In this guide, we have compiled everything you need to know about dental night guards used to treat teeth grinding and clenching. We cover bruxism, the causes and treatment options, the benefits of using a night guard, how to choose a night guard (the various types of night guards available and the costs), and the proper use and maintenance of a night guard.
If you suffer from teeth grinding, your dentist has probably recommended that you get a custom night guard. At the dentist's office, the cost of these custom night guards is usually between $400 and $800. Before you choose this expensive option, be sure to do your research to know the solutions available on the market.
At Pro Teeth Guard, we make custom night guards in our dental lab, with the same professional materials and process we use 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 online directly from us, the manufacturer. We're committed to your complete comfort and satisfaction. All purchases are covered by our 110% Money Back Guarantee, so you don’t have anything to worry about when you shop with us.
Understanding Bruxism: Teeth Grinding and Clenching
Bruxism is a chronic condition characterized by grinding or clenching of the teeth. Bruxism usually occurs during sleep but can also occur during waking hours. A number of serious conditions can arise from bruxism, including broken teeth, loss of enamel, receding gums, neck pain, jaw pain, headaches, and temporomandibular joint disorders.
To prevent these complications, it is important to correctly identify and treat bruxism. Fortunately, many people with this condition are able to find relief and successfully treat and manage bruxism using a custom night guard.
Who is Most Affected By Bruxism?
The cause of bruxism is not completely understood, but it may be due to a combination of physical, psychological and genetic factors. Difficult emotional states, such as having a high degree of stress, anxiety, anger, frustration, or tension can all be contributing factors to developing the condition.
Experts believe that some lifestyle habits may lead to teeth grinding, including:
- Cigarette smoking
- Excessive alcohol consumption
Both adults and children can be affected by bruxism. Bruxism in children often happens during sleep or in times of stress, and in most cases, the condition resolves on its own over time (unlike in adults). Due to the fact that children’s jaws are still growing and developing, it’s not recommended to use a custom fitted night guard on children. However, for adults who experience bruxism regularly, often the best solution is a night guard.
Symptoms of Bruxism
Your dentist can help you determine if any symptoms that you are experiencing may have resulted from bruxism and whether you need a night guard to prevent further damage and pain.
Some of the symptoms to look out for include:
- Damaged teeth including chipping, fracturing, loosening and flattening
- Cuts and painful sores from biting the inner cheek
- Pain in the facial muscles
- Extreme tooth sensitivity and toothache
- Occasional swelling on the side of your lower jaw caused by clenching
- Severe jaw soreness, which can lead to an inability to fully open and close your jaw
- Earache-like pain or pain radiating into the ear
- Muscle tension or migraine headaches
- Neck pain
Damage Caused By Bruxism
Severe tooth grinding and clenching can lead to:
- Damage to tooth structure
- Damage to dental restorations, such as fillings, veneers, and crowns
- Enamel and soft tissue damage
- Gum recession
- Widening of the periodontal ligament
Teeth Grinding vs Teeth Clenching
Teeth grinding is the act of repeatedly rubbing your teeth against each other. Teeth clenching, on the other hand, is the act of intense biting or tightening of the jaw, involving an extreme force being exerted between the upper and lower jaws.
Daytime Grinding vs Night Time Grinding
Teeth grinding and clenching happens involuntarily. Most people with bruxism experience symptoms during sleep, with relatively fewer sufferers experiencing symptoms during daytime or waking hours. While nighttime grinding is more common, and causes more harm, research shows that daytime teeth grinding affects as much as 10 percent of the population. Daytime grinding is also known as diurnal bruxism, and is most often related to stress.
Treatment Options for Bruxism
A variety of options exist for treating bruxism, from dental night guards, to lifestyle and home remedies, to corrective dental procedures, to medications and injections.
- Night guard: the most recommended method for treating teeth grinding and clenching is to wear a night guard. Dental night guards are designed to cover the upper or lower teeth and work to prevent tooth damage due to clenching and grinding.
- Natural remedies: Some natural remedies that may be effective in reducing bruxism include stress reduction, changing your diet to ensure you’re getting helpful vitamins and minerals (calcium, magnesium, potassium, Vitamin C and B-5), and avoiding certain food (e.g. alcohol and caffeine)
- Corrective dental procedures: if bruxism is left untreated, it can result in severe tooth damage: tooth sensitivity, fractured or broken teeth, and collapse of the bite. Expensive corrective dental procedures may be necessary to restore the chewing surface of your teeth. You should speak to your dentist for more information about corrective dental procedures.
- Medications and injections: muscle relaxants and medications for anxiety or stress may help you manage your bruxism. Also, Botox injections may help people with severe bruxism to reduce their grinding and clenching. You should speak to your doctor for more information about medications and injections to treat bruxism.
Top 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 grinding as well as clenching. It is designed with opposing grooves as well, to help secure a natural resting bite and reduce damage as much as possible as you sleep.
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 as well as the joint itself and its associated tendons and ligaments. 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 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.
Prevents Tooth Crown Damage
The crown is the exposed part of the tooth that sits above the jaw muscles. If left unchecked, teeth grinding and clenching will lead to the cracking of the crown, and in extreme cases, the crown could break into several pieces.
Since human teeth are not built to endure extreme pressure, a night guard will absorb the force exerted on them during teeth grinding and clenching.
Dental Guards Guide
A night guard, also called an occlusal guard, is an ideal tool to help you treat bruxism and protect your teeth. There are several types of dental mouth guards available. While cheap teeth grinding night guards are available over-the-counter, a custom night guard that fits the curve of your teeth is far more effective.
Types of Mouth Guards
There are 3 main types of mouth-guards on the market. These include:
- Stock over-the-counter teeth guards: they’re cheap; however, they offer no customization, the least amount of protection, and are uncomfortable to wear.
- Boil and bite guards: they’re also cheap, and conform somewhat to the shape of your teeth. However, the fit is still quite poor and since the material is not durable, these bite guards need frequent replacement.
- Custom guards: these night guards are made from an impression of your teeth. They’re made by a professional dental laboratory and they are fully customized to achieve precise fit. Due to the professional materials and process, these guards offer maximum protection against bruxism.
The night guards offered at the dentist office are always professionally made custom guards, since they offer the best comfort and protection.
How to Choose the Right Mouth Guard
A proper, customized fit is essential in order for a teeth grinding night guard to be effective. Here are a few pointers to help you in choosing the right teeth night guard.
Custom Night Guard Fit
To guarantee both comfort and protection, the mouth guard should fit firmly around your teeth while not causing any pressure on any of your teeth. The mouth guard should stay on without requiring any support from the opposing jaw. This type of fit will ensure that the mouth guard stays in place when you’re asleep. The mouth guard should only come off when you manually remove it.
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.
Wear and tear from teeth grinding and clenching will gradually take a toll on your dental guard. The durability of the material used in manufacturing 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.
Dental guards are made from different materials, and the materials determine the comfort and durability of the guard. Dental guards are often made from acrylic resin, a dual laminate (acrylic and vinyl composite) material, or soft vinyl. Acrylic is the most durable and it is recommended for people with severe bruxism, while the softer materials are best for people with lighter grinding and clenching. The severity of your bruxism should guide your decision on which material is best for your teeth guard.
Custom Night Guard Price
Most dentists charge between $400 and $800 for a single custom night guard. Most find that this price point is extremely high for a single teeth-grinding night guard, causing people in need of a guard to delay getting the treatment they need. By contrast, Pro Teeth Guard offers a much lower night guard cost, along with a warranty for every guard. We make our custom teeth guards using the same professional materials and manufacturing process used by dental laboratories.
Dental Night Guard Prices
How much will you typically pay for a night guard? What’s the price of an over-the-counter mouth guard versus a custom night guard? There are many options for purchasing a dental guard, but how can your ensure that you get the best value for your money?
The over-the-counter stock mouth guards and boil-and-bite mouth guards are very cheap and you can purchase them for around $20 at drug stores or online. Keep in mind, however, that they are bulky, uncomfortable, and offer limited protection.
Dentists commonly recommend custom night guards to treat teeth grinding, and the cost of a custom night guard at the dentist office ranges from $400 to $800. Pro Teeth Guard offers customers an affordable and easy process to obtain a high quality custom teeth guard, the same exact quality teeth guard made in dental labs, without any challenges around appointment scheduling or high costs.
Here is a Testimonial from a Happy Customer
"Never pay those ridiculous prices at the dentist for mouth guards again! This was so quick and easy and the price is totally reasonable. I received the kit in great time. Customer service was awesome, very attentive and friendly. I will definitely recommend this store to all my family and friends. Thank you Pro Teeth Guards!"
Questions to Ask 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. In this section, we look at the questions you should ask before buying a teeth night guard. We have summarized the most frequently asked questions for your consideration.
Are multiple guards included with my purchase?
Pro Teeth Guard provides a single long-lasting night guard. In most cases, you only need either an upper or a lower guard. Since the night guard sits between your upper & lower teeth, it functions as an effective protective barrier. Unless your dentist specifically recommends otherwise, only one guard is needed.
Is the mouth guard custom molded, or is it one-size-fits-all?
Your dental structure, like your fingerprints, is unique to you. For this important reason we do not offer a one-size-fits-all solution. Rather, we mold each mouth guard specifically and individually for every customer, using their unique teeth impressions they take with an at-home teeth impression kit.
Once you purchase from us, we will send you the at-home impression kit with fully illustrated instructions for taking a perfect impression of your teeth. This process is easy and takes less than 15 minutes from start to finish. We will use the impressions to create a custom molded mouth guard that will be unique to your mouth.
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. Every Pro Teeth Guard night guard (hard, hybrid, and soft) comes with a one-year limited warranty and our ultra-thin daytime mouth guard comes with a six-month 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. We may recommend a switch to a more durable material in such a case, which if you choose to make a switch, you simply pay the price difference between the original guard and the more durable variety.
Will the mouth guard be comfortable to wear?
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 for any reason your teeth guard is causing discomfort, contact us within 60 days and we will gladly perform a free adjustment to get you a perfect, snug, comfortable fit.
What material is the mouth guard 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.
How easy is the mouth guard to clean?
Pro Teeth Guard advises you to clean your mouth guard with a toothbrush and toothpaste after each use, then store it in cold tap water. Be sure to change the water every day to help fight against bacterial growth.
Don't clean your teeth guard with cleaners containing alcohol, since it will reduce the lifespan of the guard. For a deeper cleaning (one time per week) you can clean your guard with a denture cleaning tablet, available over the counter at most pharmacies.
If the mouth guard requires a mailed impression, what is the timeline and shipping?
Once you order your 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 is no additional shipping fees after your order is placed.
Related Article: Does Dental Insurance Cover Night Guards?
What is the mouth guard warranty?
Pro Teeth Guard provides a one-year warranty for the hard, hybrid, and soft mouth guards, while for the ultra-thin mouth guard, the warranty period is six months. Simply contact us with your order information within the warranty period and we’ll get a replacement guard to you.
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.
The Process of Ordering a Custom Night Guard Online
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.
- Mail: use the kit to take an impression of your teeth and mail to us your impressions using the prepaid return envelope provided
- Receive: based on your impression, we will deliver a professionally made, custom night guard
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.
Custom Dental Guard Types
When choosing the right night guard, you should know the severity of your teeth grinding and clenching, as this will help you select the proper teeth grinding night guard. These are the types of custom mouth guards available.
Hard Night Guards
These are ideal for people with severe grinding. Hard night guards are made from firm and durable plastic, and the thickness is approximately 1.5mm. 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.
Hybrid Night Guards
This type of 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.
Soft Night Guards
The soft night guard is best for those with light teeth grinding and clenching. 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.
This is a 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, you can speak and breathe normally while wearing the ultra-thin guard throughout the daytime. Its life span is between 6 months and 2 years, depending on the severity of the grinding.
Using Your Night Guard
Most people find that it takes a few days to a couple of weeks to get used to wearing a dental guard, especially at night. For some, it can take up to one month to get comfortable using a night guard.
If, after an adjustment period of a month or two, you find that the teeth night guard still feels awkward and/or if it continues to interfere with your sleeping patterns, then you should talk to your dentist.
When to Use a Dental Guard
Do Not Use If You Have TMJ Disorders
The effects of TMJ disorders are far-reaching, and this will require specialised care from a dentist. This means that 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.
Night Guards Are Not Suitable for Children
Children who grind and clench their teeth usually outgrow the habit over time and so the standard approach is usually to watch and wait. Additionally, a fixed-size mouth guard is not healthy for a child’s constantly growing and developing teeth and the jaws. While the option exists, night guards for children need to be readjusted twice every month, resulting in a prohibitively high night guard cost. For these reasons Pro Teeth Guard only makes dental guards for ages 15 years and above.
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 thus 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.
Night Guard Cleaning and Maintenance
- After use, lightly brush around the grooves of the dental night guard with your toothbrush and some toothpaste to ensure proper cleaning of your teeth night guard.
- The guard should then be stored in a glass of cool water when not in use. Be sure to clean the water on a daily basis to prevent illness and infection.
- If you will be traveling, leave the guard to air dry completely before returning it to its case. Storing a damp or wet night guard in the case promotes bacterial growth, which can lead to problems with your oral health.
- A clean night guard will not stay clean for long if it is stored in a dirty case. For this reason, it is important to hand wash and thoroughly dry the case two to three times a week during use.
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 custom night guard.
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.