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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.
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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 keeps the impressions of your teeth on file for easy reordering. Reorders are available for a lower price than the initial purchase.
The Smile Brilliant Night Guard comes with a 45-day trial, and customers can receive a full refund of the purchase price minus shipping fees if they’re not satisfied.
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The Pro Teeth Guard comes in four varieties that are custom made to fit your mouth for comfort and protection.
These selections vary in their thickness, materials, and level of protection. The Hard Night Guard is designed for heavy grinding. It measures 1.5mm thick and is highly durable. The Hybrid Night Guard is hard on the outside and soft and the inside to protect against moderate to heavy grinding. It measures 2mm thick and is the company’s most popular option.
The Ultra Thin Guard measures 1mm thick for barely-there visibility appropriate for daytime protection against light to moderate grinding. The Soft Night Guard has a flexible feel. It measures 1.5mm thick and is intended for protection against light grinding and clenching.
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 then receive their custom mouthguard.
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 Hard Night Guard, the Hybrid Night Guard, and the Soft Night Guard are protected by a 1-year warranty, while the Ultra Thin Guard is backed by a 6-month warranty.
Best Long-Term Mouthguard
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The Cheeky is a custom-fitted mouthguard designed to reduce nighttime teeth grinding. Shoppers first receive an impression kit to create a mold for their upper teeth, which they then mail to the company. A few weeks later, their mouthguard will arrive in the mail. Customers can choose between guards made of soft thermoplastic or hard acrylic and thermoplastic, depending on their personal preference.
While the up-front price is a bit steep at first glance, Cheeky will send a new custom mouthguard every three months until the buyer opts out of the replacement plan. Shipping is always free for new guards. This makes Cheeky a suitable option for people who plan to use an anti-bruxism device for the foreseeable future. One-time purchases are also available.
Cleaning the Cheeky is quick and straightforward: simply scrub the mouthguard with your toothbrush prior to using it each night. Every purchase includes a compact storage case that can also be useful when you are traveling.
Whether you opt for the one-time purchase or replacement plan, Cheeky provides full refunds to any customer who isn’t fully satisfied. Customers can transition to the replacement plan at any time for free.
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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.
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Sporting Smiles offers an array of night guard models designed to minimize the effects of bruxism. Each model varies in firmness, durability, and comfort features. The type of model you need will ultimately depend on personal preferences and how heavily you grind your teeth. The Flexible Super Hard model is the strongest model and is meant to help people with severe teeth grinding.
The Flexible Super Hard model is 3 millimeters thick and is customized to fit your teeth. It is made with a clear EVA plastic that is flexible but also dense, allowing the night guard to protect against heavy grinding. People who do not grind their teeth heavily may prefer softer models that cater to lighter levels of grinding.
Sporting Smiles delivers an impression kit for customers to take molds of their own teeth. If the impression is imperfect, Sporting Smiles will send free replacement putty to make a new mold. The company keeps your mold and offers up to 35% off if you reorder a replacement mouth guard within the year.
If customers are unhappy about the fit of their night guard, Sporting Smiles offers a 30-day warranty. During this period, the company will send a free replacement guard or issue a full refund, minus a $15 shipping and supplies fee.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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