The Best Mouth Guards for Teeth Grinding at Night
May 23rd, 2019 •
You might not have heard of the term, bruxism but we’re sure you’ve heard of the term, teeth grinding. The medical terminology is known as bruxism but unfortunately, many don’t hear this until it’s being diagnosed to them. Grinding your teeth is an extremely common symptom that many individuals face regularly. It’s not until we go to the dentist that we find out that our teeth have been sanded down from our inability to let our jaws rest in the middle of the night.
If you wake up with severe jaw/mouth pain or seem to have a consistent, dull headache, you may be grinding your teeth while you sleep. Teeth grinding can stem from anxiety or stress, sleep apnea or the result of having a missing tooth or overbite.
Many of us clench our teeth when we’re nervous or grind our teeth when we’re mad, but if it becomes a constant habit, it can cause lots of damage to the mouth and jaw.
Luckily, mouth guards can be a lifesaver for this bad habit.
What is a Mouth Guard?
A mouth guard is a covering that fits over your teeth and works as a barrier between your top and bottom jaw. Mouth guards are the most common suggestion for individuals that grind their teeth while sleeping. They can also be used to prevent injury during intense, interactive sports.
Types of Mouth Guards
There are three different types of mouth guards: custom-fitted, boil-and-bite and stock.
Custom-fitted mouth guards are individually designed for your mouth. In order to get one made, you have to go to your dentist or a lab specializing in dental care. A custom-fitted mouth guard is going to be more beneficial to the individual because it’s made specifically for that person.
Boil-and-bite mouth guards are exactly what the name suggests – a pre-made mouth guard that you boil in water and bite into, making it custom fitted to your mouth. These are most common for contact sports, but they also serve as a night guard for teeth grinding and clenching. Boil-and-bite mouth guards are made of thermoplastic, allowing them to reshape once put in contact with hot water. An advantage of this type of mouth guard is that is can be reheated and reshaped if necessary. This type of guard is a good quick fix. They can be found at sporting goods stores or online.
Stock mouth protectors are the most well-known type of mouth guards on the market. They come pre-made and are ready to wear. Although this type is well-known, it’s not recommended by the experts because of its inability to contour to your mouth and jaw. It can also be bulky and uncomfortable. They can be found at most sporting goods stores and department stores. If you’re going to go with this type of mouth guard, we would suggest only using it as a mouth protector to avoid injury during contact sports. Be aware that it’s been said that these types of mouth guards can make breathability difficult.
The Best Mouth Guards
Dental Duty: Professional Dental Guard – Thin Fit Small Size – for Anti Grinding, Clenching & Teeth Whitening Tray
The Dental Duty Professional Dental Mouth Guard is the best choice for sleepers looking for an inexpensive, yet comfortable fix. This boil and bite guard is said to be the best on the market due to its strong reputation for comfort and flexibility. It’s designed with BPA-free plastic and it’s thin-fit, making it easy to breathe in.
It also happens to be a teeth whitener and can be used as an athletic mouth protector. You can receive four guards for $15 – that’s tough to beat!
The Smarter Choice
A Custom-fitted Mouth Protector
As we mentioned earlier, the benefits of a properly fitted mouth guard outweigh the rest. Although this is the smarter choice, it’s also the most expensive. It will cost more to invest in a custom-fitted mouth guard but it’s ultimately going to provide you with the best results.
If you really feel that your pain level is extreme, we suggest making an appointment with your dental office or a local lab in your area that offers dental services. On average, a dental mouth guard is going to range from $300-500 but it will ultimately protect your teeth and make you most comfortable.
The Quick Fix
DentalCare Labs Teeth Grinding Custom Fit BPA-Free Moldable Dental Night Guards
If you’re looking for a quick fix and low-cost, this is the night guard most recommended by customers and experts. DentalCare Labs’ Night Guard is normally under $10 and has a 30-night sleep trial and full money-back guarantee.
It comes with four guards with two different sizes. Depending on your jaw size, it’s a safe bet that one will fit to your needs.
Can I Ever Stop Grinding My Teeth?
Grinding teeth is a bad habit that’s hard to break but it can be managed, if not prevented altogether. Obviously, investing in a mouth guard is a key to maintaining protection for your mouth and jaw overnight. There are some other tips and tricks to help minimize your subconscious desire to grinding.
If you are battling with stress, anxiety or depression, it’s always useful to go see a doctor regarding how you feel and take their suggestions on ways to relax. Also, if you struggle with sleep apnea, be sure to collaborate with your doctor on ways to get a better night’s sleep.
Here are some everyday tips that we all can do to be more cognizant of clenching or grinding our teeth:
- Most of us will start grinding our teeth when we’re focusing on something else. Whether it’s sleeping, watching TV, or at work, we subconsciously are doing it without knowing. Start recognizing that you are grinding your teeth and tell yourself to stop. You’d be surprised how much you can train your mind to catch a bad habit.
- Don’t eat sweet/sugary foods/drinks before bed. This will help you to stay calm and relaxed throughout the night.
- Alcohol is another indicator that encourages teeth grinding during the night. Avoid overdrinking.
- Train yourself not to chew on any other objects or items other than food. When you catch yourself biting your nails, chewing on a pencil, or clenching your jaw- recognize it, relax and stop yourself from continuing.
The longer you wait to take care of your teeth grinding, the more damaging effects it can have on your overall oral health. Getting a mouth guard, whether it’s from your dental office or a cheaper fix found on Amazon, something is always better than nothing.