If you are looking to avoid high dental costs associated with teeth grinding, you have come to the right place!
Save your money by selecting a dental mouth guard that we have tested and proven to deliver results. Unfortunately, there are too many products out on the market that feel uncomfortable, wear out too fast, taste awful and simply won’t help cure your bruxism (teeth grinding).
Check out the table below for a quick reference to the top-notch night guards. But, also make sure you read their individual reviews below!
Top 8 Dental Mouth Guards for Teeth Grinding in 2018
The Four Types of Dental Mouth Protectors
Dental night guards can be lifesaving, there is no doubt about that. But, before you dive into a shopping spree you need to make sure you understand why they differ in price and how that affects their ability to deliver positive overall health benefits.
Stock Mouth Protectors
These are inexpensive and ready to use straight out of the box.
Stock night guards are widely manufactured and available through a variety of online stores, local drug stores and even sporting goods stores. Even though they are easy to find and acquire, they are not always easy to fit and impossible to adjust.
These pre-formed teeth protectors are not made to be altered in any way. Much like socks, they come in the form of “one size fits all”. Unlike socks; however, an ill-fitted dental guard can cause extreme unrest and discomfort to your jaw.
Plainly speaking, the guard will prevent the teeth from being clenched against each other. But, there is a chance that it will do so at the expense of various jaw related issues, such as Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMJ). This, of course, will not occur overnight. It will take months for such a serious disorder to develop.
The majority of pre-formed guards are made of cheaper rubber or polyvinyl material in order to be easily manufactured at larger scales. This often causes the protectors to continuously slip out if you talk, keep your mouth open, or do not tend to sleep on your back.
The pre-fitted protectors often feel bulkier as well. The rubber material does not allow them to adjust their fitting in your mouth. So, if anything, your mouth will have to adjust to them. This, however, is something you want to avoid – especially if you have a good jaw bone structure and are not in need of re-adjustment.
NOTE: If you notice that the stock mouth protector is causing you discomfort, STOP wearing it. If you wake up in the middle of the night or in the morning with jaw pain, you need to consider replacing the protector!
- Easy to purchase
- Many to choose from (not always a good thing)
- No way to know if it fits before it is tried on
- Made of cheap rubber
- Mostly not comfortable (tend to slip a lot)
There are two kinds of mouth formed (moldable) protectors: shell liner and the boil-and-bite kind (more popular).
The first kind is often used in professional sports and is quite known amongst athletes and sports personalities in general.
The shell-liner is made with acrylic gel or silicone rubber. This allows it to rapidly mold to the teeth and correctly adjust to the person’s inner mouth.
The boil-and-bite kind is also known as a thermoplastic mouth guard. In order to be properly adapted to the teeth, it needs to be boiled and bitten. The entire process takes a few minutes and is quite easy to perform.
Once boiled, the mouthpiece needs to be soaked in cold water for 15 or so seconds before fitted onto the teeth. This is by far the most utilized mouth protector by athletes and the general population as a whole.
- Easy to adjust
- Less expensive than custom-fitted teeth protectors
- Made of high-quality materials
- Cannot be molded more than once!
Custom-Fitted Dental Mouth Protectors
These are the best mouth guards, if you are a big spender, of course.
Designed by dwarf mages in mysterious laboratories, these magical dental devices will fit and perform better than anything else on the market.
In all seriousness, these teeth protectors are expensive because they are developed in dental offices and laboratories. The process is specifically designed so it fits the customer’s teeth perfectly.
First, a dentist or a dental technician makes a complete impression of your teeth. Then, the impression is used as a mold in order to create a custom-fitted guard for your mouth.
Even though the process itself is not complicated, it is time-consuming. So, you end up paying for quality materials and labor.
The best thing about custom-made guards is that they can be adjusted if you wear braces. The stock (or ready to use) mouthpieces usually only cover the upper teeth. With a custom-fitted product, the dentist can determine the teeth on which the protectors will fit best.
- Made of quality material
- Custom-fitted to your mouth and teeth
- Very comfortable
Semi-Custom-Fitted Mouth Protectors
I like to think of this type of dental guards as the “best bang for the buck”.
On average, they are 4-5 times cheaper than custom-made dental products and perform just as well. They will last up to 5 years, according to some reviewers and manufacturers. However, it is my experience that after a year or so, the material becomes too worn out and it is better to be replaced.
The reason we refer to these guards as semi-custom-fitted is that you are responsible for taking your own teeth’s impression at home. The process is simple, it takes about 5 minutes and it involves an impression kit that you will receive from the manufacturer.
There is no standard material that is being used for this type of teeth protectors. They can be made from a variety of EVA materials, silicone or acrylic. Their thickness can vary from 1mm to around 3mm, based on the manufacturer. Good companies will always offer a choice of thickness as well as at least one impression kit replacement in case you do not get it right the first time.
The entire process of semi-fitting can take up to a month. The faster you take your own impression and ship it back, the faster the entire process will be.
NOTE: Reputable companies will include a pre-paid mailer with the impression kit.
- 1-5 year longevity
- Custom-fitted and adjustable
- Choice of thickness
- Choice of material (with some companies)
- Takes 3-4 weeks to receive final product
Armor Guard Custom Dental Mouth Guard
- Type: semi-custom-fitted
- Material: 2 types of EVA material
- Guarantee: 30 days money back
- Highlights: ADA approved, BRA-Free, Toxic-Free, Latex-Free
This is the lowest priced semi-custom-fitted dental guard on the US market today. It is half the price of its closest competitor and it is made right here in the USA.
When I say semi-custom-fitted, I refer to a do it yourself impression kit that you receive at home. Instead of going to the dentist, you take the impression of your upper or lower teeth at home. Once this is done, you select the desired material and thickness of the guard and send all data to Armor Guard. In return, they give you a custom-fitted night guard.
Unlike stock mouth protectors, Armor Guard lets you choose between two materials. One is meant for people with no TMJ symptoms and milder teeth grinding issues. The material is a little softer and is not meant for hard clenching of the teeth.
The second material is harder and is generally designed for the heavy grinders with various symptoms, such as TMJ, headaches, and soreness in the jaw or ear muscles.
You can get either material in three different thicknesses – 2mm, 2.5mm, or 3mm. This allows for even greater flexibility that will ensure a really good fit for a reasonably priced product.
NOTE: This is not a product that you can order today and use tomorrow. Taking the impression of your teeth and sending it back will take time. Manufacturing and adjusting the piece will also take time. Our experience is that the entire process can take up to 21 days. But, the results are definitely worth the wait.
In a nutshell, this is a 3-way shipping:
- First shipping – you get the impression kit.
- Second shipping – you return the impression to the lab.
- Third shipping – you receive your custom fitted night guard.
Armor Guard also has one of the most dedicated customer services we have dealt with. All of our questions were answered via email or phone within 24hrs.
Some users report using this specific Armor Guard for up to 5 years. In my opinion, even if it lasts just one year, your return on investment and health benefits will be tremendous.
This is a product that we at Dental Dorks highly recommend.
Teeth Armor Dental Night Guard
- Type: semi-custom-fitted
- Material: EVA material
- Guarantee: 1-year warranty, 100% money back
- Highlights: ADA approved, BPA-Free, Latex-Free
This is a very close competitor of Armor Guard, and rightly so.
Teeth Armor offers another semi-custom-fitted solution that will save you money and return an excellent product. It is based on the same 3-way shipping principle as Armor Guard. You will first receive an impression kit, send it back to the lab, and finally receive your custom fitted dental teeth protector.
Even though this is a very reasonably priced product that fits and feels really well, it only comes in 3mm thickness. This is good for hard teeth grinders, but not for people who have mild symptoms of teeth clenching.
The actual material is soft, despite being thick. There is no bad odor or taste and the company will re-adjust the product as many times as needed. Or, at least, this is what their customer service policy page says.
Teeth Armor are US based and have great customer service from what I can tell. They were quick to get back to me via email and other reviewers have said that the company will readily replace the impression kit for free. This is great because it will allow you to repeat the process and get a better fitting dental guard.
Other than that, this guard will last a year or so, making it an excellent investment in your oral health.
- Type: semi-custom-fitted
- Material: Acrylic plastic
- Guarantee: 90 days money back
- Highlights: ADA Approved, BPA-Free, MMA-Free, Phthalate-Free
Made from clear and durable acrylic plastic, this guard is fully customizable. The thickness of both the upper and lower models ranges from 0.04” to 0.12” and it can be made from soft, semi-hard or hard acrylic plastic.
The manufacturer guarantees that the teeth protector will last up to 5 years. Less severe teeth grinding will inevitably prolong the life of the device. Meanwhile, werewolf-like teeth and severe grinding will likely shorten the lifespan of the guard.
What makes Sentinel superior to every other over-the-counter boil and bite guard is their superior guarantee and warranty. The company offers one year free replacements and 100% money back if you are not satisfied with the product.
In addition, to the money back guarantee, you have unlimited free adjustments!
All Sentinel guards are ADA (American Dental Association) approved. They are also BPA, MMA, and Phthalate free.
This product is as close as it gets to visiting your dental office and paying your dentist $500 or more for a custom night guard.
It is super easy to mold, especially if you follow the video instructions. Whether you need a lower or upper teeth protector, Sentinel will send you a kit with 3 different impressions. This allows for a far greater customization and better overall fit.
NOTE: This item requires molding.
Dental Duty Dental Guards
- Type: moldable
- Material: BPA-Free
- Guarantee: 30 days money back
- Highlights: FDA Approved
Dental Duty is another great alternative to the $500 teeth grinding guard you will get from your dentist.
This is one of a few companies that offer 4-night guards and two different sizes in their package. Each size is re-moldable which allows for more adjustments and a better fit.
NOTE: This is not a custom fitted guard. There are two sizes that you can mold to try and fit your teeth as best as possible. 99% of buyers have expressed positive reviews with this product!
Dental Duty products are FDA approved, BPA free and can be adjusted to the lower or upper teeth. This makes them quite flexible and earns them a good market edge when compared to similarly priced products.
In order to shape this teeth protector, you need to use the boil and bite technique. It only takes a few minutes and when done should provide you with a quality replication of a $500 custom-fitted guard designed by a dental technician.
There is a 30-day money back guarantee that in my opinion should be extended to 60 days. You should be able to tell if a night guard does not fit properly within 2-3 nights. However, sometimes shipping delays and busy schedules do not allow people to act fast enough in order to get their money back.
Other than that, this product comes with a cool anti-bacterial case where you can store your teeth protector. In addition to the case, you can use the original tray as a whitening tool. All you need to do is buy some whitening bleach and squeeze it onto the tray.
NOTE: We could not find any reliable information regarding the longevity of this product. Considering the price and comparable products, I would say each guard should last up to 6 months (you receive 4 in total with each package).
Denta-Pro 2000 Mouth Guard
- Type: moldable
- Material: Silicone
- Guarantee: None (contact seller)
- Highlights: FDA Approved, BPA-Free, Latex-Free
One of the best dental guards on the market that is not professionally made and does not cost hundreds of dollars.
Made out of high-quality silicone materials, this product is BPA and Latex free. Even though we did not find information if it is ADA approved, it certainly is FDA approved.
The package comes with three moldable protectors that can be used on the upper or lower teeth. They all have the same slim and flexible design that can be molded and adjusted to large and small mouths alike.
If taken care of, each of the three-night guards will last around three months. This means washing and storing the piece after each use. The entire value pack can last up to 10 months or so. It will all depend on the severity of biting and clenching of your teeth.
Overall, this product is definitely worth trying for the price you pay.
NOTE: Take advantage of the informative booklet that this value pack comes with. It will help explain the molding process and make everything much easier.
ProDental Thin & Trim Anti Grinding Guard
- Type: moldable
- Material: Polyvinyl
- Guarantee: 90 days free replacement
- Highlights: FDA approved
This 3 pack moldable night guard by ProDental is a great choice if you have a tight budget and tend to clench your teeth.
The polyvinyl material should provide for a durable design that is also odor and taste free. I find that to be partially true.
While the material is definitely odor-free and it does not have a repelling taste, the first guard only lasted about a week. Most other reviewers report that on average, each piece from the 3 pack should last you a month or so.
Having to buy a new pack every 3 or 4 months will inevitably drive the price of the product since you have to replace it every so often.
However, if you are willing to sacrifice on the price, this is by far one of the easiest to fit dental guards on the market. As such, it is also quite comfortable and does not slip during sleep.
As the name states, this protector is thinner than most and so you will not feel it as much once you place it on your teeth.
Another positive remark for this product is that it can be worn on both the upper and lower teeth. Just make sure you follow the proper instructions when molding the unit.
DentalCare Labs Mouth Protector
- Type: moldable
- Material: plastic
- Guarantee: 30 days money back
- Highlights: FDA approved, BPA-Free, Latex-Free
This is yet another readily available and moldable mouthpiece by a not very well-known dental company.
DentalCare uses harder plastic and so their guards are a bit thicker and darker in color. This makes them a good fit for larger mouths. I would not recommend this specific unit for kids or adults with smaller mouths.
The original pack comes with 4 guards and 2 sizes. But, even so, I would still not recommend their smaller size guards for people with small mouths. The thickness of the material will make it uncomfortable to wear.
Each of the 4 pieces can be molded up to twice, I’d say. Anything beyond that is a risk to completely ruin the guard. You can also mold them for your upper or lower teeth.
On average, each piece should last you 4-6 weeks. It mostly depends on the severity of your teeth grinding and clenching. The more you press on the material, the faster it will wear out.
I didn’t experience any bad odor or taste with either of the 4 pieces. In all fairness, I just opened and chewed all of them for testing purposes. I did not at any point test all 4 pieces for a week or so each.
Placker’s Dental Night Protector
- Type: stock
- Material: Ethylene and Methyl Acrylate
- Guarantee: None (no return, no money back)
- Highlights: None
When it comes to stock or non-moldable units, you want to make sure you get as many as you can – in case they fit well. In this regards, Packers are offering a pack that includes 14 disposable units.
Each guard lasts 3 days or so. Then you throw it out and go to the next one. This is why they are referred to as “disposable”. Such products are for mild teeth grinding and I would not recommend them in case you are looking for a serious long-term solution.
The quality is good, but I could not find if the product is BPA free, ADA or FDA approved. This usually means that it is not.
Some people have complained that the guards smell bad and need to be washed. This was not my experience, even though I definitely recommend you wash them before you use them. In fact, just about everything that you plan to put in your mouth. Just a rule of thumb!
NOTE: If you are going to use the teeth protector for more than one night, make sure you leave the foil lid attached to the packaging container. This is so you can store the unit back there.
Placker’s protector is designed to fit the upper and lower teeth equally well. There is a retention band that is placed between the front teeth and lip in order to ensure stability. I find it to work just fine for me. However, there have been complaints from people with larger mouths (literally, not figuratively) that the protector tends to slip out during the night.
How To Choose the Right Dental Guard
First, ask yourself why you need a mouth protector. Either go to the dentist or assess the extent of your current oral health condition.
For example, do you suffer from bruxism, headaches, TMJ symptoms, and soreness in your jaw muscles? If the answer is yes, then you most certainly want to avoid experimenting with cheap stock mouth guards.
If you have serious symptoms, an ill-fitted night guard can make things worse. Especially, if you are stubborn and use it continuously despite realizing that it does not fit perfectly.
Semi-custom-fitted guards are your best solution if you are not ready to spend $500-$600 with your dentist. The ones that we have reviewed here by Armor Guard and Teeth Armor are excellent products.
The second aspect you need to look for is a reputable company. Especially, if you are paying for custom-fitted or semi-custom-fitted mouth protectors. Often times taking your own impressions can go wrong. Any reputable company will send out a second impression kit free of charge.
In addition, innovative companies will offer upper and lower impression kits as well as different thickness for the actual guard.
Next, ensure that you are getting a BPA and latex-free mouthpiece. This is not just from a nostalgic regard for Mother Nature, but it is good for your overall health.
On average, the guard is likely to spend 6 or more hours per day in your mouth. You do not want to be chewing on harmful plastics for such a long duration of time.
Last, but not least, it is always a plus if the product you are choosing is FDA or ADA approved. This is not a requirement for night guard products. However, the companies that have gone through this process are obviously more trustworthy.
Author: Peter Mayhew
Peter is a dental hygienist in the city of Chicago, IL. In his free time he likes to write blogs and product reviews on anything dental health related.