First off, kudos to you for taking action to manage your teeth grinding and clenching. Getting a custom night guard is one of the most effective ways to protect your teeth and stop the negative effects of bruxism.
That said, we understand it can be a bit tricky to understand your range of options. Is a hard version better than a soft? How does the thickness of a night guard come into play?
Read on to find out how the type of material affects both fit and comfort, how to choose between an upper or lower night guard, and what might be best for your situation.
You’ll want your night guard to do two things - fit comfortably, and more importantly, do its job to effectively protect your teeth.
There are largely two factors that determine the comfort and effectiveness of your custom night guard. The first is the type of material and the second is the thickness.
The material determines how the night guard feels against the teeth and the thickness determines how bulky it feels in the mouth. Both factors combined contribute to just how comfortable and durable the night guard will be.
Finding the best night guard for you involves understanding what material and thickness best matches your level of grinding and the comfort level you’re looking for. Here’s a quick run-down of the different versions we offer:
Next, read on to see how to choose between an upper or lower night guard.
Choosing between an upper or a lower night guard largely comes down to personal preference. As long as there’s a layer of material between your teeth, whether on top or bottom, you’re well protected from the forces of grinding and clenching. However, there are some factors to keep in mind when making your choice.
After all, the more comfortable your night guard is, the more likely you’ll be to wear it. Most people prefer the upper night guard because it feels less in the way of the tongue, making it both more comfortable and easier to speak with. If this is your first time wearing a custom made night guard, we recommend going with the upper.
If you’re planning to wear it during the day, a lower mouth guard tends to be less visible and may be a more subtle choice if aesthetics are important to you.
You’ll also want to consider the dentition (arrangement and condition) of your teeth since it impacts how well your night guard fits. We recommend going with whichever set of teeth is less complicated. For example, if your upper teeth are more crooked, have a missing tooth, or multiple crowns, then we would recommend going with a lower night guard for a better fit.
Note: Recent studies have suggested that if you have TMJ issues, a lower night guard may be slightly more effective. However, because these studies are based on limited data and are not definitely conclusive, we recommend choosing based on the first two points above.
There’s really no such thing as a “one size fits all” night guard. Your teeth are unique and so are you. That’s why we offer a range of options based on the severity of your grinding and clenching, your individual comfort level, and your personal preference.
It may seem like there’s a lot to consider - but at the end of the day, any of the options will make a significant difference in combating your grinding and clenching.
We understand it can be difficult to know if you'll like the type you choose, especially if this is your first time at the rodeo. If you don’t like the original type you ordered, we're happy to remake another for you within 30 days for a small fee of $40, just to cover the cost of materials and shipping. This way, you can rest assured that no matter what you initially choose, you’re well on your way to happy teeth.