Dentists often recommend dental night guards to patients to protect their teeth from the harmful effects of grinding and clenching during sleep. However, if you're considering purchasing a dental night guard, it's important to choose the right one to ensure that it's effective and comfortable. In this article, I'll provide you with tips and advice to help you make an informed purchase decision and get the most value out of your dental night guard.
First, let's start by understanding the different types of dental night guards available on the market. There are three main types: custom-fit, boil-and-bite, and pre-formed.
Custom-fit night guards are made specifically for your mouth and offer the best fit and comfort. They are made by taking an impression of your teeth and creating a mold, which is then used to create the night guard. While they are more expensive than the other options, they are well worth the investment as they are more durable and comfortable to wear.
Boil-and-bite night guards are made from a thermoplastic material that you can mold to fit your teeth by biting into it after boiling it in water. While they offer a better fit than pre-formed night guards, they are not as comfortable or durable as custom-fit ones.
Pre-formed night guards are the least expensive option and are readily available at most drugstores. However, they are pre-formed to fit a general tooth shape and size, and while they may work for some people, they often don't provide a good fit and can be uncomfortable to wear.
Now that you understand the different types of dental night guards, let's discuss how to choose the right one for you. Here are some tips to consider:
Consider your budget: Custom-fit night guards are the most expensive option, while boil-and-bite and pre-formed night guards are more affordable. Determine what you're comfortable spending and choose the option that best fits your budget.
Consider your dental needs: If you have a severe grinding or clenching habit or misaligned teeth, a custom-fit night guard may be the best option for you as it will provide the best fit and protection. If you have a mild grinding habit and your teeth are relatively straight, a boil-and-bite or pre-formed night guard may be sufficient.
Consider your comfort: It's important to choose a night guard that is comfortable to wear as you'll be wearing it every night. Custom-fit night guards offer the most comfort as they are made specifically for your mouth. Boil-and-bite and pre-formed night guards may not provide as good of a fit and can be uncomfortable to wear.
Consider the material: Dental night guards are typically made from either acrylic or silicone. Acrylic night guards are more rigid and may be more durable, while silicone night guards are softer and may be more comfortable to wear.
When shopping for a custom night guard, cost should not be the determining factor in your decision. Although custom guards tend to be more expensive than stock or boil-and-bite guards, the extra cost is worth it for the better fit and extra protection. In other words, you should never compromise on quality for a lower cost.
The Bottom Line
Finding the right custom night guard is essential to ensure you get the maximum protection and comfort you need. When shopping for a custom guard, it is important to consider all factors, including the material used, the fit, the durability, and the cost. Taking the time to find the right guard will ensure that you get an effective and comfortable mouthguard that will provide you with the protection and peace of mind you need.