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Teeth grinding, or bruxism, can cause various problems, such as headaches, jaw pain, muscle tightness, and broken teeth. A mouthguard aims to prevent this issue, and there are several types to choose from.
A quick look at 7 of the best mouthguards for grinding teeth
- Best for customization: Chomper Labs
- Best for a discreet mouthguard: Pro Teeth Guard
- Best for a boil-and-bite mouthguard: Oral-B Nighttime Dental Guard
- Best for a disposable mouthguard: Plackers Grind-No-More
- Best for an adjustable mouthguard: SleepRight Dura-Comfort Dental Guard
- Best for severe grinding: Sentinel Extreme Hard Night Guard
- Best for easy reordering: Smile Brilliant Night Guard
A mouthguard is a device a person wears to prevent teeth grinding, often during sleep. Below, we explore the various types of these products and describe when to speak with a dentist.
While a person may not realize that they are grinding their teeth, bruxism can
- increased wear of the teeth
- tooth fractures
- limited ability to open the mouth
- stiffness and tenderness in the jaw muscles
- pain in the jaw joint
- tenderness of the temporal muscles on the sides of the head near the temples
- sleep issues
The American Dental Association explains that there are different types of mouthguards:
- Custom: A dentist makes these and are typically the most comfortable.
- Boil and bite: These are often available at sporting goods stores and drugstores. A person softens the guard in boiling water, then bites down, molding the material to the shape of their mouth.
- Stock: This type of mouthguard is premade and ready to wear, but they may not fit as well.
Medical News Today chooses mouthguards according to the following criteria where possible:
- Degrees of grinding: Mouthguards that are suitable for mild to severe tooth grinding.
- Customization: Companies that offer completely custom, semi-custom, and one-size-fits-all mouthguards.
- Day and night use: Products that are suitable for use while a person is asleep or awake.
- Price: Products that fit a range of budgets.
Below are seven mouthguards available to purchase online.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.
Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.
Best for customization: Chomper Labs
Chomper Labs offers custom-made mouthguards. First, a person selects the type of material:
- Soft: The company’s website says this is suitable for light-to-moderate grinding.
- Hybrid: This aims to protect against moderate-to-heavy grinding.
- Hard: This is suitable for heavy-to-severe grinding.
- Retainer: This aims to prevent hard grinding and promote teeth retention.
Next, the company sends a mold kit. The person takes a mold of their teeth, sends it back, and awaits the delivery of their custom mouthguard.
Because Chompers Labs is a full-service dental lab, it can offer additional customization to each of the four different mouthguard options it sells.
Price: Chomper Labs’ mouthguards start from $149.
Best for a discreet mouthguard: Pro Teeth Guard
Pro Teeth also make custom mouthguards. First, a person chooses the material. According to the company’s website, the choices are:
- Soft: This is suitable for light grinding.
- Hybrid: This is suitable for moderate grinding.
- Hard: This is suitable for heavy grinding.
- Ultra thin: This is suitable for light grinding while a person is awake.
Next, the company sends a mold kit. The person takes a mold of their teeth, sends it back to the company, and receives their custom-made mouthguard in the mail.
The Ultra Thin mouthguard is only 1 millimeter (mm) thick and barely visible, so it may benefit those who grind their teeth while awake.
Price: Pro Teeth Guard mouthguards start from $159.99.
Best for a boil-and-bite mouthguard: Oral-B Nighttime Dental Guard
This is a boil-and-bite guard available at many drugstores and department stores.
Like others of its type, it offers a semi-custom fit and is typically less expensive than custom options.
First, a person softens the material, which they can do using a microwave. Next, they bite down on the material, which molds to the shape of their mouth. Once the material sets, a person can trim away any extra.
Price: Oral-B Nighttime Dental Guard has a list price of around $20.
Best for a disposable mouthguard: Plackers Grind-No-More
These are one-size-fits-all, disposable guards that protect the back teeth from light-to-moderate grinding.
According to the company’s website, a person can use each guard for up to 3 days. They come in boxes of 10.
There is no molding or heating necessary — a person simply inserts the guard before going to bed.
Price: Plackers Grind-No-More has a list price of around $17 for a pack of 10 guards.
Best for an adjustable mouthguard: SleepRight Dura-Comfort Dental Guard
According to the company’s website, this mouthguard is adjustable — a person moves it forward for a smaller fit and backward for a larger one.
This product also features pads that swivel to help match the angle of the person’s bite.
Price: SleepRight Dura-Comfort Dental Guard has a list price of around $33.
Best for severe grinding: Sentinel Extreme Hard Night Guard
This mouthguard features a thickness of 3 mm to maximize its effectiveness against severe teeth grinding or jaw clenching during sleep. A person ordering this device must make impressions of their lower and upper teeth.
The company states that it makes this guard with dentist-grade materials that do not contain BPA, silicone, latex, or phthalates. Additionally, Sentinel claims that this guard is durable and may help relieve pain and protect teeth and dental work.
Price: Sentinel Extreme Hard Night mouthguard costs $189.
Best for easy reordering: Smile Brilliant Night Guard
This company provides customizable mouthguards. People can choose from three packages:
- Intro package: Contains one mouthguard, which lasts for 3 months of heavy grinding.
- Moderate package: Includes two mouthguards, which last for up to 6 months of heavy grinding.
- Deluxe package: Contains four mouthguards, which last for up to 1 year of heavy grinding.
After a person takes the dental impressions of their teeth and sends them to the company, Smile Brilliant keeps a copy of the impressions in digital form. This makes reordering an individual’s unique mouthguard easier.
Each mouthguard is 2 mm thick.
Price: Smile Brilliant Night Guard packages start at $129.
The following table compares the mouthguards in this article.
|Type of guard||Level of grinding||List price|
|Chomper Labs||custom||mild to severe||from $149|
|Pro Teeth Guard||custom||mild to severe||from $159.99|
|Oral-B||boil and bite||moderate||around $20|
|Plackers||one size||light to moderate||around $17|
|SleepRight||semi-custom adjustable||no information available||around $33|
|Smile Brilliant||custom||mild to severe||from $129|
People may wish to consider the following when choosing a mouthguard:
- Severity of grinding: A person should consider the severity of their tooth grinding when purchasing a mouthguard. Some companies have guards that are suitable for a range of grinding.
- Durability: People should carefully read the manufacturer’s description when choosing a mouthguard. Most guards last around 3 months.
- Customization: Individuals may find custom mouthguards more comfortable to wear. However, they tend to be more expensive.
- Price: Mouthguards that are longer lasting and custom are often more expensive than single-size, disposable ones. A person may wish to consider their budget when purchasing a guard.
A person may visit their dentist with symptoms of teeth grinding, such as jaw pain. Alternatively, a dentist may notice the signs, such as broken teeth, at a regular checkup.
Anyone who has tried a mouthguard and still has pain or any other bruxism symptoms should return to the dentist. It is also important to do so if the guard causes discomfort or other problems.
A dentist may recommend one or more of the following
- Restorative treatment: This involves addressing damage to teeth.
- Physical therapy: This may help with muscle pain or stiffness.
- Psychotherapy: This may be useful if the cause relates to stress.
- Medication: Antianxiety medication, tranquilizers, or muscle relaxants may help, depending on the cause of the bruxism.
Here are some common questions and answers regarding mouthguards.
How long does it take to get used to a mouthguard?
Some people may find it difficult to sleep with a mouthguard. However, it often becomes more comfortable after several days of use.
If a person experiences pain or discomfort while using a guard, they should discontinue using it.
How can I fall asleep easier with a mouthguard?
It is important to use a mouthguard that fits properly. A person should take the time to research and choose one that does the best job of meeting their needs and the shape of their mouth.
Additionally, using a mouthguard consistently may help someone become used to the guard and fall asleep more easily.
However, if they find that a mouthguard is uncomfortable, they may wish to consult a dentist about getting a custom product.
What is a boil-and-bite mouthguard?
A boil-and-bite mouthguard is a mass-produced mouthguard that a person can customize at home.
The manufacturer will provide instructions on how to fit a boil-and-bite mouthguard. However, a person must generally place the guard in boiling water to soften, then bite down on it so that the guard adapts to the shape of their teeth.
Teeth grinding can lead to pain and other complications, but a mouthguard can help protect against it.
If a mouthguard does not work, a dentist can recommend further approaches to treatment.