Updated January, 2017

Teeth grinding and clenching is an extremely painful medical condition. Some people unconsciously grind and clench their teeth during the day while some do so at night. Common symptoms for grinding your teeth include:

  • Constant headaches when you wake up in the morning
  • Jaw or face soreness or pain
  • Exhaustion during the day, even when you think you had a long sleep
  • Wearing out, chipping or fracturing of your tooth enamel

Your dentist may recommend a night guard if he/she suspects you grind your teeth while sleeping.

What is a Mouth Guard for Grinding Teeth?

A teeth grinding mouth guard is a device that is meant to protect your tooth enamel from the effects of grinding. The TMJ mouth guards are also known as occlusal guards, night guards, bite plates, or occlusal splints. A mouth guard is cheap and easily available because of the rapidly growing number of manufacturers.

Most mouth guards are sold over the counter. However, there are some that are custom made for specific consumers. Many people find out about the habit of grinding teeth during a dental checkup. If a dentist notices cracks, misalignment and wearing out of your teeth, he may advise you to protect your teeth using a mouth guard.

Types of Dental Mouth Guards

There are two main types of dental mouth guards; custom made guards and over-the-counter guards.

Custom Made Guards

Custom made guards are made specifically for you. The teeth guards are comfortable, durable and of high quality. To get a custom guard, the dentist will need an impression of your teeth. The impression will then be taken in a specialized lab to make a mouth guard for you. Check the best custom mouth guards in the market.

Over the Counter Mouth Guards

There are also cheap and ready-made mouth guards that are sold over the counter in drug stores and pharmacies. Most of the over the counter (OTC) night guards are one-size-fits-all, bulky and keep falling out of the mouth.

While the teeth guards are cheap, they provide a temporary means of protecting your teeth until you get a custom made mouth guard. To use OTC mouth guards, you need to boil them to soften before biting into them to create an impression of your teeth. When the impression is made, the guard can fit in the mouth.

We’ve reviewed the best TMJ mouth guards to help you find the best product for yourself, kids or loved ones. In the reviews, we’ve given an overview of the products, highlighted the pros and cons and rated them based on online user reviews. We’ve also included links to online sites where you can buy the mouth guards.

Below is an overview of the best mouth guards for teeth grinding in 2017.

Best Mouth Guard for Teeth Grinding

PictureMouth GuardPriceRatingFull Review
DenTek Dental Guard4.7Review
Archtek Grind Guard $30.23 4.3Review
SleepRight Dental Guard $24.95 4.4Review
Plackers Grind Guard $36.99 4.6Review
StressGard Night Guard Out of stock 4.2Review
Doctor's Night Guard $18.94 4.2Review
Teeth Night GuardFrom $99.994.8Review
Grind Relief Night Guard $37.99 3.9Review
Sentinel Night Guard $119.50 4.0Review
Sporting Smiles Night GuardFrom $65.003.8Review
JS Dental Night Guard $129.99 4.1Review
Read our in-depth reviews of the top mouth guards for teeth grinding in the market.

Instructions on How to Clean a Night Guard

To avoid constantly replacing your night guard, it is important to properly care for it. You should clean it on a daily basis as a daily oral health routine. Read on for instructions on cleaning your night guard to avoid constant replacement and save money.

  1. Store your night guard in a case

Many people store their night guard in the bathroom. This is not ideal because, with time, humidity and steam in the bathroom may cause the night guard to warp. We instead recommend that you keep your night guard in a case and on your nightstand or bedside drawer.

  1. Maintain good hygiene of your night guard carry case

Many people promptly clean their night guards but forget to clean the carrying case. This is a waste of time and effort.. Wash your case every other day with a regular dish washing detergent. However, do not place the case in the dishwasher at high temperatures. Doing so may warp or melt the case since its made of plastic.

After washing, let the case dry to keep off growth of bacteria. Night guards cases are made of plastic that tend to wear out with time. You should therefore replace your case after every 6-12 months, or as soon as you see necessary.

  1. Use a soft-bristle tooth brush to clean the night guard

Immediately after removing your night guard, brush it with a normal soft-bristle tooth brush. You can buy a separate toothbrush for doing this. If you wish, you can also use your normal day to day toothbrush to clean the night guard.

Toothpaste can be abrasive and might cause your night guard to wear out faster than necessary. Therefore, do not apply any toothpaste to the brush you use for cleaning your guard.

  1. Rinse the guard every time after removing it

To loosen any plaque stuck to the night guard and to remove any debris, rinse your night guard every time after removing it.

  1. Ensure the night guard is completely dry before storing it

Bacteria thrive in moist conditions. Therefore,ensure your night guard has completely dried before storing it. If you place your guard on a clean flat surface, it should be dry in about 30 minutes.

  1. Carry out a weekly deep cleaning routine for your night guard

Forma habit of regularly deep cleaning your night guard. This should be a weekly routine. There are several deep cleaning methods you can choose.

To begin, you can use an over-the-counter denture cleaner. This can be bought at any pharmacy near you. The cleaning procedure is simple:

  • Put a sizeable amount of the denture cleaner in a bowl or glass of water and allow it to completely dissolve.
  • After this, place your night guard in the bowl/glass and let it stay for about 30 minutes
  • Finally, remove the night guard and dry it appropriately.

You can also clean your night guard using a mixture of mouthwash and water.

  • Pour a cupful of mouthwash into a bowl or glass
  • Add water to the mouthwash to a point where if you place your mouth guard in the bowl or glass, it would be completely submerged in the solution
  • Soak your night guard in the solution for up to 30 minutes
  • Remove the guard, rinse it with clean water and dry appropriately.

The last deep cleaning method is to use a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and vinegar.

  • Soak the night guard in distilled white vinegar for at least 30 minutes
  • After this, rinse both the night guard and the bowl with clean water
  • Next, soak the night guard in hydrogen peroxide for at least 30 minutes
  • Rinse the night guard with clean water and let it dry appropriately.

NOTE: Never let your night guard soak for more than one hour. An extended time in liquid can cause the guard to wear out even faster because of the material its been made of.

  1. Take your night guard with you to dental appointments

Carry your night guard with you during your regular dental appointments. This is to allow your dentist to inspect the guard and ensure it still fits you properly. The dentist can also check the guard for signs of wear and tear. Sometimes the dentist might clean the night guard for you.

Conclusion

As hectic and overwhelming as it may seem, cleaning your night guard properly is very important. Not only will this ensure the guard serves you longer, but will also prevent you from suffering from other dental conditions. Creating a routine for cleaning your night guard is the hardest part. Once you get used to the idea, it will be a piece of cake.