Night Guards

5 Essential Tips for Adjusting to Your New Dental Night Guard

tips when starting to wear a new dental night guard

Welcome to your guide for sleeping comfortably with your new dental night guard. Whether you’ve just received your custom-fitted guard or picked up an over-the-counter option, adjusting to this new addition to your bedtime routine can take some time. However, with the right tips and techniques, you can ease into wearing your night guard seamlessly. This ensures not only a restful night’s sleep but also providing crucial protection for your teeth and promoting optimal oral health.

In this article, we’ll explore five essential tips to help you acclimate to your new dental night guard, from selecting the right one to mastering relaxation techniques for a peaceful slumber. So, let’s dive in and pave the way to a more comfortable and healthier sleep experience!

Here are 5 tips to help you adapt to wearing your new dental night guard:

  1. Start Slow: If you’re having trouble wearing the night guard throughout the whole night, begin by wearing it for short periods of time during the day to get used to the sensation. Gradually increase the wearing duration each night until you can comfortably wear it throughout your entire sleep. This gradual approach can help your mouth adjust more easily to the night guard.
  2. Keep it Clean: Proper hygiene is essential for both your teeth and your night guard. Clean your night guard daily using a gentle toothbrush and mild soap or a denture cleaner. Rinse it thoroughly before and after each use to prevent bacterial growth.
  3. Relaxation Techniques: If you find it difficult to fall asleep or feel uncomfortable with the night guard in your mouth, try relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation before bedtime. Relaxing your jaw muscles can help ease tension and make wearing the night guard more comfortable.
  4. Address Discomfort: It’s normal to experience some discomfort or irritation when first wearing a night guard. If you notice any sore spots or areas of pressure, don’t hesitate to adjust the fit or seek advice from your dentist. They may be able to make minor adjustments to improve comfort.
  5. Stay Consistent: Consistency is key when adjusting to wearing a new night guard. Make a commitment to wear it every night as recommended by your dentist. Over time, your mouth muscles will adapt, and wearing the night guard will become second nature, leading to improved oral health and better sleep quality.

Why choose a custom night guard?

Choosing the Right Night Guard is crucial for a comfortable and effective experience. There are various types available, including custom-made, boil-and-bite, and over-the-counter options. Custom-made night guards, typically crafted by your dentist or a mouth guard lab like ours, offer the best fit and comfort tailored specifically to your mouth.

Boil-and-bite guards can be molded at home for a more personalized fit, while over-the-counter guards are pre-formed and ready to use. Consider factors such as material, fit, and comfort when selecting the appropriate night guard for your needs. Remember, investing in the right night guard ensures not only comfort but also provides optimal protection for your teeth.

How long does it take to get used to wearing a dental night guard?

The time it takes to get used to wearing a dental night guard can vary from person to person. For some individuals, they may feel comfortable with their night guard after just a few nights of wearing it, while for others, it may take a couple of weeks or even longer. Generally, most people find that they adjust to wearing their night guard within a few weeks.

Consistently wearing the night guard each night can help your mouth become accustomed to the sensation, and any initial discomfort typically diminishes over time. If you find that you’re still experiencing significant discomfort or difficulty adjusting after several weeks, it’s a good idea to consult your dentist for guidance and possible adjustments to ensure the best fit and comfort.

What should I do if my dental night guard feels uncomfortable or doesn’t fit properly?

If your dental night guard feels uncomfortable or doesn’t fit properly, there are several steps you can take to address the issue:

  1. Assess the Fit: First, carefully examine your night guard to identify any areas where it might be rubbing, pressing, or causing discomfort. Pay attention to whether it feels too tight or too loose in certain spots.
  2. Try Adjustments: Custom made night guards can be adjusted either by the manufacturer or if purchased by a dentist, he/she will adjust your guard. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for adjusting the night guard to improve its fit. If you’re having any fit issues with your Sentinel Mouthguard, email us for adjustment instructions.
  3. Consult Your Dentist: If your night guard still feels uncomfortable or doesn’t fit properly after attempting adjustments, schedule an appointment with your dentist. They can evaluate the fit of the night guard and make any necessary adjustments or modifications to ensure optimal comfort and effectiveness.
  4. Consider a Replacement: In some cases, a poorly fitting night guard may need to be replaced with a new one. Your dentist or online provider can obtain new impressions of your teeth to create a custom-fitted night guard that offers better comfort and protection.
  5. Practice Patience: Adjusting to a new night guard can take time, so it’s important to be patient during the process. Give yourself time to become accustomed to wearing the night guard, and don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance if needed.

Can wearing a dental night guard improve my quality of sleep?

Yes, wearing a dental night guard can potentially improve your quality of sleep, particularly if you suffer from certain dental or sleep-related issues. Here’s how:

  1. Protects Against Teeth Grinding (Bruxism): Dental night guards are commonly used to protect teeth against the damaging effects of bruxism, which is the unconscious clenching or grinding of teeth during sleep. By providing a cushioning barrier between the upper and lower teeth, a night guard helps to prevent wear and tear on tooth enamel, reduce muscle tension in the jaw, and alleviate associated symptoms such as jaw pain and headaches. This can lead to a more restful and uninterrupted sleep.
  2. Alleviates TMJ Disorder Symptoms: For individuals with temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, wearing a night guard can help alleviate symptoms such as jaw pain, stiffness, and clicking or popping noises. By stabilizing the jaw joint and reducing pressure on the surrounding muscles, a night guard can promote relaxation and comfort, improving sleep quality for those affected by TMJ disorder.
  3. Reduces Snoring: In some cases, custom-made dental night guards can also be designed to reposition the jaw slightly forward, which may help open the airway and reduce snoring. By promoting better airflow and reducing the likelihood of airway obstruction during sleep, a night guard can contribute to quieter and more restful sleep for both the wearer and their sleep partner. Please note: Sentinel Mouthguards does not fabricate anti-snoring night guards. These types will need to be provided by your dentist.

Overall, while the primary purpose of a dental night guard is to protect teeth and alleviate dental-related issues, its potential to improve sleep quality by addressing bruxism, TMJ disorder, and snoring can have significant benefits for overall health and well-being. If you suspect that you may benefit from wearing a night guard, consult with your dentist or healthcare provider to discuss your options and determine the best course of action for improving your sleep quality and oral health.

How do I properly clean and maintain my dental night guard to ensure its longevity and effectiveness?

Proper cleaning and maintenance are essential for ensuring the longevity and effectiveness of your dental night guard. Here’s how to keep it clean and well-maintained:

  1. Rinse After Use: After wearing your night guard, rinse it thoroughly with cool water to remove saliva and any food particles. Avoid using hot water, as it can warp the material of the night guard.
  2. Brush Daily: Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a mild liquid soap or non-abrasive toothpaste to gently brush the night guard. Pay special attention to all surfaces, including the inner and outer sides, as well as any crevices or grooves where bacteria can accumulate.
  3. Soak Regularly: Consider soaking your night guard in a denture cleaner or a specialized night guard cleaning solution once or twice a week to help disinfect and remove stubborn stains. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the recommended soaking duration.
  4. Avoid Harsh Chemicals: Refrain from using harsh chemicals, alcohol-based mouthwashes, or abrasive cleaners on your night guard, as these can damage the material and affect its effectiveness. Stick to mild cleaning agents recommended for oral appliances.
  5. Store Properly: When not in use, store your night guard in its protective case to prevent dust, debris, and bacteria from accumulating on its surface. Avoid storing it in direct sunlight or extreme temperatures, as this can degrade the material over time.
  6. Inspect Regularly: Periodically inspect your night guard for signs of wear and tear, such as cracks, chips, or rough edges. If you notice any damage, discontinue use and consult your dentist for repair or replacement.
  7. Replace as Needed: Over time, night guards can wear down or become less effective. Depending on the type and material of your night guard, it may need to be replaced every 6 months to 2 years. Follow your dentist’s recommendations for replacement intervals based on your individual needs and usage.

By following these cleaning and maintenance tips, you can ensure that your dental night guard remains clean, comfortable, and effective for protecting your teeth and promoting optimal oral health.


In conclusion, adjusting to wearing a dental night guard may initially pose some challenges, but with the right approach and care, it can lead to significant benefits for both oral health and overall well-being. By following the essential tips outlined in this guide, including selecting the right night guard, gradually increasing wear time, practicing proper oral hygiene, employing relaxation techniques, and maintaining patience and persistence, you can ease into wearing your night guard seamlessly. Remember, consistency is key, so commit to wearing your night guard every night as recommended by your dentist. With time, you’ll find that discomfort diminishes, and wearing your night guard becomes second nature. Ultimately, investing in your oral health through the use of a dental night guard can contribute to a healthier smile and a more restful night’s sleep. So, here’s to better sleep, improved oral health, and waking up refreshed each morning!


sentinel mouthguards author
Ashely Notarmaso

Ashely Notarmaso is the author behind the Sentinel Mouth Guard Blog. She is the CEO and founder of Sentinel Mouth Guards (Founded in 2012) Her long-time work in the dental mouth guard arena and her excellent ability to listen to customer concerns in this often contradictory field has laid the groundwork to explore night guard/mouth guard fabrication in-depth and address real concerns. With the help of her team, she has created a unique fabrication method that promises a great fitting custom oral appliance every time. Amazon’s choice for #1 mouth guard! Visit the online store

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