Dentistry
Cosmetic
Product Reviews
Updated on February 7, 2023
11 min read

Nightguards for Teeth Grinding

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What is a Nightguard?

Nightguards act as a physical barrier between your upper and lower teeth. They reduce damage caused by grinding (bruxism) during sleep.

Nightguards are typically made of a clear acrylic material.

You can visit your dentist for a custom night guard, order a custom night guard kit online, or buy a non-custom nightguard over the counter from a drugstore.

Everything We Recommend

JS Dental Lab Night Guards — Best if you need a durable design

Pro Teeth Guard — Best if you need a night guard fast

Remi Custom Night Guards ⁠— Best for severe teeth grinding

Cheeky Mouthguard — Best if you want to prioritize comfort

Sporting Smiles — Best if you're on a budget

Chomper Labs — Best if you want a customer satisfaction guarantee

Best Nightguards for Teeth Grinding

Cost Material Fit Guarantee Processing Period
JS Dental Lab Night Guards $125 to $185 dental-grade dual-laminate material custom 1-year free adjustment or return 7 to 10 days after mailing back impressions
Pro Teeth Guard $169.99 to $209.99 acrylic plastic custom 60-day 110% refund 1 to 2 weeks
Remi $139 (subscription)
$179 (single purchase)
BPA-free, dental-grade plastic custom 30-day return or refund 2 weeks after a confirmation email
Cheeky $155 (single purchase)
$235 (subscription)
soft thermoplastic or hard acrylic custom 30-night full refund 3 weeks
Sporting Smiles $90 to $105 BPA-free plastic custom 30-day warranty 12 to 18 business days
Chomper Labs $149 to $169 copolyester or TPU/EVA material custom 100-day return or refund 2.5 weeks

Dental experts generally recommend a hard nightguard made of more durable material. Soft night guards can encourage more jaw activity, making them less effective for teeth grinding and clenching.

It is also best to have a thicker night guard because it can last longer, and the bite plane is flatter. A flatter bite plane leads to less pressure on the jaw muscles and TMJ joints and less friction on your opposing teeth.

Here are some of the best nightguards:

JS Dental Lab Night Guard

Best Overall (Editor's Pick)
Pro Teeth Guard

JS Dental Lab offers five kinds of night guards that are customizable to your needs. They also offer free returns or adjustments for one year.

Their night guards are of premium quality as they have been creating dental products for over 20 years. JS Dental Lab's designs are made to be durable so that they only get more comfortable to wear over time.

Once you create your order on the JS Dental Lab website, they will send over an impression kit. This also contains a comprehensive guide booklet.

Once you take your impressions, mail them back to the company. It will take 7 to 10 days for you to receive your completed night guard.

JS Dental Lab also offers trial orders for $1. If you decide to keep your night guard, they will process the remaining balance 28 days from the date you placed your trial order.

Pros:

  • They offer free returns and adjustments for a year
  • Made from premium dental-grade materials from the U.S. and Germany
  • Made in a professional dental lab
  • The lab has over 20 years of experience
  • Offers trial orders
  • Free shipping

Cons:

  • Questions about impressions can only be sent through email or SMS
  • The impressions kit only comes with one backup putty set

Pro Teeth Guard

Best Processing Time
Pro Teeth Guard

Pro Teeth Guard offers four kinds of night guards depending on the severity of your teeth grinding or clenching. If you’re unsatisfied with their product within 60 days, they give you 110% of your money back.

Their processing period is one of the fastest, as it only takes 1 to 2 weeks from start to finish. They’re a professional lab that also offers services to dentists in their area.

Once you place your order on their website, Pro Teeth Guard will send an impressions kit within 2 to 4 business days. Take your impressions within 15 minutes and mail them back using your pre-paid return envelope.

It takes 7 to 11 business days before you receive your custom night guards.

Pros:

  • Made from dental-grade materials
  • Free shipping to the U.S. and Canada
  • Free returns
  • Made in a professional dental lab
  • Comes with an extra at-home impressions kit
  • Offers a 60-day, money-back guarantee
  • Offers subscription service
  • Unsubscribing is free of charge

Cons:

  • Minimal time allowance for getting teeth impressions
  • Needs replacing after 6 months

Remi Custom Night Guards

Best for Severe Teeth Grinding
Remi Custom Night Guards

Remi lets you customize the thickness of your night guard. You can opt for 1.3mm or 2 mm. They also come with a top and bottom guard in one order.

The device is designed to ensure comfort even if you have severe bruxism. Their subscription service offers a new replacement every 6 months to prevent bacteria buildup and discomfort.

However, dental experts recommend keeping your night guard for more than 6 months. This appliance is meant to last for at least 3 to 5 years. The more you wear them, the better they'll fit and function.

Pros:

  • Made from dental-grade BPA-free materials
  • Designed with a soft interior and hard exterior
  • Offers a 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Customer molds are kept on record for reorders
  • Offers a subscription service
  • Excellent customer service

Cons:

  • Toughness of the material can take a while to get used to
  • Getting self-impressions can be difficult

Cheeky Mouthguard

Most Comfortable
Cheeky Mouthguard

Cheeky uses 3D technology to design customized nightguards. Once they receive your teeth impressions, they replicate them using the technology.

They only offer two nightguards: soft and hard/soft, a combination of a soft interior with a hard exterior.

It’s a limited selection, but they include both in one purchase. You can decide which one suits your preferences best.

Pros:

  • Offers a subscription service
  • Sends free impressions kit replacements
  • Offers a full money-back guarantee
  • Designed with 3D technology
  • Unsubscribing is free of charge
  • Sends their two offered types of nightguards in one purchase
  • Sends replacement every 3 months

Cons:

  • Only offers two types of nightguards
  • Complete processing can take more than 2 weeks

Sporting Smiles

Most Affordable
Sporting Smiles

Sporting Smiles is one of the best brands if you’re looking for customized night guards on a budget. Their prices begin at $90.

How much money you spend will depend on your needs. If you’re a heavy teeth grinder, you may need to spend a little more than their initial price.

Pros:

  • Offers four types of nightguards
  • Offers international shipping
  • Accepts teeth molds from the dentist
  • Customer molds are kept on record for a year
  • Offers a 30-day warranty program

Cons:

  • Processing time can take at least 2 weeks
  • Only suitable for people over 16 years old

Chomper Labs

Best Customer Satisfaction Guarantee
Chomper Labs

Chomper Labs has one of the longest money-back guarantee programs. They also offer to replace your nightguard if you’re unsatisfied with it. You only need to pay for shipping.

Chomper Labs is also a full-service dental lab. This allows them to accept fully customized orders. You can contact them if none of their offered night guards suit you.

Other advantages and disadvantages include:

Pros:

  • Offers a 100-day money-back guarantee
  • Offers a 6-month warranty program
  • Made in a full-service dental lab
  • Made with FDA-approved materials

Cons:

  • Processing time can take more than 2 weeks
  • Can feel snug during the first few wears
  • Doesn’t offer free shipping for replacements

Why Do People Grind Their Teeth?

People often grind their teeth because of stress and anxiety. It is common in both children and adults.

Many children grind their teeth before their permanent molars erupt. Adults do it when they’re concentrating, stressed, or worried.

If left untreated, teeth grinding can cause tooth damage. It can also cause inflammation around the ears, which may resemble hearing loss or temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD).

Is There a Cure for Teeth Grinding?

Dentists recommend using custom-fitted night guards. They fit around your teeth perfectly and are less likely to dislodge during use.

If you're worried about the cost, over-the-counter night guards can be a good temporary solution before investing in a more expensive custom-fitted one.

While a night guard can prevent bruxism-related teeth damage, it may not address the underlying cause.5,6,7 Jaw muscle clenching and bruxism are common, normal stress responses.8 They can also be responses to poor breathing.9

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can also help manage the stress and anxiety that causes teeth grinding. Other treatments include:

  • Yoga
  • Deep breathing
  • Reading
  • Listening to music
  • Daily reminders to relax your jaw by touching the tip of your tongue to your palate 

3 Types of Night Guards

1. Ready-to-Wear

Ready-to-wear or stock night guards come as one-size-fits-all. They’re affordable and easy to find in stores, but they're often made with cheap material that doesn't fit around your teeth well.

2. Boil-and-Bite

Boil-and-bite night guards are similar to ready-to-wear ones, except they fit your teeth better. They’re made from thermoplastics, which soften with heat.

You can make the night guard soft and pliable by placing it in hot (not boiling) water. You can then fit the night guard onto your teeth.

After placing it in your mouth, press it onto your teeth and bite down on it. Run it under cold water to harden it again.

3. Custom-Fitted

Custom-fitted night guards provide the most tailored fit to your unique teeth and bite. They’re also made from more durable materials.

To make a custom-fitted night guard, your dentist will make impressions of your teeth. A dental lab will then use those impressions to create your night guard.

A custom night guard is likely to be the most comfortable and effective at protecting your teeth, especially if you have braces or dental implants.

Who Needs a Night Guard?

Night guards can be suitable for people who grind their teeth at night.They can prevent damage to natural teeth and dental restorations, like crowns and implants, if you have any.

Some doctors recommend night guards for people with sleep apnea because they can maintain jaw position, which prevents airway obstruction. One study also found they may also reduce occurrences of canker sores.4

Consult your doctor or dentist if you think you need a night guard.

How to Care for Your Night Guard 

Caring for your night guard involves keeping it clean and avoiding damage. To keep your night guard clean, follow a daily cleaning routine, just as you do for your teeth. 

Daily Cleaning

Do the following every day to keep your night guard clean:

  • Rinse your night guard every morning using warm water
  • Lightly brush your night guard with your toothbrush after rinsing
  • Gently wash your night guard with castile soap, dish soap, non-abrasive toothpaste, and/or alcohol-free mouthwash
  • Let your night guard dry completely for 15 to 30 minutes
  • Store your night guard in a vented case and make sure the case is dry

Deep Cleaning

At least once a month, you should deep clean your night guard. You can do this with an over-the-counter (OTC) denture cleaning solution or a vinegar and hydrogen peroxide mixture.

If you’re using a denture solution, follow the instructions carefully. Avoid denture solutions that contain artificial fragrances or dyes.

If you’d prefer to use vinegar and peroxide:

  • Soak your night guard in vinegar for 30 minutes
  • Rinse it with cool water
  • Soak it in hydrogen peroxide for another 30 minutes
  • Rinse again and let dry on a clean surface

After deep cleaning, store your night guard in its case.

What Not to Do When Caring for Your Night Guard

Just as it’s important to clean your night guard, you should also be sure not to do anything that might damage or weaken it.

Do not:

  • Expose your night guard to extreme heat or cold
  • Soak your night guard in anything for longer than an hour
  • Use anything containing alcohol to clean or soak your night guard
  • Forget to clean your night guard case

A custom-fitted night guard can last up to 3 to 5 years if cared for properly. No matter what kind of night guard you have, be sure to keep it clean and damage-free for as long as you can.

Summary

People with bruxism sometimes use night guards. Bruxism is a condition where people grind or clench their teeth during sleep or in the daytime.

Teeth grinding and clenching can cause tooth enamel to wear away. This condition is often caused by anxiety and stress.

You can try several therapies to address the underlying cause. However, if nothing helps, you can use a night guard to minimize the damage caused by bruxism.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a night guard for the upper or lower teeth?

Most night guards are for the upper teeth. However, some companies and dental labs create nightguards for the upper and lower teeth.

Does dental insurance cover night guards?

Most insurance plans don't cover night guards. However, if your dentist states they're medically necessary, your insurance could cover part of the cost.

What is the difference between a mouthguard and a night guard?

A mouthguard is commonly worn during sports to protect people's teeth from contact injuries. It's made of thick and slightly soft material that can absorb impact.

A night guard is usually worn during sleep. It is made of thin but tough materials like dental-grade plastic or acrylic.

How often should you replace your night guard?

Your night guard is meant to last for at least 3 to 5 years. The more you wear it, the more comfortable it will feel as you break into them.

How long does it take to make custom night guards?

The processing time for night guards depends on your dentist and the dental lab. Some direct-to-consumer brands take as little as one week because they have their own lab to create the dental appliances.

Last updated on February 7, 2023
13 Sources Cited
Last updated on February 7, 2023
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
  1. Teeth grinding (bruxism).” NHS, Crown, 2020.
  2. Taking on Teeth Grinding and Clenching.” NIH News in Health, 2021.
  3. Gerstner, GE. “Nocturnal Mouth Guards, SOVA vs. Standard Acrylic Orthotic; Phase IV (SISU-SOVA).” U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2018.
  4. Tada, et al. “Preventive effects of mouthguard use while sleeping on recurrent aphthous stomatitis: Preliminary interventional study.” Clinical and Experimental Dental Research, 2017.
  5. Macedo, et al. “Occlusal splints for treating sleep bruxism (tooth grinding).” The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2007.
  6. van der Zaag, et al. “Controlled assessment of the efficacy of occlusal stabilization splints on sleep bruxism.” Journal of Orofacial Pain, 2005.
  7. Shetty, et al. “Bruxism: a literature review.” Journal of Indian Prosthodontic Society, 2010.
  8. Lavigne, et al. “Rhythmic Masticatory Muscle Activity during Sleep in Humans.” Journal of Dental Research, 2001.
  9. Kate Murphy. “Grind Your Teeth? Your Night Guard May Not Be the Right Fix.” New York Times, 2021.
  10. Sutin, et al. “Teeth Grinding: Is Emotional Stability related to Bruxism?” Journal of Research in Personality, Elsevier, 2010.
  11. Bruxism (Teeth Grinding or Clenching).” KidsHealth, Nemours Foundation, 2021.
  12. Lal, SJ. and Weber, KK. “Bruxism Management.” NIH, 2021.
  13. How to Care for your Nightguard.” University of California Irvine.
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