Custom Mouth Guards: Nighttime Protection for Your Teeth
Sore jaws, headaches, chipped teeth and muscle aches are all symptoms of clenching and grinding your teeth at night, but a simple device can protect you all night long and relieve your worst problems: a custom mouth guard.
These mouth guards are worn over your teeth as you sleep and absorb the pressure and impact of clenching and grinding. There are 3 main kinds of mouth guards, but the best protection comes from custom made devices that fit your specific teeth and bite.
While you can go to a dentist for a custom guard, shopping directly from dental labs and mouth guard vendors can save you hundreds of dollars.
3 Main Types of Mouth Guards
1. Pre-formed mouth guards come ready to wear and are inexpensive, but they will never fit your teeth perfectly. They provide little protection and are not typically recommended by dentists.
2. Boil-and-bite guards are sold in many drug stores and use a hard plastic that softens when placed in boiling water. They harden after being shaped in the mouth and may offer some protection. The boiling process, however, means the material used will not offer sustained protection.
3. Custom-made mouth guards are designed by a dentists or laboratory technician based on impressions of your teeth. These can use very tough materials since they can be formed with machinery and not through boiling. They are more expensive but provide the best protection and comfort. You can reduce costs by ordering through online labs instead of going through a dentist.
Why Choose A Custom Guard?
The mouth guard market is booming, leading to a wide range of mouth guards available on the market. Many of these should be avoided, however, because dentists have found that plastic, uniform mouth guards can actually change your bite to a small degree and impact your daily living.
The headaches and jaw problems that often come with bruxism can even be made worse by guards that fit poorly.
Custom guards are able to avoid this by using a mold of your own teeth to form the guard, ensuring a custom fit. Most makers of these custom guards also offer replacements and redo packages to make sure the fit is just right – that’s something you can’t get with any preformed or boil-and-bite guard.
If you have other dental problems, custom guards can also be made to fit around any other appliances or items you use, such as braces.
For a better look at different guards and the protections they provide against bruxism, see our review page.
Where Should I Buy An Affordable, Quality Custom Guard?
The quickest and cheapest way to buy your new custom-made mouth guard is to go directly through the labs that make the guards. Our top guards review page can show you benefits of each different guard while providing quick access to the labs themselves.
These labs will provide you with an in-home kit to make a mold of your teeth and then will create your guard based on that mold. Kits come with photos and instructions to help you navigate each step, which we’ve gathered together as well as any relevant video instructions available from the labs themselves. Most also offer a 30-day guarantee to make sure the fit and kit are right.
What Is A Lab, Exactly?
You may not have heard of dental labs before searching for a mouth guard. These labs are the places that build dental equipment for dentists and their customers, from mouth guards to advanced palate items.
The reason to turn to a lab for your mouth guard is simply to save money. They cut out the middle man and allow you to create the mold they need, saving hundreds of dollars. Labs themselves charge a total of between $50 and $200 for their guards, depending on the severity of your bruxism.
With a lab, you get all of the quality material and construction from your regular dentist. The reason it saves you money is that there’s no markup from a dentist office and you aren’t being charged for the time it takes to make the mold, ship it, receive the guard and then set up an appointment to make sure the guard fits.
Labs pass this time and money savings directly on to you.
Is My Bruxism Bad Enough for A Mouth Guard?
If you’re seeking information on bruxism or mouth guards, chances are you need one to relieve the pain and stress associated with nighttime teeth grinding and jaw clenching, also called bruxism.
Many people are unaware that they grind or clench at night and only notice when their jaw begins to ache, teeth become sore or they wake up with consistent headaches. Grinding teeth can lead to even more severe health issues such as chipped or broken teeth that are more susceptible to infection.
If you’re feeling stressed out more often than not, you may be unconsciously grinding away at night. The longer this goes on, the more damage you may do to your smile and jaw.
Can I Wear a Mouth Guard if I Wear Braces?
Yes. Mouth guards can be designed to incorporate your existing dental work, from braces to crowns. Guards can even prevent damage to those expensive items by protecting them from grinding and clenching.
Mouth guards can be made for your unique mouth and needs.
How Do I Care for My Mouth Guard?
Care for your mouth guard just like you would a retainer or even your own teeth.
The best way to keep your guard in tip-top shape is to:
- Rinse it with cold water before and after each use.
- Brush it like you would your teeth.
- At least once a month, clean it with cold and soapy water.
- Let it occasionally rest in a cup of mouthwash.
- Always travel with it in its case.
- Bring it to your dental appointments to discuss wear with your dentist.
- Check for holes and order a new one before it stops providing you protections.
We don’t sell mouth guards directly, but we do provide a simple list for you to review many of the most popular options available. See our review page and find out exactly what dental labs can do for your bruxism.
It’s time to get a night guard and wake up refreshed each day. You deserve it.