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Night Guards vs. Over-the-Counter Night Guards: Which One is Right for You?

26 June 2023

Nighttime teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, can have detrimental effects on your oral health and overall well-being. To protect your teeth from grinding, night guards and over-the-counter mouthguards are two popular options. In this blog post, we will explore the key differences between custom night guards and over-the-counter night guards. By understanding these distinctions, you can make an informed decision and choose the right solution for your specific needs.

Custom Night Guards: Tailored Protection and Comfort

Custom night guards are professionally made dental appliances designed specifically for your mouth. They offer several advantages that contribute to their superior effectiveness:

Personalized Fit: Custom night guards are crafted based on impressions of your teeth, ensuring a precise fit. This customized fit allows for optimal comfort and protection against teeth grinding.

Targeted Thickness: Dentists can adjust the thickness of different areas in a custom night guard to accommodate specific grinding patterns. This customization enhances the night guard's effectiveness in preventing tooth damage and minimizing muscle strain.

Material Quality: Custom night guards are typically made from high-quality materials such as acrylic, which provide durability and longevity. The superior materials used in custom night guards make them more resistant to wear and tear.

Enhanced Comfort: Custom night guards are designed to fit seamlessly, minimizing discomfort and irritation often associated with ill-fitting mouthguards. Their customized shape ensures that they stay in place throughout the night.

Professional Guidance: Dentists play a crucial role in the customization process, providing expert advice and recommendations. They assess the severity of your teeth grinding, determine the appropriate night guard type, and guide you through the fitting and maintenance process.

Over-the-Counter Mouthguards: Convenience at a Lower Cost

Over-the-counter mouthguards are pre-made, one-size-fits-all devices that are available in pharmacies, sports stores, or online. They offer certain benefits, primarily in terms of convenience and affordability:

Cost-Effective: Over-the-counter mouthguards are generally more affordable than custom night guards. They provide a budget-friendly option for those seeking immediate protection without visiting a dentist.

Off-the-Shelf Availability: These mouthguards are readily accessible, allowing you to purchase them without waiting for a customization process. This convenience is particularly useful for individuals who need a temporary solution or replacement in a short time frame.

Variety of Styles: Over-the-counter mouthguards come in different styles, such as boil-and-bite and ready-to-wear. Boil-and-bite mouthguards can be softened in hot water and then molded to fit your teeth. Ready-to-wear mouthguards, on the other hand, are pre-formed and can be used right out of the package.

Key Differences and Considerations

When choosing between custom night guards and over-the-counter mouthguards, several factors should be considered:

Fit and Comfort: Custom night guards offer a precise fit, while over-the-counter mouthguards may not fit perfectly due to their generic design. Ill-fitting mouthguards can cause discomfort, difficulty speaking, and decreased effectiveness in protecting your teeth.

Level of Protection: Custom night guards provide optimal protection, especially for severe teeth grinding cases. The personalized fit and targeted thickness offer superior defense against grinding forces. Over-the-counter mouthguards, while offering some protection, may not provide the same level of coverage and customization.

Longevity and Durability: Custom night guards are typically more durable and longer-lasting due to their higher-quality materials and construction. Over-the-counter mouthguards may wear down more quickly and may need to be replaced more frequently.

Oral Health Considerations: If you have pre-existing dental conditions, such as misalignment or TMJ disorders, it is crucial to consult with your dentist before choosing a night guard. Custom night guards can be tailored to address specific dental issues, providing additional support and alignment correction if needed. Over-the-counter mouthguards, on the other hand, may not offer the same level of customization and may not be suitable for individuals with complex oral health concerns.

Severity of Teeth Grinding: The severity of your teeth grinding plays a significant role in determining the appropriate type of mouthguard. Custom night guards are recommended for individuals with moderate to severe bruxism, as they offer optimal protection and durability. Over-the-counter mouthguards may be suitable for individuals with mild teeth grinding or occasional use, but they may not provide sufficient protection for more severe cases.

Long-Term Cost: While over-the-counter mouthguards are initially more affordable, they may need to be replaced more frequently due to wear and tear. Custom night guards, although more expensive upfront, are designed to last longer and offer better value over time. Consider your long-term cost and the potential impact on your oral health when making a decision.

Can I purchase a custom night guard online?

Yes! Get the quality of dentist made night guard with the affordbaility of an over the counter mouth guard! Cheeky makes it easy and affordable to say sayonara to the pain and tension accompanying TMD and bruxism. Our custom night guards will give you the best night of sleep you’ve had in months. 

Pick your plan and customize your nightguard with Cheeky today.

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