dentist’s office. Many mouthguards fall in the $100 to $200 range, but durability may be as important as price when determining the overall value. A less durable option may need to be replaced every few months, potentially adding up to a higher total over time, while more durable models may cost more upfront but require less frequent replacement.
Which Type of Sleeping Mouthguard Should I Choose?
Several types of sleeping mouthguards are available, each with potential pros and cons. Learning more about them may make it easier to see which is the best fit for you.
Boil-and-bite style mouthguards have a customized fit without the need to send an impression of your teeth to a lab. Most models provide clear instructions on how to boil the mouthguard, take it out with tongs, run it under cold water, and place it in your mouth to mold to the shape of your teeth. Then, the mouthguard can typically be rinsed off and used without any downtime.
This design has several potential benefits, including a customized fit without the need to wait for the lab to process your order. Many boil-and-bite style mouthguards can also be remolded, which may be convenient if your teeth shift over time, or if you don’t get the right fit on the first try.
With mail-in custom mouthguards, the buyer usually receives a free impression kit that they use to make a mold of their teeth. They then ship this mold to a lab, where technicians build a personalized mouthguard for the customer’s mouth. These mouthguards often have the best fit, but they can also be the most expensive. However, shoppers considering purchasing a mouthguard directly from their dentist may get a similar result at a lower price-point with a mail-in custom mouthguard.
One-size-fits-all mouthguards are intended to fit most sleepers, but they’re ideal for very few. They can provide a quick, affordable, and convenient solution, though users give them mixed reviews for comfort, fit, and effectiveness.
Mouthguards Not Designed for Teeth Grinding
While there are many mouthguards on the market for teeth grinding, others address different concerns. Sports mouthguards are built to protect the teeth in case of impact, and anti-snoring mouthpieces are designed to help reduce snoring by moving the lower jaw forward.
While you may be tempted to try using one of these mouthguards to protect against teeth grinding, they are not engineered for the task. The stresses of grinding may cause the materials to break down more quickly. They may also not provide effective protection against grinding, just as a mouthguard for grinding isn’t suitable for sports protection or snoring reduction. If you are unsure of what type of mouthguard is right for you, talk to your doctor or dentist.
Frequently Asked Questions
The best way to clean a mouthguard is by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Most should be rinsed and gently brushed daily. Since toothpaste can be abrasive, some require gentler cleaning agents. Let your mouthguard dry before storing it.
Mouthguards also typically require regular deep cleanings, which can usually be done with a non-abrasive denture cleaner, mouthwash, or hydrogen peroxide. Be careful to follow the cleaning instructions provided with your mouthguard to keep your device clean without damaging it.
Anti-bruxism mouthguards act as a barrier between your teeth to provide a layer of cushioning. The mouthguard fits over your upper or lower teeth to prevent contact and protect tooth enamel.
Sleepers may wear an upper or lower mouthguard depending on their personal preferences and dentist recommendations. Opinions vary between both dentists and users on which is more comfortable and better stays in place.
Mouthguards for teeth grinding are typically designed to be worn on either the top or bottom teeth, but not both at the same time. Some customizable options can be molded to accommodate the upper or lower teeth, while others are crafted specifically for one or the other. If you have a strong preference, pay careful attention to product descriptions to make sure the mouthguard you’re considering fits the bill.