Jaw clenching or teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is often due to anxiety or stress, but it’s also something a lot of us do unaware while we sleep. This can lead to headaches, facial pain, and even worn-down teeth. So how do we stop a subconscious habit?
The use of a night guard is an effective way to break the habit of grinding your teeth, but not all brands are created equal. Let’s take a look at our top picks, and what makes them stand out.
|Best For Severe Grinding
|Best For Sensitive Teeth
The night guards we review are easily accessible, as they can be ordered online, they’re also affordable and almost all custom fit.
When it comes to at-home night guards, Remi takes the top place, being BPA-free and comfortable, made from 1mm-thick dental-grade plastic. 1.3mm and 2mm options are also available.
Signing up for the Remi Club provides you with a new night guard every six months for $49 each, as they inevitably accumulate bacteria and plaque. Overall, Remi is estimated to be 80% cheaper than prescription mouth guards. There is also a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Remi is a high-quality mail-in mouth guard that covers all your needs, from a custom fit to replacements when needed.
The Smile Brilliant night guard is made for heavy teeth grinding. At 2mm thick, they are made to protect your teeth for three months each.
The packages for Smile Brilliant night guards accommodate the needs of heavy teeth grinders by providing more frequent replacements. There are packages of one, two, and four guards, all with free shipping and a free impression kit.
Higher-end packages also include affordable replacement guards, at $25 each compared to $40. With worldwide shipping available, the Deluxe package of an initial four-guard set is the most cost- and time-effective option.
The Smile Brilliant night guard comes with cost-effective lifetime services to manage heavy nighttime teeth grinding.
Meyarn is a “baby standard,” comfortable night guard that can conform to the shape of your dental arches. Reviewers describe it as effective even with dentures.
The brand is also one of the cheapest options, at less than $20, which is likely due to its standardization. Despite the soft material, it may not be a comfortable fit due to the one-size-fits-all approach.
Meyarn mouth guards are soft and comfortable, making them suitable for those with sensitive teeth and jaws, as long as they fit the size of your dental arch.
The Cheeky mouth guard is perhaps the best custom-fitted night guard you can purchase online, made from molds using an impression kit.
You can also choose the thickness and whether the mouth guards are soft or hybrid. Hybrid mouth guards are soft on the inside but made from durable acrylic on the outside. You are not charged more for thicker guards.
If you still aren’t sure whether Cheeky is right for you, a one-time purchase option of $129 is available. This can be converted to a subscription later. Cheeky guards are also covered by FSA and HSA insurance.
With a customized fit and the ability to choose between a soft and hybrid night guard, as well as its thickness and subscription type, Cheeky is the best personalized mail-order mouth guard.
The Sentinel mouth guard is suitable for both day and night use. With up to 3mm of hard plastic, even the heaviest of teeth grinders can find protection and relief from tooth damage and jaw pain.
Night guards by Sentinel also last much longer than other products reviewed here, with a life expectancy ranging from two to five years with correct cleaning (after every use).
However, if you are looking for a soft night guard, Sentinel is not right for you. Only hard options are available, which contributes to its longevity.
Sentinel offers some of the most durable night guards. Even if you are a heavy grinder, it may last several years with correct care.
Teethnightguard are handcrafted by dental technicians, giving them the extra edge when it comes to protecting sensitive teeth. With the additional Front Cut, where you can choose a lower trim for the front four teeth, your lips are able to rest on your teeth in a more natural position.
Environmental sustainability is also an advantage, with the average lifespan of a guard being two to three years. They can last up to five years, but during this time your impressions will be kept on file to ensure a speedy replacement if needed.
The handcrafted manufacturing process of Teethnightguard, and their Front Cut option, make it the best choice for sensitive teeth.
Sporting Smiles mainly focuses on mouth guard products for sports, but there are dental options too. All of them are designed for heavy teeth grinders, such as the Flexible Hard models. There is a soft grinding guard for teeth grinders who also clench, and barely visible models too.
The brand is up to half the price of other custom-fitted night guards, with models costing between $90 and $105. The flow chart on their website illustrates the best options for grinding, clenching and severity. However, your molds are only kept for one year, so you would have to repeat the impression kit again.
Sporting Smiles are affordable mouth guards designed for a range of preferences, at up to half the price of other customizable brands.
A dental night guard looks similar to an aligner but is designed to create a barrier between the upper and lower teeth. This both reduces teeth grinding and provides your teeth and jaw with protection against the damage grinding causes. Left unaddressed, severe teeth grinding can eventually break or wear down your teeth.
You may find that wearing a night guard helps to retrain the muscles in your jaw. The muscles’ neuromuscular reflexes respond to the improved jaw alignment, and can eventually return to a more normal pattern .
There are several types of dental night guards that vary in how well they are individualized to your mouth:
Over-the-counter night guards can be one size fits all or boil and bite. They are not designed to specifically fit your mouth, and their materials may not accommodate your teeth sensitivity or any other needs you have.
One size fits all guards are made based on average sizes, and are less likely to fit you as a result. They do not account for chipped teeth, missing teeth or other issues.
Boil and Bite night guards have semi-customizable fits. They require you to soften them by boiling them for 30-60 seconds (or according to instructions), you will then bite into them to create a shape that fits your teeth and dental arch. These can be bulky and unstable, even if a relatively good fit is achieved.
Most of the night guards we review here are mail-in custom fits. These cut out the time and expense of dental appointments, and instead involve creating molds with a home impression kit. The one downside is that you do not have in-person support.
A mouth guard custom fit by your dentist is an excellent option, as they can assess whether a night guard is right for you, and what your needs are in terms of thickness and hours of use. They can also identify and treat other issues such as damaged teeth from long-term grinding or cavities.
With a range of options on the market, here’s what to look for when choosing a custom night guard.
You want a durable, comfortable and non-toxic material when purchasing a night guard. It is best to avoid as many risky chemicals as possible, including phthalates, which are linked to higher all-cause mortality .
Ensure your choice of nightguard is phthalate-free as these chemicals are STRONGLY associated with lung, kidney, liver, and reproductive system damage.
If you’re not comfortable, you’re unlikely to wear your night guard. You may also find that your teeth grinding gets worse or changes its movement pattern, or any jaw pain, mouth irritation, tooth sensitivity, sleep disorder or misalignment worsens.
Some night guards are made for upper teeth only, or you may have a lower guard, or both. Other guards mostly cover your back teeth, and are made for daytime use as you cannot see them.
Some of the night guards covered here last only three to six months before needing a replacement, while others last up to five years. Although shorter-lasting guards are often replaced at a fraction of the initial cost, greater durability is kinder to the environment and your wallet.
Your first set of custom-fitted night guards generally starts at $90 each, such as the grinding guards from Sporting Smiles. However, it’s also best to look at their lifespan and the cost of replacements: how much are you likely to pay per year, or five years?
A well-fit night guard should protect your teeth from the damage caused by teeth grinding. However, there are case studies where night guard use has led to issues such as anterior open bite, as they did not fit correctly .
Night guards’ main advantage is they help prevent tooth enamel loss, and the appearance of broken or fractured teeth. They may also relieve jaw and mouth pain as well as stiffness, and do not have the potential negative effects of Botox.
On the other hand, a night guard is not a cure for teeth grinding. Poor stress management, excessive caffeine or tobacco use, can contribute to bruxism too .
You should talk to your dentist about a custom night guard if you notice teeth grinding and clenching habits . If you already have broken teeth, it’s not too late to prevent more harm. Jaw or ear pain and headaches may call for a night guard too.
What are the most important things we need to know about night guards for bruxism?
Whether you want to stop grinding and clenching your teeth during the day or night, there are several high-quality night guard brands on the market today. Opt for one that can be custom-made to fit your teeth and dental arch, such as the Remi night guard.