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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 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.
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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 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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As a boil-and-bite style mouthguard, the Brux Night Guard can be molded from the comfort of home and adjusted if the user’s needs change over time.
Whether you didn’t get an accurate fit the first time, your teeth shift, or you decide to switch to wearing it on your bottom teeth, the Brux Night Guard can be adjusted quickly and easily.
For the initial and follow-up molding, place the mouthguard in boiling water for two minutes, remove it from the water using tongs, and put it under cold running tap water for 2 to 3 seconds. Then carefully place it over the teeth and bite down. Push against the front and back to ensure it’s snugly in place, leave it in your mouth for 60 seconds, then rinse with cool water.
Two different materials make up the Brux Night Guard. It’s harder on the outside for durability and softer on the inside to reduce gum and teeth irritation. The Brux Night Guard is smaller than many mouthguards, as it only covers the front teeth. This is intended to make it more comfortable while still preventing the back teeth from touching.
Each Brux Night Guard comes with a vented storage case. Unopened products in their original packaging can be returned within the first 30 days for a full refund. Open items are also returnable, but a $10 recycling fee applies. The customer is responsible for return shipping costs.
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While the Teeth Night Guard options are crafted in a lab for a custom fit, they’re a fraction of the cost of many personalized mouthguards.
The purchaser receives an impression kit that takes about 5 minutes to complete. They then use a prepaid envelope to ship it to the dental lab, where the lab builds a custom mouthguard for each individual.
Seven selections are available so that customers can choose a build that more closely meets their needs. Teeth Night Guard’s most popular option is the Extra Durable Medium Firmness, which consists of 3mm of opaque, flexible material that provides moderate to heavy protection from grinding and clenching.
The Thin Soft measures 2mm thick and is made of a flexible, opaque material built to withstand light clenching and grinding. Similarly, the Standard Soft uses an opaque material that’s flexible, but at 3mm thick, it can stand up to moderate grinding and clenching. The Tuff Brux Thick Soft uses a flexible opaque material that measures 4mm thick for moderate protection.
Two hard models use a clear, stiff material with little flexibility. The Ultra Thin Hard uses 1mm of this material and can double as a retainer, while shielding against moderate to heavy clenching and grinding. The Standard Hard uses 2mm or 3mm for protection against heavy grinding and clenching.
The Hybrid/Dual Laminate has a hard outer layer and soft inner layer for comfort and moderate to heavy protection. This device measures 3mm thick and is opaque.
Customers can also select Front Cut for each variety of the Teeth Night Guard, in which the front four teeth are trimmed lower on the guard to allow the lip to rest in a more natural position.
The Teeth Night Guard comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee that allows the buyer to return the product if they aren’t satisfied. Customers will receive a full refund of the purchase price minus shipping and handling.
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.