comfortable dental night guard

Can You Sleep With A Mouth Guard?

Can you sleep with a mouth guard?

Comfortable Night Guards and Where to Find Them

How long does it take to get used to wearing one?

Is there such a thing as a comfortable night guard?

These are the two questions that ran through Mary’s mind as she sat with her dentist. “You need a night guard, Mary. Plain and simple. Those teeth of yours are going to look like broken eggshells if you keep grinding them together” he said.

The thought of wearing a plastic teeth guard to bed every night really bothered her. Never one to just fall asleep into blissful oblivion, she couldn’t imagine ever getting used to sleeping with a foreign object in her mouth night after night. Skeptical Mary politely thanked the doctor, went home and took to the internet to explore her options. She thought to herself “can you sleep with a mouth guard?”

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Night grinding or bruxism is a condition that is characterized by involuntary grinding of teeth when the individual is asleep at night.

Night grinding manifests in varying degrees across patients, and may cause a number of problems to the person involved. In fact, with the constant grinding at night, teeth structure is likely to suffer since vital tissues of the teeth are exposed as a result of the clenching. Again, the patient’s teeth may become uneven.

Depending on the severity of the problem, the condition may be serious, prompting the individual to resolve the issue as fast as possible. Thankfully, the effects of night grinding can be controlled with a night guard.

A night guard is a simple dental appliance that is worn in the mouth so the patient can protect their teeth from the effects of teeth grinding. These effects tend to be irreversible. This means that the moment the damage has occurred, it is impossible for the teeth to regenerate, thus restorative work is needed to fix the problem. This can be costly.

Therefore, it makes sense for the patient to manage their condition using a night guard. And just like most other products on the market, there are many options.

  1. Is a night guard uncomfortable to wear?
  2. What are the factors that increase chances of a night guard being uncomfortable?
  3. What are some of the characteristics of a comfortable night guard device?
  4. What are the most comfortable types of night guards?

So. Where art thou comfortable night guards?

It depends on the type of night guard a patient chooses.

If one chooses to go with a store bought night guard, comfort is usually sacrificed, since store bought options are made in mass volume and created for the general public. On the other hand, if one chooses to buy a customized one, the device will conform to the natural contours of their dental anatomy, thus it will be more comfortable for them to wear.

Factors that increase the chances of a night guard being comfortable

Conformity to the mouth, the night guard material and the material thickness will play the main roles in determining comfort level. You can opt for a soft or dual laminate material which feels cozy in the mouth. Soft night guards tend to be very comfortable for those suffering from minor cases of bruxism. Dual laminate devices with a soft interior and hard exterior tend to be more durable and comfortable to the person wearing them. A hard custom night guard can be very nice as well, but make sure your dental impression is highly accurate. There is no room for error when wearing a hard night guard. If your hard night guard was made from a distorted dental impression, you will feel it! Thinner is more comfortable, but the thinner you go, the more you sacrifice durability and longevity.
A 2mm thickness tends to be the most popular choice.

Characteristics of a comfortable night guard

It has to be constructed with a special kind of plastic which is in perfect sync with the dental tissues & tooth structure in the mouth. Again, the device has to be a snug fit (not too tight, but not falling out of the mouth) to achieve maximum comfort, a.k.a custom made.

The different types of night guards and comfort levels

On a larger scale, there are three types of night guards a patient can buy. These include the standard types which can be purchased as ready-made, the boil and bite type which are partially customized, and lastly — a custom-made device done by a professional dentist or a specialized night guard lab such as ours.

The first option tends to be uncomfortable since it’s standard. The second option is not so comfortable since it’s slightly modified. Lastly, the fully-customized option is the most comfortable.


If a patient can afford it, it’s best that they opt for the fully-customized option, since it’s what conforms to their dental impression. Luckily, dental night guards have become more affordable thanks to the internet and online services that allow you to take your own dental impression using a mail order system. Thickness is a primary factor in night guard comfort. The thinner the guard the more comfortable it is (but may be less durable). Fabrication method is also a factor. A knowledgeable, trained lab technician will be sure to make the night guard as comfortable as possible.

how long do dental night guards last?

“How Long Do Dental Night Guards Last?”

Dental Night Guards: Longevity, and how to make them last longer

How long do dental night guards last?

If you have been diagnosed with bruxism by your dentist, they may have recommended a night guard for you.

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Dental night guards are pretty expensive. With such a hefty price tag, you may find yourself wondering how long a dental night guard will serve you. How long do dental night guards last before you need to get a replacement?

Night guards have varying durability

This can be is attributed to a number of factors.

One of these factors is the type of night guard. Dental night guards come in different types, and each type is prescribed for a given severity of bruxism.

The three most common types of night guards are: the soft night guards, dual laminate night guards and hard night guards.

The average lifespan of night guards typically given as 2-10 years (sometimes less – for the soft type). To understand the reason for this variation, let’s have a look at each type of night guard and its durability.

Soft Night Guards: Six months or more

sentinel soft dental night guard for bruxism

This type is commonly prescribed to patients with mild bruxism. These are patients who don’t grind or clench their teeth on a nightly basis, and when they do so, the grinding is not so significant.

The material used to make these night guards is usually soft and doesn’t offer as much durability as other types of night guards, although these soft ones do handle the cases they have been prescribed for pretty well.

So, if you’re a light teeth grinder or jaw clencher, the soft night guard should suffice.

Dual Laminate Dental Night Guard: 9 months to 5 years

sentinel dual laminate dental night guard

The next type of night guard is the dual laminate night guard. This version is prescribed for moderate to severe bruxism. It is usually hard on the outside but soft on the inside, and offers more durability than the soft night guard.

Hard Dental Night Guard: 12 months to 5 years

hard dental night guard sentinel

Last but not least is the hard dental night guard. Generally prescribed for moderate to severe bruxism, this type is more durable than double laminate, as long as it is 2mm thick or more.

This is due to the solid hard plastic used throughout the guard. Acrylic and acrylic-like plastic is a more durable material and can be known to last for 5 years or more under regular use.

Note: If you choose a thin style of any of the above mentioned guards, you can expect to gain comfort and a minimalist feel, but you will also be sacrificing durability.

Apart from the thickness of night guards, other factors also affect durability

These are: the severity of your teeth grinding as an individual, and the age of the individual. The age of the individual is a viable factor, since, for younger patients such as children, the night guards need to be changed frequently to accommodate the growth of teeth and teeth movement.

Despite the assured durability of a given type of night guard, there are certain practices that can cause the night guard to wear out faster than expected.

One of these practices is poor night guard maintenance. A common mistake, made by many people, is washing night guards using hot water.

Hot water is known to weaken the plastic, and as a result, the night guard loses shape and fails to fit well in the mouth, calling in for a replacement.

Eating and drinking with your night guard on will also contribute to reduced durability. The food or drink may discolor it and the food particles may accumulate on the mouth guard, providing a breeding place for bacteria and viruses. The material will discolor, become brittle and may warp or break.

Clean Your Night Guard To Ensure Longevity

cleaning your dental night guard

It is everyone’s desire to prolong the life of their dental night guard.

The surest way to do this is through careful maintenance of your night guard. Cleaning night guards is a commonly ignored matter when it should be imperative.

There are several ways of cleaning your night guard. One quick way is cleaning it using cold water, a toothbrush and toothpaste; just like you clean your own teeth. Keep in mind though that some toothpastes can be very abrasive.

What’s the best way to clean my night guard?

An ideal solution is to purchase a natural cleanser – such as Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Soap.

You can cut this particular soap with water so it lasts longer.

Using a soft toothbrush, place a tiny piece of peppermint soap on the brush and gently clean your guard. Remember to dry it completely afterwards. 

It leaves a nice peppermint smell. It’s all organic and very effective at keeping your guard fresh.

Apart from this simple exercise – which should be done on a daily basis – it is recommended that once in a week, you soak it in a mix of a mouth guard cleaner and water for a few hours. This will remove plaque and bacteria in the night guard, and also give it a nice smell.

Makeshift mouth guard cleaners such as vinegar have been suggested by some, though they are not highly recommended as their odor will penetrate the plastic.

Once you have cleaned your night guard, ensure you dry it thoroughly and keep it in a ventilated box, away from any heat source.

Dental night guards can serve you for a long time if you get the right type and maintain it the right way. In return for the service you are giving it, it will protect your teeth and save you from frighteningly costly dental repairs down the road.

Does A Mouth Guard Prevent Concussions?

Does A Mouth Guard Prevent Concussions?


Concerns about concussions among athletes continue to capture the attention of doctors and other sporting officials. A global consensus report has been released that provides useful insight concerning concussions and its appropriate diagnosis and treatment. However, this report does not fully answer the perturbing question – Does a mouth guard prevent concussions?

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Concussion refers to a certain form of brain injury that results from the trauma that is sustained to the head. Injuries that result from the concussion are so dangerous and could potentially end a sporting career. In order to prevent sport-related injuries, it is advisable to wear the proper sporting equipment. The biggest debate lies in whether a mouth guard is a capable form of sporting equipment to prevent concussion.

Mouth Guards

Mouth Guards play quite important roles for athletes especially in instances of aggressive contact sporting. The main use of a mouthguard involves protecting the teeth and preventing serious mouth injuries. They can also be used in the prevention of jaw injuries and limited studies have suggested that they can help reduce the risk of concussion.

Argument: why mouth guards do not prevent concussions

One of the commonly held myths in the sports medicine field is the premise that wearing a mouth guard can fully aid in the prevention of concussion.

On January 17, 2009, top neurological experts dismissed claims that mouth  guards can aid in the prevention of concussion, pointing to evidence that there is no credible research to back this idea.
There has not been any adequate research that links mouth guards to absolute concussion prevention.

So, what’s the primary use of mouthguards?
Mouthguards are mainly used in preventing athletes from lip laceration and loss of teeth. The idea that custom mouth guards can reduce the risk of concussion has been strongly presented (see below) but it is important to note that no mouth guard is able to prevent concussions.

Argument: why wearing a mouth guard prevent concussions

Many have advocated that mouth guards can prevent some sport related concussions as it helps in absorbing shock, thus stabilizing the neck and the head and limiting the movement that is caused by a direct hit to the jaw.

According to the study published in the Clinical Journal of the General Dentistry in a 2014 issue, the study found that high school football players who wear the store-bought mouthguards were twice as susceptible to suffering mild traumatic injuries in comparison to those wearing properly fitted custom mouthguards.

Mouth guard materials have shock absorbing qualities. They are resilient and soft enough to absorb the impact energy and reduce the transmitted forces. Forces from the mandibular impact can be attenuated with a mouthguard, resulting in fewer injuries. Mouth protectors are believed to reduce pressure changes and the bone deformation within the skull in the cadaver model.

The ability of  mouth guards to prevent head injuries and concussions falls into the realm of neuromythology rather than hard science. There is not enough convincing and proven evidence to support a full protective effect of the mouth guard in relation to the concussion. However, an absence of proof is not a direct proof of absence.

As it currently stands, mouth guards can possibly aid in the reduction of concussions (specifically custom made mouthguards) but cannot prevent concussion. Still, all athletes are equally susceptible to concussion and should wear the proper sports equipment to downgrade that risk as much as possible.

does a dental night guard stop teeth grinding?

Does A Dental Night Guard Stop Teeth Grinding?

Many people grind their teeth subconsciously in their sleep.

Medically referred to as bruxism, this condition affects many people, in oblivion; leaving the only chance of recognizing this condition to the signs of worn out teeth, which is dangerous.

Teeth grinding takes place when the upper jaw and the lower jaw move back and forth with a great force that tends to flatten out the teeth at the point of contact over time.

This wear and tear eventually leads to sensitive teeth, due to the complete wearing out of the enamel. This exposes the nerve endings of the tooth to its external environment. As a matter of fact, bruxism has been named as one of the major causes of teeth problems in the world.

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What is the purpose of a night guard?

To combat this condition, night guards were invented.

So, what are night guards? A night guard is a mouthpiece that is worn on the teeth to offer protection to the enamel during a grinding session, whether it’s happening subconsciously or not.

These night guards are usually not standard in size due to the fact that there are different degrees of bruxism, and different mouth types.

Night guards are not the sexiest things on earth – it is therefore not a surprise that so many people find the idea of using a night guard off-putting.

But if you don’t want to deal with the pain of losing a tooth or expensive teeth restorations and repairs, a dental night guard is the greatest solution.

And does a night guard stop teeth grinding?

Misconceptions in the medical world are unavoidable. Getting to know what night guards are and why one has to wear a night guard is not enough to separate fact from fiction.

In this case, the misconception is that night guards stop the teeth from grinding. The truth of the matter is that bruxism is a natural occurrence whose actual cause is yet to be established. However, several theories regarding the cause of bruxism have been raised, one of them being stress.

The lack of an established cause has relatively led to the lack of an established cure. There is no viable cure for bruxism. Treatments such as biofeedback hypnosis and Botox have been used in combating Bruxism, but the most effective treatment so far is the use of a night guard.

The role of a dental night guard is essential in prevention

A night guard protects the teeth from damage due to grinding rather than stopping the grinding itself. Since tooth grinding is natural and quite unavoidable during sleep, a night guard covers the enamel, protecting it with a layer of special material. This protects the enamel from damage during tooth grinding.

With this in mind, it is key to note that bruxism is a condition better diagnosed by a dentist.

However, there are some pointers that might help you know whether you have the condition: waking up with pain in the facial region and teeth, and or cracks and fractures on the teeth.

If you have these signs when you wake up, it is a good idea to visit your dentist as soon as possible to avoid permanently damaging your teeth. The dentist will recommend a night guard for you that will effectively protect your teeth from the grinding force of your jaw movement as you sleep.

What Is The Best Mouth Guard For MMA?

It’s safe to say that a bulky, bad fitting mouthpiece can wreak havoc on an athletes’ performance.

Discomfort = Distraction.

Looking for the best mouth guard for MMA? If you are involved in any form of combat sport, such as MMA, you need a mouth piece to prevent head or oral injuries.

One of the must-have protective gear pieces for that purpose is a mouth guard. Once you wear it in place, you will eliminate any chances of biting your tongue or the inside of your cheek.

The answer to the question “what is the best mouthguard for MMA?” is: one that fits the athlete perfectly.

It is the one that is custom made for you and not the “one size fits all” types you can buy from a store.

There are several mouth guards used during sports activities

Stock mouth guards – These are over-the-counter mouth pieces and have higher chances of failing to fit. Just as the name suggests, they are stocked in the store and are the mass produced types.

Stock mouth guards are typically made with a lesser quality material that is easier to chew through or wear out.

The three most common complaints from those using these types of guards are

  1. Inability to adapt or loose fit
  2. Wear down time – not durable or long lasting enough
  3. Bulkiness – the inability to breath, communicate & perform on a higher level.

Have you ever seen someone take a hit or fall and their mouthguard goes flying out of their mouth? This happens because the mouthguard is not properly formed to their teeth. This stock mouthguard type is simply the lowest quality and most inexpensive option.

Heat and form / boil and bite – These types of mouth guards assume the shape of your mouth when you boil and form them. They are therefore better fitting alternatives and are available in various sizes, prices and options.

Though they may fit a bit better, the plastic quality is still much lower than dentist grade material. Still, if you’re on a tight budget or in a pinch, this is an acceptable option.

Custom mouth guards – These types are simply the answer to the question “what is the best mouthguard for MMA?”.

They offer the best fit, hence the best protection. They are designed from a model of your teeth – allowing you to comfortably breathe, eat and drink. They are readily available online at affordable, discounted prices.

There are other types of high profile and low profile mouth guards, but they all fall under these three categories discussed above.

Low profile lip mouth guards – These are dual-layer design guards that protect the lower and upper lips, and feature centered airflow channels, a customized gel-fit bite surface, and high impact protection.

The best mouth guard should have the following characteristics:

  • Lets the player breathe and speak comfortably
  • Stays secure during MMA action
  • Offers complete comfort and fits perfectly
  • Is easy to clean and maintain
  • Is tasteless, odorless, tear-resistant and durable.

MMA is a full contact sport and so a mouth guard is crucial – especially a custom mouth guard, since it has all the of the features mentioned above.

Custom mouth guards for MMA are specifically designed to be able to distribute the blow throughout the head or mouth. Without this appliance, the blow affects the point of impact, causing intense pain and or injury.

Scanning of a human brain by X-rays
The human brain

A custom mouth guard for MMA has a well-built face to eliminate gagging reflexes in wearers which occurs when the inside is too thick or the guard extends too far back.

The material is well extended as far up the tooth as possible for tooth root protection, unlike in the boil and bite types where the material extends slightly above the teeth, providing little protection in case of a blow on the face.

A custom mouth guard for MMA is the best and most functional type of mouth guard. It is affordable and goes for roughly $99 – a cheaper price compared to the cost of replacing teeth with 2 / 3 unit bridges which may go for $1200.

The appliance rids you off physical pain, and instead, gives you protection and safety. Okay, custom mouth guard. Now, which one?

What Mouthguard Should I Buy for MMA (mixed martial arts)?

When training or participating in Mixed Martial Arts, one of the most significant pieces of equipment you should have is a combat mouth guard.

Simply put, without an appropriate mouth guard, you are more likely to end up with tooth fractures or trauma.

Whether you’re grappling or sparring, you should absolutely consider wearing a mouth guard because even a little punch or accidental hit by an elbow could break your teeth.

Teeth repair is expensive and avoidable with the right protection.

There are various mouth guards available for purchase at different shops all over the world. “One size fits all,” store-bought mouth guards exist at places like DICK’S Sporting Goods for less than $20. But do the cheaper guards offer adequate protection?

Some dentists are selling custom athletic mouth guards for $300+.

Making a decision on which mouth guard to purchase can be a daunting task because different materials, sizes and designs exist. We’re here to make it easy – your one stop mouth guard shop.

Your step-by-step guide to finding the most comfortable mouth guard available

What mouthguard should I buy for MMA? To answer this question, customized mouth guards have consistently been recommended by industry professionals as the most comfortable for your Mixed Martial Arts sport.

The main differences between boil and bite mouth guards and custom mouth guards are the fit, protection level, durability, and comfort provided by the customized type.

You should –without a doubt– take the step to purchase a custom mouth guard. Not only do they eradicate the forming issues that occur with the boil and bite guards, they increase your effectiveness as an athlete.

The company you choose for ordering your customized mouth guard determines the quality and type of the equipment you get.

In all instances, a true custom mouth guard means that an impression of your teeth needs to be taken (either by you using a mail order kit or by a dental professional) to obtain an exact shape of your teeth and gums.

Sentinel Mouth Guard Company considers your safety as the most critical principle, therefore giving production of custom fit mouth guards the highest priority.

This practice is consistent with recommendations from the Academy for Sports Dentistry and the American Dental Association that all collision sport athletes should use well-fitted custom mouth guards made with the most up-to-date machinery and materials.

Sentinel Mouth Guard Company is Affordable

Unlike various dentists who charge more than $300, Sentinel Mouth Guard Company allows you to purchase a customized mouth guard at a comparatively lower cost, starting for as little as $99.

This grants you the special benefit of evading the high consultation fees associated with visiting a dentist.

As an athlete, purchasing custom mouth guards from Sentinel will allow you to save potentially several hundreds of dollars. Better pricing is the key factor as to why Sentinel Mouth Guard Company is the best choice for athletes who need the highest quality mouth guards on the market and wish to avoid the expense of a dentist.

The Dental Impression Kit is Provided

taking dental impression
Mixing putty (base & catalyst) | Different sized dental impression trays |

The dental impression kit, or teeth casting kit, comes with easy instructions to ensure that you have everything you need to take a perfect dental impression.

On the website, the drop down menu allows you to specify the thickness of the mouth guard you need based on the level of MMA you are involved in.

This gives customers enough freedom to decide the type of mouth guards they prefer based on various factors.

For no-contact or very little contact you may want to choose a thin, 2mm mouth guard.

For full contact you will want to choose a 3mm guard.

The team operating the Sentinel Dental Lab is responsible for sending a new, free impression kit in circumstances when results of the first kit are not satisfying. This option is not typically cost free at your dentist office, and it remains an added benefit you receive as a result of purchasing your custom mouth guard from Sentinel Company.

Any adjustments and problems are solved through our online system

Unlike purchasing custom mouth guards from dentists who may give you more appointments continuously – and as a consequence increasing the cost – Sentinel Mouthguard Company has made things easy by allowing customers to present their problems online without incurring other expenses like driving to visiting a dentist.

This online lab gives money back assurance for a great customer experience.

For adjustments (example: mouth guard is too tight) Sentinel Mouth Guard Company will mail you a printable shipping label now via email.

Upon receipt of the mouth guard, adjustments will be made within (1) business day for a fast turnaround.

The mouth guards offered by Sentinel Mouth Guard Company are of high quality

The high quality result from using superior materials and computerized machinery ensures that you obtain maximum comfort and benefit.

The custom mouth guards from Sentinel are slender to facilitate basic life processes; such as swallowing, talking and breathing.

This makes them far more comfortable compared to the bulky mouth guards often given by the dentists or store bought mouth guards that have unnecessary excess material.

The high quality nature of these custom mouth pieces promotes durability, preventing the expenses associated with purchasing more mouth guards after a short period.

Sentinel Mouth Guards are professionally molded

The mouth guards from Sentinel are molded by skilled laboratory technicians with great features such as design with individual comfort and protection in mind.

Producing consistent, professional results ranks Sentinel Company as the most efficient mouth guard company for athletes, specifically MMA fighters.

As an athlete, you should consider this professional mouth guard company to ensure that you purchase the best, custom, high quality mouth guard for your MMA activities.

With Sentinel Mouth Guard Company, you will no longer ask “what mouth guard should I buy for MMA?” because the most affordable custom mouth guards are available right here without you ever having to leave your house.

How to clean your mouth guard

Taking care of your new athletic mouth guard

Once you get your new mouth guard, you need to take care of it.

A mouth guard is a breeding ground for bacteria. Don’t throw your saliva-soaked mouth guard into the bottom of your gym bag until your next training session.

When you get home, take a soft tooth brush & squirt a bit of mild soap on the tooth brush. We use Dr. Bronner’s Castile peppermint soap. You can dilute, and one bottle will last a long time. Plus, the peppermint smell is a nice bonus! Rinse and dry thoroughly. Store the mouth guard in your case.

So, what’s not to love about our services?

Need more reasons to choose Sentinel?

Email us at [email protected] or visit our website and we’ll help you find the right mouth guard for your MMA needs via Live Chat.

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