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Custom Night Guards From A Dental Clinic Vs. Over-The-Counter Night

Custom Night Guards From A Dental Clinic Vs. Over-The-Counter Night

Frequently grinding, gnashing, or clenching your teeth is called bruxism and while it is possible for people to unconsciously grind their teeth during the day, it is most common at night. When a person grinds their teeth, it can cause stress on the teeth and jaw. Severe and prolonged tooth grinding can lead to tooth damage including chips, flattened teeth, and cracked or broken teeth. To prevent tooth grinding and subsequent damage during your sleep, a night guard can be worn. While there are night guards available over-the-counter, it is recommended to get a custom night guard from a dental clinic, as these two types of night guards are very different from one another.

The Difference Between Night Guards From The Dental Clinic Vs. The Store

Over-the-counter night guards tend to be very bulky in an attempt to give your teeth a lot of separation when you sleep. While this may prevent you from grinding your teeth at night, it can make it difficult to close your mouth properly  and it can feel very awkward and uncomfortable. Custom night guards are much thinner and more comfortable to wear while still protecting your teeth during sleep, and your dentist can shave down areas of the night guard they determine are too bulky.

Over-the-counter night guards tend to be either a one-size-fits-all or they come in small and large. Because they are not built to fit your specific teeth, they can be the wrong size and can move around at night and potentially fall out. There are also boil and bite night guards available over-the-counter for a slightly better fit. For these night guards, you boil them first and then when the material is pliable from the heat, you bite down. As the material cools it will harden, creating an impression of your teeth. This helps to create a better fit, although these guards are still not as fitted as a mouth guard made in a dental clinic. A custom-made mouth guard is created to specifically fit your mouth and it is designed to be snug and create a seal. The perfect fit of a custom night guard made in a dental clinic ensures that the guard stays on through the night instead of falling out.

The whole point of a night guard is to protect your teeth and jaw, and some lower-quality night guards won’t do that. Although store-bought night guards may prevent your teeth from grinding together, improper fit can lead to other issues. If a mouth guard doesn’t fit right, it can potentially move your teeth out of their current alignment, and if the mouth guard doesn’t match your bite, it can cause even more pressure on your teeth when you grind them. Custom night guards from a dental clinic take your bite and tooth alignment into account to ensure that your custom night guard is actually protecting your teeth and jaw.

Over-the-counter night guards are typically initially more affordable than custom-made night guards from the dental clinic and this may sound like a good way to save money, but over time it is not. Over-the-counter night guards are often more affordable because they are made of lower quality, less durable material that will gradually degrade over time. For people with severe bruxism, you may go through store-bought mouth guards very fast. Custom night guards from a dental clinic are made of higher-quality materials and will last for longer, making the prices even out over the long-term.

Night Guards From A Calgary Dental Clinic

If you grind your teeth, a night guard can help protect your tooth health and the comfort of your jaw, but only if the mouth guard is high-quality. For a custom night guard that will properly protect your tooth and jaw health, contact Marlborough Dental Centre. Our dental clinic will assess your tooth and jaw health and create a perfectly fitted, custom mouth guard that is designed to align with your specific bite. Whether the night guard is for a child or an adult, Marlborough Dental Centre works to make sure every one of your family members has a healthy, beautiful smile without the pain and damage caused by bruxism. To speak to a dentist about a custom night guard, call our Calgary dental clinic at 1-403-248-2066 or fill out the online contact form.


Q: How do I know if my night guard fits properly?
A: Your night guard should be snug on your teeth and should not fall out. It shouldn’t quite reach the gum line or it may cause irritation. If your mouth guard is bothering your gums or if it makes your mouth sore in any way, contact your dental clinic and have your mouth guard adjusted. For more information, read Custom Night Guards: How Should They Fit?

Q: What are the other benefits of night guards?
A: In addition to preventing teeth grinding, night guards help stop damage to other dental work you may have such as veneers, crowns, and dental bridges. Night guards protect tooth enamel, reduce the risk of chipped and broken teeth, and ultimately give you a better, more restful night’s sleep.

Q: Are sports guards and night guards the same thing?
A: No. Although they both serve to protect your teeth, a night guard is fairly thin and worn during sleep whereas a sports guard is thicker and worn during sports or other physical activities. Read What Is The Difference Between Sports Guards And Night Guards for more information.

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