Mouth Guard for Teeth Grinding

by Samantha on July 9, 2011

People that suffer from bruxism, or grinding their teeth, may benefit from the use of wearing mouth guards at night while sleeping. These are also called night guards. If your dentist has diagnosed you with bruxism, he or she may also have recommended that you get a mouth guard to reduce the teeth grinding. If so, there are some things that need to be considered before you actually buy one. These include such things as the fit, material and bite pad.

The material you want your mouth guard to be made from is one of the first things you need to decide. You can choose from acrylic and plastic materials that are typically found at your dentist’s office or through a medical supplier.

The acrylic mouth guard is made from the same material used in making dentures. It’s less flexible, which makes them more effective than those guards made from plastic. Acrylic mouth pieces are more expensive than the plastic ones, which, in addition to costing less, might be more durable.

Your local drug store or grocery store will also sell a rather cheap version made from a pliable rubber. These are submerged in hot water for a few minutes to soften it. Then you’ll bite down on the mouth guard which will make a permanent mold of your teeth. This creates a customized fit. If you’re low on money, this option is probably the easiest for you. However, it’s most likely not the most effective.

If you want the most effective mouth guard, you should see your dentist and have a professional mold taken of your mouth. The mold will be sent to a professional laboratory and used to make a custom mouth guard just to fit your mouth. Doing it this way is going to cost more money but will last longer and fit more comfortably in your mouth.

The fit is another important factor to consider when getting a mouth guard. If you’re going to buy one over the counter, you’ll use your height for reference. For people under 5’6”, a small mouth guard is required. Men under 5’8” need a medium model. Men over 5’8” need to get a large model. Keep in mind that dental mouth guards bought over the counter may be quite uncomfortable. That’s the biggest reason to spend a bit more and get a custom fitted one.

The main drawback from getting a custom fitted mouth guard from your dentist, besides the extra cost, is that it can take a long time to get to you. Laboratory made mouth guards can take weeks before they’re shipped to your dentist. When they arrive, you’ll most likely need to go in for small adjustments.

Something you should look for in a mouth guard is a front band. Some mouth guards loosen in the front as you bite down on the back. So you need a mouth guard with a band at the front to alleviate this problem.

One last thing to look for in a mouth guard is the bite pad. The best models have bite pads made from dense material. These guards offer more stability and are more comfortable. They also last longer. Therefore, acrylic mouth guards may be more costly but they’re also more effective.

In summary, for a comfortable mouth guard, you’ll need a custom-made one from your dentist. You’ll be assured of getting pain free and comfortable nights of sleep night after night.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Dan | Confidence Course July 28, 2011 at 5:59 am

Bruxism sounds horrible. I’d have assumed it was a habit created in childhood for comfort, like biting nails etc. Is there some kind of medical reason for this then?

Linda July 31, 2011 at 10:48 pm

I think these would also be good for those who have children who are thumb suckers. They need their thumbs to get to sleep – what do you think?

Grinding your teeth is also a bad habit that is hard to break, so thanks for the post on where to buy them from 🙂


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