This complete guide will tell you everything you need to know about custom dental night guards. You may be asking yourself, “How does a mouth guard work?” and “What types of mouthguards are there?”. Or, you may wonder, “What is the difference between a $20 over-the-counter night guard and a $200 custom night guard?”. If you have been diagnosed with bruxism, but are overwhelmed by the mouth guard options available, this guide is for you. We understand that the side effects of teeth grinding and clenching can be painful, but selecting the right dental night guard shouldn’t be.
Bruxism is the term used to describe habitual teeth grinding and clenching. This is a fairly common issue: It is estimated that at least 10% of the population suffers from teeth grinding. Some engage in teeth grinding during the night, which is known as sleep bruxism, while others grind throughout the day, which is referred to as awake or daytime bruxism. This behavior is difficult to change, especially because bruxers often grind unconsciously. Teeth grinding has many painful side effects:
- Jaw pain (jaw soreness / jaw joint pain)
- Worn tooth enamel and eventually broken / cracked teeth
- Tension headaches and earaches
- Facial pain
- Fatigue from lack of sleep
Researchers and dental experts struggle to identify a definite cause of bruxism. However, stress seems to be a main cause of bruxism. Other risk factors include smoking, genetic predisposition, alcohol, certain medications, and other sleep disorders such as sleep apnea. Fortunately, mouth guards are a common and noninvasive solution for most bruxers.
Types of Mouthguards
There are 3 main types of mouthguards on the market. These include:
- Stock Over-The-Counter Teeth Guards: Over-the-counter one-size-fits-all mouth guards are typically the cheapest option, although they offer no customization, the least amount of protection, and are uncomfortable to wear. These generic guards are not crafted with the durable materials of a custom guard, so bruxers can chew right through them.
- Boil And Bite Guards: These are also a cheap option, and offer more customization than the generic guards. However, the fit is still quite poor and since the material is not durable, these bite guards need frequent replacement. Boil and bite guards are made for athletes and are not typically made with teeth grinders in mind. The over-the-counter guards and the boil-and-bite guards can be purchased from your local drug store for about $20.
- Custom Dental Night Guards: Custom night guards are made from an impression of your teeth. They’re made by a professional dental laboratory and are fully customized to achieve a precise fit for the unique features of your mouth. Due to the professional materials and processes, these guards offer maximum protection against bruxism. These guards can cover either the upper or lower teeth. Custom guards can be purchased from an online retailer such as Pro Teeth Guard or from the dentist’s office. Custom dental night guards from the dentist office can cost anywhere between $400 and $800. Pro Teeth guard offers the same high-quality guards for between $160-$200.
Custom Dental Guard Types
When choosing the right night guard, it is beneficial to know the severity of your teeth grinding as well as your symptoms. This will help you select the proper teeth grinding night guard. These are the types of custom mouth guards available.
Hard night guards
These custom night guards are ideal for heavy to severe grinders. Hard night guards are made from firm and durable plastic, and they are approximately 1.5mm thick. The material softens in warm water which allows for a comfortable fit. Depending on the degree of teeth grinding, a hard mouth guard can last for up to five years.
Soft night guards
The soft night guard is best for those who lightly grind or clench. It is made from a flexible vinyl, and is approximately 1.5 mm thick. Soft night guards generally last anywhere between 6 months and 2 years.
Hybrid night guards
This type of dental night guard is best suited for people with moderate to heavy teeth grinding. It is made from a dual-laminate material, and is approximately 2 mm thick. A hybrid night guard has a hard exterior and a soft interior. Hybrid night guards generally last for one to three years, depending on the extent of teeth grinding and clenching.
Ultra-thin guards for daytime grinding
This is an ultra thin daytime mouth guard for people with daytime bruxism. It is made from a thin layer of hard acrylic, and it is 1 mm thick. Unlike the bulkier night mouth guards, this thinner guard allows you to speak and breathe normally throughout the daytime. Its life span is between 6 months and 2 years, depending on the severity of the grinding.
How to Choose the Right Mouthguard for You
A proper, customized fit is essential in order for a teeth grinding night guard to be effective and protect your teeth and jaw muscles. Here are a few pointers to help you in choosing the right teeth night guard.
Identify your symptoms
Having a good idea of the severity of your grinding and the symptoms you have as a result is the best way to select the right mouth guard. You may be able to identify the level of grinding yourself. If not, visit with your dentist as they will inspect your teeth or take x-rays to identify the level of damage.
A custom night guard should maintain a snug fit while you sleep. A dental guard that is overly bulky can come loose and cause discomfort, as well as breathing difficulties. For people with daytime bruxism, the teeth guard should allow you to breathe and talk comfortably. Investing in a comfortable guard will also make it easier to wear consistently, which is a key component of treatment.
Wear and tear from teeth grinding and clenching will gradually take a toll on your dental guard. The durability of the material used in the manufacturing of a teeth night guard will be tested over time. Choosing a high-quality, durable material will result in a longer lasting night guard requiring fewer replacements and lowering your overall costs overtime.
I have purchased several guards from this company. Good quality product. Despite heavy teeth grinding my guards last for years. Easy to follow instructions in the kit. Great customer service. Affordable. Highly recommend.Elaine (Hybrid Night Guard - Moderate Grinding)
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Benefits of Using a Night Guard
A night guard provides the best protection against nighttime bruxism. The night guard assists in providing protection from damage due to both teeth grinding and teeth clenching. Our night guards are designed with intentional opposing grooves as well, to help secure a natural resting bite and reduce damage as much as possible while you sleep. Night guards simultaneously protect your teeth and prevent future damage. Using a night guard can help you avoid future invasive dental work as well.
Prevents tooth damage
Many people remain unaware of the extent of their tooth damage until a dentist examines them. Teeth grinding and clenching that goes unchecked will eventually result in the wearing down of the protective enamel, leading to cavities, extreme sensitivity, fracturing, and damage to existing teeth restorations, among other oral health problems.
Wearing a custom-fit night guard every time you go to sleep can prevent painful and costly complications of bruxism-related teeth damage by reducing the impact of teeth grinding and clenching.
Prevents TMJ dysfunction
TMJ disorders affect the muscles used for chewing, the joint itself, and its associated tendons and ligaments. It involves some of the same side effects as bruxism as well as other painful symptoms. These include clicking/locking of the jaw and difficulty opening and closing the mouth. Bruxism is one of a number of factors that can cause or contribute to TMJ.
A night guard can help prevent TMJ disorders from developing as a consequence of bruxism. Compared to the night guard cost, treatment for TMJ disorders is considerably more expensive and complicated.
Provides relief from pain and tension
Bruxism can lead to severe tooth pain, tooth sensitivity, and jaw and neck pain. A custom night guard protects your teeth while you sleep, reducing stress and tension on your teeth, muscles, and joints. With regular and consistent use of a custom night guard, you can reduce the amount of tension on your muscles and joints and find much-needed relief from pain.
Pressure on the jaw and surrounding muscles caused by teeth grinding and clenching can lead to chronic recurring headaches. If you frequently wake up with a headache, particularly one that is located around your temples, bruxism should be considered as a possible cause.
A teeth night guard can help alleviate headaches related to bruxism. When consistently used, you will have less frequent temporal headaches and associated neck pain.
Improves the quality of sleep
When you are relaxed and pain-free, it’s easier to sleep. By providing a protective barrier between your teeth, a custom dental night guard reduces stress in your jaw and facial muscles, leading to improved sleep patterns. A custom night guard will help reduce the pain and discomfort in your mouth, head, and neck, and thus improve your quality and quantity of sleep. The use of a teeth grinding night guard will provide you with the relief you need to regain the healthy sleeping patterns you once enjoyed.
Who Needs a Custom Night Guard?
Custom mouthguards are the dentist recommended treatment option for bruxism. Here, at Pro Teeth Guard, we are the dental night guard experts. We use our professional and helpful approach to provide our customers with pain relief as well as comfort and satisfaction.
At Pro Teeth Guard, we make custom night guards in our dental lab, with the same professional materials and processes used to create dental night guards for dentists. We are able to reduce the night guard costs significantly for you, the customer, by allowing you to purchase a custom night guard online directly from us, the manufacturer. Your happiness is our priority. All purchases are covered by our 110% Money Back Guarantee, so you can feel completely confident when you purchase from us.
Do not use if you have TMJ disorder
Temporomandibular joint disorder is a complicated condition, and as such, it is important to consult your dentist regarding treatment options. In other words, you should not order your dental guard online or buy one over the counter. Using a dental guard when you have TMJ disorders could make a bad situation worse. Additionally, your dentist will be able to identify if you need a specific kind of night guard for your TMJ such as a repositioning splint or stabilization splint.
Mouth guards and sleep apnea
While you may or may not need a mouth guard to treat sleep apnea, these are different types of teeth guards that adjust the position of the tongue and the lower part of your jaw, allowing for more airflow and reducing snoring. However, the severity of your sleep apnea will dictate the best type of mouth guard to use. Pro Teeth Guard does not make teeth guards designed to assist with snoring or sleep apnea, and we recommend consulting with your dentist to find the best solution.
How it Works: Ordering a Custom Night Guard Online
In addition to being more cost effective than the dentist, ordering a mouth guard online is a simple process. Here’s how ordering a custom night guard online works in 3 easy steps:
- Order: Place an order online and we send you an easy-to-use at-home dental impression kit with instructions on how to take your own impressions at home.
- Mail: Use the kit to take an impression of your teeth and mail us your impressions using the prepaid return envelope provided.
- Receive: Based on your putty impression, we will deliver a professionally made, custom night guard right to your door.
If you have any questions or need any help, contact us here via email or phone (Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm Pacific Time) and our customer happiness team will be happy to assist you.
Frequently Asked Questions When Buying a Night Guard
Before making an important purchase such as a night guard, it is recommended that you do as much research as you need in order to make an informed decision. We have summarized the most frequently asked questions for your consideration.
How long will the night guard last?
An ultra-thin daytime mouth guard may last between 6 and 12 months, while night guards can last for years. Each type of guard has a different lifespan because they are made of different materials. Additionally, the level of grinding will affect how long a mouth guard lasts. Pro Teeth Guard’s hard night guard lasts between 2 and 5 years, soft night guards last between 6 months and 2 years, and hybrid guards last between 1 and 3 years. Every Pro Teeth Guard night guard comes with a 1 year warranty.
In the event your custom night guard breaks or cracks due to wear and tear within the warranty period, simply contact us to return the damaged night guard and we will replace it at no charge.
Hhow should a custom night guard fit?
A custom mouth guard made for an adult should have a comfortable, snug fit, whereas over-the-counter dental mouth guards tend to be bulky and fit poorly in your mouth, which can impair your breathing and lead to a poor night’s sleep. If a custom fitted guard is too loose or too tight, it is most likely because the impressions were not taken correctly. The device should not cause you pain, though it may take a few days to a few weeks to adjust to wearing the guard before it becomes comfortable.
What materials are mouht guards made of?
We use the same materials to make our teeth grinding night guard that dentists use in making dental mouth guards. The Pro Teeth Guard soft night guard is made from soft vinyl, while our hard mouth guard is made from acrylic, which is a firm plastic material.
The hybrid night guard, a combination of the soft and hard mouth guards, is made of a hard acrylic exterior and a soft inner layer made from vinyl. All our materials are sourced from professional dental industry suppliers, and they are FDA approved. Additionally, all Pro Teeth Guards are non toxic, bpa-free and gluten/latex free.
If the mouth guard requires a mailed impression, what is the timeline?
Once you order your custom night guard, we will send you a teeth impression kit, which will arrive in a matter of days. While the impressions take less than 15 minutes to do, some customers do not return them to us immediately: this step is thus dependent on how quickly you want to complete your teeth impressions and mail them back to us. Once we receive your impressions and we have reviewed them and verified we can make your custom teeth guard with them, the completed guard will be shipped to you within 7 to 11 business days. Thus, for the entire process, typically a completed guard will arrive at your doorstep within 3 weeks of placing your order. However, if you would like to receive your custom mouth guard sooner, you can choose USPS priority shipping to help reduce the shipping time.
A pre-paid envelope is always included along with your impression kit, and we cover the cost of shipping the kit and the completed guard to you, so there are no additional shipping fees after your order is placed.
Is there a satisfaction guarantee?
One of the ways we at Pro Teeth Guard stand behind our products is by making returns and refunds easy, fast, and hassle-free.
All of our mouth guards come with a 60 day, 110% money-back guarantee. The money-back guarantee is applicable within 60 days after your completed teeth grinding night guard is shipped to you. Your 110% refund will be granted within one to two business days after we receive your night guard back in our offices using the postage-paid return label we will provide to you.
Bruxism can have far-reaching effects on your overall health. The best treatment option for the effects of teeth grinding and clenching associated with bruxism is to use a night guard with the perfect fit.
At Pro Teeth Guard, we provide the highest quality custom-fitted night guards direct to you at a fraction of the night guard cost charged by most dentists. We use a proven process and professional materials to create a perfect, custom fitted night guard for you.
Order your custom night guard with Pro Teeth Guard today. All purchases are covered by our 60 day, 110% money back guarantee so there’s no risk of ending up with a night guard you’re not satisfied with.