Most commonly referred to as “night grinding” (don’t google image search that!), bruxism is a condition where a person grinds or clenches their teeth while they sleep. It’s fairly common too — about 20% of the population grind their teeth while they sleep — and most people aren’t even aware of it! In fact, you’re probably looking for a mouth guard for bruxism because of a partner who observed you night grinding in your sleep, huh? Hearing someone grind their teeth while they’re sleeping is unnerving, sure, but more importantly, it damages your teeth and can cause all sorts of chronic pain! Dentists look for the signs of bruxism in tooth/enamel wear and receding gum lines, but if you grind your teeth at night, you’re more likely to notice it through:
- Neck Pain
- Jaw Pain
It’s uncomfortable and painful, there’s a quick solution that can provide immediate relief: Enter… the Mouth Guard.
Sleeping with a THING in my mouth?
Using a mouth guard might not be a perfect long-term solution but it’s definitely one that can help you get a decent night of sleep right away without sacrificing your chompers. There are a few drawbacks, sure — some find it uncomfortable or intrusive, and if you don’t keep a mouth guard clean it can cause gum damage or tooth shifting over time — but they’re relatively inexpensive, they’re an immediate relief, and they can help you while you sort out the underlying root of your grinding problem. In the meantime, a mouth guard can help with headaches, neck pain, and jaw pain while you sort out what’s causing you to grind the night away. There are several types of mouth guards that range in style and price, so we’ve compiled a list of some of the best options to up your mouth guard game in 2021.
The Way to Delay Decay Today
- Boil ’n’ Bite
You want the classic, semi-customizable, quick solution? A “boil ’n’ bite” mouth guard is the most common option — where a custom-fitted guard is specifically designed for your teeth, these are much less expensive and more readily accessible with some of that customizable aplomb. Made from thermoplastic materials, you put the mouth guard briefly into just-under-boiling water to soften it up, bite down on it, and suck out the air. As the molding cools, the softened material hardens up and retains the shape of your teeth. Voila! It’s not perfect, but it works.
You need a quick fix or you’re frequently on the go! Disposable mouth guards come pre-formed and are intended for short-term use. While great for traveling, these guards do not “cradle” your teeth to sleep like others might, but they’re immediately ready for use right out of the box and don’t require regular upkeep and cleaning. When you’re done, you just toss ‘em out. Do note: as they don’t fit over your teeth, some folks have trouble this option staying in place overnight.
Ah-ha! Despite your bruxism, you want to live luxuriously! Your teeth are precious and your grinding issues are long-lasting so for you, it’s worth investing in the nice stuff. Custom-fitted mouth guards are tailor made for your mouth at a dental office or laboratory, based on an impression of your teeth made by your dentist or with a home mold kit. It takes a bit more time and specialty materials, so this tends to be the most costly option, but comparatively it provides the best comfort, fit, and longevity of ‘em all!
OUR LIST: Best Over the Counter Mouth Guards for Teeth Grinding 2021
Style: Boil ’n’ Bite
If mouth guard price is one of your considerations, champ no further than this bit! One of the most popular mouth guards available (with a whopping 3,300+ Amazon reviews), Dental Duty’s mouth guard is a very inexpensive alternative to a custom-fit. This mouth guard remains pliable and soft after you mold it to your teeth, while still providing the cushion you need for protection and is strong contender for best night guard for teeth clenching. The standard package comes with two sizes so you can pick which best fits your jaw size, but either way it’s easy to trim down to fit just right, and the majority of folks who try this mouth guard out find them to be pretty darn comfortable for a night of sleep. Plus, they’re BPA free and FDA approved! Highly recommended.
Style: Boil ’n’ Bite (or Microwave ’n’ Munch)
Simple and easy to use, the Oral-B Nighttime Dental Guard is thinner than most other mouth guards but holds up to grinding night after night. And the thinness doesn’t suffer the drawbacks of other guards of similar stature — these ones actually last! If you find the Dental Duty mouth guard to be a little too hearty for you, try these on for size. Comfortable and easy to fit to your teeth, you can actually skip the messy boiling process and go straight for the microwave to safely soften them. Firm, yet flexible, these might just be the best option for your mouth, especially if you have issues staying asleep with a bulkier guard. They might not have as many reviews as the Dental Duty’s do, but they’re consistent in their high ratings and they work!
Another popular choice, these ready-outta-the-box mouth guards are a one size fits all option for those who don’t have the time or need for a long-lasting fitted guard. No boiling, no forming, you can take these babies on the go when you’re traveling or simply use them at home, rest assured that you’ll always have a hygienic and easy option for cutting down on your night grinding. They’re soft and durable and designed to fit either the upper or lower teeth (not all mouth guards are). The alignment grooves keep these guards stable while you sleep, though it may take some getting used to if they slip out of place. If simplicity and quick comfort are what you need, look no further!
Ready for that big league professional guard but want to pinch a few pennies? Luckily, there’s an option that doesn’t trade price for quality. For under $75 you can pick up the Armor Guard Custom Dental Mouth Guard and see how a custom-fitted guard works for you without spending hundreds at the dentist. The simple kit comes with a do-it-yourself impression mold that you bite down on to get an accurate rendering of your teeth. You send the impression to the fine folks at Armor Guard and they mail you back a soft, clear, flexible mouth guard that’ll last for years if you take care of it. As with all guards, make sure to keep yours hygienic. Wash ‘em with light soaps and water, Efferdent tablets, or even toothpaste on a regular schedule. Spend a little more money and get something a little longer-lasting. This mouth guard will really work wonders against your incessant grinding.
Well, What Are You Waiting For?
If you’re one of the night grinders, the gnashers, a biter, champ, chaw, or manducater, you owe it to yourself to go a little easier on your teeth. Pick up a reasonably-priced, great mouth guard from our best of 2021 list right now and stop wearing down that enamel before it’s too late!