Check us out on YouTube as we talk teeth #watchyourmouthSpanish
Check us out on YouTube as we talk teeth #watchyourmouthSpanish

BEST Night Guard for Teeth Grinding

Have you been grinding and clenching your teeth at night, or do you at least think you’re grinding and clenching your teeth at night? I’m Dr. Rachel Miro, and I’m an associate dentist here at Dental Implant and Aesthetic Specialists. Today, we’re going to be talking about what the best night guard is for you. Should you get a custom night guard, or should you get an over-the-counter night guard?

Over-the-Counter Night Guards

First, let’s talk about over-the-counter night guards. Over-the-counter night guards are kind of like a one-size-fits-all that you can mold to yourself. You can usually go to CVS or Amazon and purchase something that you put in boiling water and then fit into your mouth. Over-the-counter night guards definitely serve a purpose, and they’re good for our patients to a certain extent.


A big problem with them is they don’t last very long. Usually, when you get one of these, they last a maximum of two or three months. They’re not made to have longevity. They’re very soft, and they tend to break down quite easily. Another issue is they trap a lot of bacteria just because of the material they’re made out of, so it takes a lot more effort to keep them clean and keep your mouth healthy.

Custom Night Guards

One analogy that I like to use with my patients about custom night guards is that it’s kind of like a shoe store, right? You go to a shoe store, do you want a one-size-fits-all shoe, or do you want a shoe that really is perfect for your foot? Most people want a shoe that fits perfectly. Similarly, you want a night guard that fits perfectly to your mouth and is made specifically for you.


Here at our office, we really recommend custom night guards to all patients who are suffering from either clenching at night or grinding habitually. The process of getting a custom night guard is quite easy. You come into our office, and we take a mold. Here at our office, we use a 3D scanner, so you don’t need any of that gooey stuff in your mouth. These custom night guards give us the ability to make them really small and perfect for your teeth.

Comfort and Effectiveness

One big difference between custom and over-the-counter night guards is that custom night guards are really comfortable because they’re small and don’t take up a huge space in your mouth. They don’t affect your sleep as much. Over-the-counter night guards can affect your sleep because you’re trying to sleep with a bulky object in your mouth that might not be comfortable. These custom night guards are made perfectly for you, so they don’t affect your sleep as much, and you get used to them quickly. They protect your teeth perfectly because they’re custom-made to fit every contour of your teeth.


When we take that 3D scan, we also take into account your bite, which is how your teeth come together. This ensures that the night guard fits your bite perfectly and won’t affect your teeth negatively. The biggest roadblock for patients considering a custom night guard is usually the price. They are more expensive than over-the-counter night guards, but what I like to tell patients is that a custom night guard will last you years.


When you come in for your six-month cleaning, we actually run your night guard through our ultrasonic machine to clean it out and ensure there’s no bacteria on it. Additionally, if you have any bite changes or your teeth shift, we can adjust the custom night guard for you during your cleaning visits.


Sleep is one of the most essential things for our health and activity. Do you want to wake up tired every day? Probably not. Whether it’s an over-the-counter night guard that’s uncomfortable and not letting you sleep or you’re clenching and grinding your teeth, come see us. We’re happy to make you a custom night guard that’s comfortable, helps you sleep better, and protects your teeth. I’m Dr. Rachel Miro, a dentist here at Dental Implant and Aesthetic Specialists, and I’m here to help you watch your mouth.