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Last updated: July 26, 2021
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A mouth guard for teeth grinding may be utterly essential and can protect your teeth over time if you experience issues such as teeth grinding caused by bruxism or TMJ disorders that can impact your jaw. There are loads of different mouth guards on the market but you need to find the right one to actually give your jaw a good level of protection.
While the best mouth guard for teeth grinding can save you a lot of pain, there are some cheap options which will do very little. While it is good to get an option cheaper than a custom dental mouth guard, you still need something with a custom fit in order to be effective. The J&S Dental Lab Custom Dental Mouth Guard, our Editor’s Choice, has fit the bill in terms of being more affordable than dental issue mouth guards but also being a custom fit. In our reviews, we’ve also looked at features including the strength of the guard, whether it is moldable and how thick it is.
Our information has been presented as a simple overview table of the top options, and then detailed reviews of each of these mouth guards and their features. Finally, we have a buying guide allowing you to learn more about the features of a mouth guard and how to get the most out of yours. Our team spent many hours researching these top options, using consumer reviews and manufacturer information to create our guide.
This exceptional mouth guard was a relatively simple choice for the best over the counter mouth guard for teeth grinding. It has all the features we’re looking for when we want to purchase a mouth guard and is so easy to mold.
The moldable functionality is one of the best things about this. There are three different sizes included and you can choose the most suitable before you create an impression of your teeth. The whole process takes around five minutes and you end up with a really accurate mouth guard built perfectly for your mouth.
The thickness is between 1.5 and 4 mm and you should be able to wear this for many years before needing to replace it.
Another great benefit is the fact that there is a money back guarantee and unlimited free adjustments which can make sure you end up with a suitable design which fits your mouth, or your money back. The manufacturer will also alter the thickness to suit your needs if requested. This means it can be great for bruxism no matter how severely you grind your teeth.
This model is the lower mouth guard, but there is also an upper mouth guard available, so you can choose between the two.
Why is it special?
Easy to follow instructions to create an impression of your mouth
Totally customizable, even the thickness
Lasts up to five years of use
Has a money back guarantee
What are the flaws?
Not the cheapest model out there, though it is still far cheaper than dentist-made options
The Pro Teeth Guard Professional Dental Night Guard is another wonderful option that is exceptionally easy to mold into an impression of your mouth. The steps to do so are really simple and everything you need to make this guard fit your mouth perfectly is included in the box. There are also very clear instructions. You send back the impression and the guard is then shipped to you.
A manufacturer guarantee means they will even allow extra adjustments if anything is wrong with your mold and it is uncomfortable.
As you would expect, it is free of any harmful chemicals and has been FDA approved for wearing overnight.
Though you have to wait for the shipping, this is one of the best mouthguards for teeth grinding and even comes with a pre-paid return envelope should you’re unsatisfied with the result. You can choose which best suits your condition and the severity of your grinding. Soft can suit light clenching but harder options such as the ‘retainer’ design can be great for heavier grinding
This guard is particularly good for medium to large size mouths, but some smaller or children’s mouths may not be as easy to create the mold.
All-in-all, a great night mouth guard for grinding teeth.
Why did it make our list?
Easy to create an impression, especially for medium to large teeth and mouths
The process of getting a mouth guard involves sending an impression so that the company in question can make a guard suited to your mouth. This can take a while, but one of the fastest options is the enCore Guards Custom Dental Night Guard/Mouth Guard. If you’re in a hurry to get a good mouth guard for grinding teeth at night or during the day, this could be a good option. Many customers have reported getting their delivery within a week.
Like many of the other options on the list, there are multiple hardnesses to choose from, with four in total. Thinner ones are suitable for light grinding, and there are thick options up to 3mm which can be good for heavy grinding.
Like many of the other manufacturers, the brand will make free alterations and even cover the shipping costs of sending yours back and forth until you are 100% happy with your mouth guard.
Though there are four different thicknesses, these don’t vary as much as some of the other brands. The options are all between 2mm and 3mm. Some brands, such as our editor’s choice, are 1.5mm-4mm. This is a good OTC mouth guard for grinding teeth but may not be as suitable for very heavy grinders.
What makes it stand out?
Available in four sizes
Fast delivery and a simple process for taking an impression of your teeth
Available in both daytime and nighttime designs
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?
Not as many thickness options as some of the other brands on the market
Many of the designs for mouth guards for grinding teeth are quite similar. They may not be the most comfortable. The American DentalCraft Dental Night Guard for Sleeping is designed in a different way and earns its nomination of the most comfortable mouth guard on the market.
The clever hybrid design has an acrylic layer on the outside to give the actual protection, but a cushioning, softer layer is much kinder on the teeth. This is a very clever design and can make it less of an annoyance having to wear a mouth guard at all.
The brand claims that people using this mouth guard see benefits with TMJ clicking, tinnitus and shoulder pain as well as dental related issues.
The thickness of 2mm is about right for those who want a night mouth guard for grinding teeth or who grind a moderate amount. If you are a heavy grinder, look elsewhere for something with a little bit more protection. 3-4 mm is better if your bruxism is severe.
The price is good, and it is certainly very comfortable, plus the process of sending off your impression to get your mouth guard made is relatively easy.
What stands out?
More comfortable than a lot of the other teeth grinding mouth guards
Easy to make an impression and send back
Versatile for a lot of different types of teeth grinders
The Armor Guard Mouth makes our list based on the fact that it allows you to choose between two flexible materials in order to find the one which suits your condition best. Not many guards allow you to choose between actual materials as opposed to thicknesses.
The soft and flexible material they offer is available in a clear design and is suitable for light or even moderate grinders who don’t suffer with additional symptoms as a result of bruxism such as headaches. The second material is cloudy, and has a harder design which is designed to suit heavy grinders who experience teeth pain or other symptoms as a result of their teeth grinding issues.
On top of this, this is a design which can allow you to make an impression for men, women and children. Size won’t be an issue.
You can choose the thickness, too – 2mm, 2.5mm, or 3mm are available.
The Armor Guard Mouth offers excellent value for money. It is the best over the counter mouth guard for grinding teeth which is available for under $100. It has some great features for the price.
What are its best features?
Choose between different materials and sizes
Simple molding process
What could be improved?
Could arguably be improved by an option thicker than 3mm for severe teeth grinding
Not quite as good build quality as some of the more expensive options
Extra features: unique design that prevents back teeth from making contact; double-layered design with soft and comfortable inner material and durable outer layer; BPA-free, latex-free; made in the USA
This is a well-designed, affordable option for light or moderate teeth grinders. The SmartGuard Elite Dental Guard is a mold-at-home option which means you may not get the same care and professional attention. You’ll need to create the mold yourself, and this can present something of a challenge.
However, this isn’t too difficult, instructions are included, and the SmartGuard is cleverly made. It is designed to keep the back teeth apart, and this prevents clenching of the jaw. This can mean you don’t grind as much as you did beforehand.
The pack is sold with two guards which means even if you don’t get it right the first time you can have another try at the mold. Or, you can have a reserve or backup mold.
This is a very affordable option for those who grind their teeth, and though there is some sacrifice in build quality and customizable features, it still does a good job of relieving your bruxism or TMJ.
The guards come with a one-year guarantee of satisfaction. The price is very reasonable and there is a lot to like about this option, especially if you only suffer moderately with bruxism.
What makes it stand out?
Very affordable option
No need to wait for customized option to be sent to you
Comfortable inner layer makes long term wearing more tolerable
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?
Not as customizable as some others
No choice of thicknesses
Not as good as some as the other options due to lower build-quality
Alterations aren’t possible once you’ve created the mold
Things to Consider
There are a lot of different options on the market, and though it may look to some like they are all the same, some subtle differences in design can make monumental differences to your comfort. If you need the best night mouth guard for grinding teeth, or you need a daytime option instead, it helps to know the very best options before you make your purchase. Our guide has been designed to give you a full overview of which features and functionality you should be looking out for.
Benefits of using a mouth guard for teeth grinding
If you experience teeth grinding, it can be incredibly frustrating. The benefits of a mouth guard can be very far-reaching. If they are cleverly designed, they can reduce the amount of grinding you do as a result of your bruxism. On top of this, good quality guards can relieve you from many of the symptoms and conditions which can come from your grinding.
Many people experience TMJ, headaches, tooth pain and tooth wear as a result of grinding. Heavy grinders, in particular, can experience a huge amount of pain and a variety of ailments. It can be tough to get to the root of why you are grinding, so a mouth guard is your main protection.
Grinding your teeth can also be very frustrating if you share a bed. The noise can cost your partner sleep as well as adding a lot of pain to your day-to-day life. A guard can prevent a lot of the noise.
Features to consider when choosing a dental mouth guard
The following features are the most vital when it comes to choosing a mouth guard for your specific needs and the severity of your bruxism and teeth-grinding. We’ve based our product reviews on the features listed below, and it helps to understand why these features are so vitally important. This will ultimately lead to you making the right buying decision.
Is it moldable?
Everyone’s teeth are different. Historically, there have been a lot of over the counter options which are not moldable at all. This provides a huge issue as they tend not to be very comfortable. Think of a pair of jeans which feels very tight or ill-fitting. With teeth, it can be even worse.
If you buy an uncomfortable guard for grinding teeth, it will likely end up unused. It can prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep.
A moldable option is likely to cost more, but it will be more effective and less of a pain to wear. Investing in a molded mouth guard upfront can be the right thing to do in the long term. Most of the options on this list are molded. The ‘boil and bite’ options which are designed to be molded at home don’t tend to be as reliable, but most of the options on this list allow you to create an impression of your teeth and then send it to the manufacturer to be created for your mouth.
Material(s) and flexibility
Different manufacturers have a different way of doing things. Some have a double layer so that the rigid layer can provide protection and a softer layer give a bit more comfort. Silicone is often used in the design, but it is often a hybrid blend of different materials.
Unless you have allergies, this isn’t too much of an issue. The design should be BPA-free, latex-free and FDA approved so you know that you are putting something safe in your mouth. If the product has ADA approval (American Dental Association), this is even better.
Different thicknesses can suit different people. It depends on how severe your teeth grinding is. Generally speaking, the thicker the guard, the more protection it gives for heavier grinding. A lot of the options give you multiple choices for what thickness you need. For instance, our Editor’s Choice product, the J&S Dental Lab Custom Dental Mouth Guard, has sizes between 1.5mm and 4mm.
If you are a light grinder you can probably use a 1.5mm or 2mm thickness guard, which is also suitable for daytime use and doesn’t interfere with talking and the like as much.
The best mouth guard for grinding teeth heavily will probably be 3-4mm in thickness. It is about matching up your own specific requirements and the symptoms and ailments you deal with as a result of bruxism or teeth grinding.
Upper vs. lower mouth guards
Though there is no definitive answer for whether upper or lower mouth guards are more effective, lower mouth guards tend to be a little more common and easily available. Though there are options for both, it boils down to personal preference. Either will do the job of stopping your teeth from grinding together if the guard is well made.
Some people opt for both! There’s no reason you can’t guard both but it might be a little uncomfortable.
How to use a night mouth guard for grinding teeth
Using your guard will involve creating the perfect mold first and foremost. You need to follow the instructions within the packaging to create the mold. This can involve creating an impression and sending it back to the manufacturers to create the guard itself.
If you don’t opt for a specific manufacturer which creates the guards based on an impression, you can use ‘boil and bite’ options. These are heated and then carefully bitten into in order to create a mold suited to your own teeth. These tend to be less scientific and less perfect.
Once you’ve done this, your guard will ideally clip nicely and snugly in place. It might take some time to get used to and you may even find it sets off your gag reflex initially. It shouldn’t take too long to get used to, but if it is still uncomfortable you may need to seek alterations or a different model of mouth guard.
Obviously, it depends on the thickness and the severity of your grinding. The J&S option, our editor’s choice, can last around 5 years if treated right. Other, more affordable options may only last you a year or so. Pay attention to the warranty or guarantee on offer by the manufacturers.
Yes, mouth guards are suitable for children but you need to make sure you get a small mold size. Many of the mouth guards out there send you multiple mold kits so you can make a small mold if you need to.
You can choose between a few methods of cleaning. You can use a toothbrush, preferably with soft bristles, to clean your mouth guard. You can get specific non-alcohol based cleaning solutions. Alternatively, you can soak it in hydrogen peroxide to disinfect.
The J&S Dental Lab Custom Dental Mouth Guard is our top choice. This is a fantastic option for those who grind their teeth and it is exceptionally well-reviewed. We’ve given it 9.9/10 due to its reliability and customizable molds, it is also available in a lot of sizes.
Another option for the best mouth guard for teeth grinding is the enCore Guards Custom Dental Night Guard. This is rated 9.5/10 and is an excellent choice for its four different thicknesses and the fact that the guards are quickly made and sent out.