6 Ways to Get a Better Night’s Sleep When You’re Stressed

1.) Make an effective nighttime ritual.

Your nighttime ritual should be composed of what works best for you. The main point to remember here is to make a valiant effort to think ahead for a better nights’ sleep.

Some examples include brushing your teeth, washing your face, taking a hot bath, preparing for the next day (ex: lay out your clothes), read a good book to fall asleep, listen to a guided meditation, etc.

2.) Make your bed and make sure your sheets are clean.

Even if you make your bed right before you get in, a made bed gives us a good, satisfied feeling. Clean your sheets, fluff your pillows, pull your sheets and comforter back to make it inviting.

You may think you don’t care about the bits of sand in your sheets but recent research says it matters. Most people say that they get a far better nights’ sleep when they have fresh clean sheets on their bed.

Remember to wash your pillows (not just the cases)!

3.) Avoid alcohol and drug consumption hours before bed.

Need an after work drink? Studies say do it earlier in the evening. Make sure the effects have long worn off before nighty time. Drink water before bed. Stay hydrated.

Going to sleep feeling a little buzzed may cause you to drift off with ease but you’re more likely to wake up after just a few hours.

Check out this excellent podcast featuring Matthew Walker, a Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, and Founder and Director of the Center for Human Sleep Science.

4.) Avoid your phone. Screen time keeps you awake.

There are many reasons for this. The blue light suppresses melatonin. It’s bad for your vision. The smart phone is also psychologically engaging. Social media can be especially emotionally triggering before bed. Avoid it like the plague.

Tom from TOMS Shoes makes it a point to keep his phone in the kitchen at night on a designated charging station far far away from his bed. When the temptation to start scrolling in the middle of the night arises, his phone is nowhere near. Instead, he uses an old fashioned alarm clock to rise and shine.

5.) Protect your teeth. Remember to wear your night guard.

Tension in your jaw may be causing more problems than you’re aware of. During stressful times, you’re more likely to grind or clench your teeth. This can cause pain that carries on throughout the day and night. Wearing a night guard relaxes the jaw muscles. This reduces the stress that is typically put on the jaw joint and muscles. The result of consistently wearing a dental night guard is a stress free and better nights’ sleep!

6.) Exercise during the day.

The sleep benefits from daily exercise are an extra perk of implementing a workout routine. Physical activity increases the time that you spend in deep sleep. Deep sleep is the good sleep your body needs. It helps boost immune function, supports cardiac health and controls stress and anxiety.

There’s actually a “best time” to workout according to studies. This is first thing in the morning or early afternoon.

Extra tips!

  • Don’t go to bed angry.
  • Wake up thirsty often? Keep a glass of water on the nightstand.
  • Focus on the present. Take deep breaths. Relax.

Do you have a recommendation? Comment below! We love to chat.

Have questions about our dental night guard products and services? We are available Monday-Friday from 9am to 5pm Eastern time. Customer service line 888.317.0724 or email us at [email protected]

Clear Dental Retainers: The Art of Scalloping

The Art of Scalloping

This article discusses the trimming and polishing methods of clear dental retainers, the benefits of implementing the scallop technique and answers some commonly asked questions about dental retainers.

Please note Sentinel Mouthguards does not provide services to straighten teeth. The dental retainers available for purchase are the FINAL clear retainer set AFTER all dental work has been completed. These are custom made aligners intended to keep your teeth in their current position and PREVENT any teeth shifting/movement. This is an excellent, affordable option in the event you need to purchase a new set of dental retainers.

What is dental retainer scalloping?

The scalloping of dental retainers involves trimming the clear aligners to follow the gum margin exactly as it appears on the individual (pictured above). The scalloped dental retainers should snap into place and fit over the whites of your teeth beautifully.

Other ways dental retainers are commonly cut and shaped

Dental retainers can be cut straight at or above the gingival zenith.

Why do we scallop our dental retainers?

This extra step ensures better retention, better comfort and improves the efficiency overtime. Yes. It takes a bit more time to fabricate the appliance but the results are worth it! If dental retainers are not trimmed and polished with care, the wearer may experience pain or discomfort. A common complaint while wearing clear retainers includes a cutting or pressing feeling in the gum area. Trimming and polishing the margins in a scalloped fashion lessens the risk of sharp plastic edges causing and issues.

Why do we use Essix Plus Dental Retainer Material over other brands?

Dentsply Sirona Orthodontics is a longstanding, proven brand of dental retainer material. In 2014 they improved their Essix thermoforming plastics by increasing the durability. They released this as Essix Plus Dental Retainer Material. This durability is also great for customers that grind or clench their teeth at night.

The standard Essix material has served customers well for many years but this new improvement not only strengthened the retainers, it lengthened the life of them as well.

How are the dental retainers supposed to fit?

The dental retainers are thin and clear and made to be an exact match to your current dental anatomy. They will snap into place. They may feel tight at first but will adapt to you after several nights’ use.

Why do I have to wear dental retainers after braces?

Most orthodontists recommend wearing dental retainers after braces because the teeth are still susceptible to shifting. By choosing not to wear your dental retainers you run the risk of having your teeth slide back to their former position. This of course would be an ultimate waste of money and hard work!

How often do I have to wear my retainers after braces?

This is up to your orthodontist. He/she will be able to evaluate your unique needs. You can expect to wear your retainers consistently at least 12 months after braces and maybe longer.

What is the difference between removable and metal/traditional braces?

Removable braces are thin, thermoformed aligners that can be removed with ease whenever necessary. These types are far less noticeable than traditional fixed braces. Services such as Smile Direct Club and are now offering this type of corrective treatment online.

Fixed braces are easy to spot. They’re the most common type still worn today. These braces most often seen on kids and young adults cannot be removed unless treatment has been completed and an orthodontist removes them. They are square brackets that attach to your teeth generally using a composite material. A wire runs through the brackets. An orthodontist makes small micro movements to the teeth overtime to slowly change the position of the teeth (see picture).

Need a replacement set of final dental retainers?

Thank you for taking the time to read our article!

Have more questions or concerns. Please visit us at

Our operating hours are from 9am-5pm Eastern Time. Customer service can be reached at 1.888.317.0724

thin clear day guard

Daytime Bruxism

This article has been medically reviewed and verified by Dr. Lara Coseo (DDS, FAGD) as of 6/10/2020. She is a 2004 graduate of Baylor College of Dentistry in Dallas, TX. Having practiced general dentistry for 13 years, Dr. Lara currently serves as an Associate Professor at Texas A&M College of Dentistry.

It’s doesn’t just happen during the night.

Jaw pain and tension can greatly impact your day to day activities and quality of life. Headaches, jaw pain or soreness and dental wear can be symptoms of day bruxism too.

During the day, clenching the teeth is more common than grinding.

Normal activities may induce a little bit of light clenching and that’s okay.

If you find yourself clenching your teeth together while you’re sitting at the computer for instance or while focusing on a task that is pretty common.

Now, if you’re reading this thinking YES I DO clench or grind my teeth during my day and I have the jaw pain to prove it, you may be suffering from daytime bruxism.

Additionally, you may benefit from wearing a thin night guard during the day to protect and save your teeth.

The Sentinel Mouthguard is a bruxism treatment indicated for relief of pain associated with jaw clenching and teeth grinding.

“But I don’t want everyone to know I’m wearing a guard during the day. I need to be able to talk on the phone and talk with coworkers..”

We hear you. Have you ever seen the thin Invisalign clear retainers? Our 1mm hard night guard is just as thin and unnoticeable.

So fear not! We have you covered. The thin daytime guard is clear in color and is virtually unnoticeable in the mouth. It is very thin so communicating with the appliance in is a breeze.

Interesting fact! Some studies suggest that diurnal bruxism is less prevalent in aged and experienced workers. Young workers in high stress in environments with less experience tend to clench and/or grind their teeth more regularly and with more intensity.

Do you believe you may be suffering from daytime bruxism? This is also referred to as diurnal bruxism in the dental field.

Some dentists speculate that teeth grinding and clenching is getting worse because of day to day stresses though other factors like sleep apnea can cause teeth grinding as well.


High stress occupations can cause daytime bruxism.

From paramedics to taxi drivers to customer service agents to stay at home parents, stress is oftentimes lurking behind the clenched jaw. Stress induced bruxism can come and go during your life. If suffering from sleep apnea, the bruxism can stay with you for much longer.

Signs of bruxism


Painful to chew gum or certain foods ex: steak

Jaw tension and tightness. Feels like jaw is never relaxed.

Jaw and/or teeth pain

Teeth sensitive to cold


What to do?

Habit awareness. Simply being aware of what you’re doing is the first step to recognizing the habit and making a conscience decision to stop.

Habit reversal therapy. A behavioral treatment that provides a step by step guide to reversing habits. This can be an effective tool to empower a person to overcome the urge to clench the jaw during the day.

Relaxation techniques. This includes focusing on the breath, mind/body scan, meditation, repetitive mantras, focusing on visual imagery, hot baths, sipping tea, sitting outside, etc.

Biofeedback massed therapy. A therapy that involves visual and audio techniques that help you gain control over involuntary movements.

Moist heat therapy. Hot compresses with a damp cloth on the jaw in the morning as soon as you get up. 20 minutes on each side can penetrate the muscles and help to loosen them up. Also, evening hot compresses after a long day can offer relief.

Treatment includes often includes night guards or splints. Hard splints and soft splints can help greatly to break up tooth on tooth contact and give the teeth a much needed break from bruxing.

Self massage on different points on the face. There are a few points on the jaw area that can be massaged daily to relax the muscle tissue and reduce nerve compression. Find out how to properly self massage the jaw here.

Other recommendations include getting a good nights’ sleep, eating well, daily exercise, reducing smoking and alcohol.

Daytime Bruxism

The good news is, you’re awake when you’re performing the action unlike nocturnal bruxism. Self awareness, that is, being cognizant of clenching the teeth during the day is your first step to curing the issue. When you find yourself clenching, take a deep breath and relax the jaw. We tend to hold all of our stress in our jaw. Relax the teeth. Relax the jaw and breath.

Lactic acid.

Similar to when we lift weights and feel sore after, a feeling of tension and tightness in the face can build up due to the constant “working out” of the jaw at night or during the day. Lactic acid builds up in the muscles.

Your teeth need a break. Your jaw needs a break but there is no relief because the act is involuntary. You’re not trying to do it!

When the muscles aren’t firing as much, they can relax and pain decreases.


daytime bruxism

The prevalence of daytime bruxism is high in the work place. Studies show that young professionals with less experience on the job tend to suffer from this parafunctional activity more so than aged, experienced workers. Certain therapies such as behavioral therapies, habit reversal therapies and relaxation techniques have shown promising success in lessening diurnal bruxism. Additionally, moist warm compresses on the jaw, wearing a dental night guard during the day and self massage can help greatly.


Okeson JP. The effect of hard and soft occlusal splints on nocturnal bruxism. J Am Dent Assoc. 1987;114(6):788–91.

S Varalakshmi Reddy, M Praveen Kumar, D Sravanthi, Abdul Habeeb Bin Mohsin, V AnuhyaJ. Bruxism: A Literature Review. Int Oral Health. 2014 Nov-Dec; 6(6): 105–109. PMCID: PMC4295445

Jager, W. (2003) Breaking ’bad habits’: a dynamical perspective on habit formation and change. in: L. Hendrickx, W. Jager, L. Steg, (Eds.) Human Decision Making and Environmental Perception. Understanding and Assisting Human Decision Making in Real-life Settings. Liber Amicorum for Charles Vlek. Groningen: University of Groningen.

Work, Stress, and Diurnal Bruxism: A Pilot Study among Information Technology Professionals in Bangalore City, India S. K. Rao, M. Bhat, J. DavidInt J Dent. 2011; 2011: 650489. Published online 2011 Dec 10. doi: 10.1155/2011/650489PMCID: PMC3235458

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Safety Update

Dear Customers,
We know that many of you are concerned about the Coronavirus (COVID-19). We would like to reassure you that we are using the most current information available to mitigate risk. We are closely monitoring the information provided by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) for guidance and will continue to update our procedures accordingly.
Please note we do not outsource ANY dental work to other countries. All production occurs within our lab in the USA. Additionally, our small employee number makes communication and cooperation within our team much easier to manage than larger corporations. We are all on board in making sure we take extra measure to protect the public from harm.
We take the cleanliness and sanitation of our products and facility very seriously. Sentinel Mouthguards always has full time cleaning staff and has added additional procedures during this time. We are also regularly communicating with staff members and stressing the importance of following the general flu prevention guidelines. For everyone’s convenience and safety, we have added additional hand sanitizer stations throughout our facility.
Sentinel Mouthguards takes the safety, health, and well-being of our staff and customers very seriously and will continue to vigilantly monitor the situation.

A note from the CDC on shipping products and packaging:

“In general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient temperatures. Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread most often by respiratory droplets. Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 in the United States with goods.”

What are public health officials are saying about receiving packages?

Ask the delivery person to leave the package outside. Open the package with a glove or wipe. Dispose of the packaging and glove/wipe outside. Wipe down the contents of the package with disinfectant and bring the contents inside.
Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions, concerns, or suggestions.
Thank you,
Ashely Notarmaso
sentinel mouthguard company logo
dental night guard as anti-aging device

Why a Dental Night Guard is Your New Anti-Aging Secret

Oh the anti-aging industry– a multi billion dollar production of over priced lotions and potions and serums. I, myself, just spent $75 on a small bottle of Retinol cream in hopes that these new lines and wrinkles appearing on my 37 year old face will magically disappear.

Alas, as Oprah Winfrey so eloquently says “even the most beautiful flower will wilt over time.”

Nevertheless, I shall continue to fight the good fight and there is one overlooked anti-aging secret that can make you appear YEARS younger; The Dental Night Guard.

How does it work?

By wearing a dental night guard at night you are protecting the teeth from wearing down and flattening.

Did you know? Shorter, flattened teeth are one of the most tell-tale signs of an aging woman or man?

Flat Teeth and Chipping are common signs of long term teeth grinding and jaw clenching.

“Is My Teeth Grinding Habit Making Me Look Older?”

When Glamour magazine ran an article last month about preventative aging & the benefits of wearing a night guard, many became enlightened to one of the sneakiest signs of aging. Teeth grinding and (as a result) teeth shortening.

Our Skin Is Nothing Without Good Bones, Muscles and Teeth Structure

Sometimes we forget that our skin is just a vessel for our bones and muscles. If a person undergoes changes to the teeth, whether they have them removed (and replace with dentures) or if the teeth have become much shorter over time,  it is common to notice sagging skin around the mouth and chin.

Physically, teeth grinding can have some long lasting effects. After years of wearing the teeth down, the face can develop a noticeable sagging appearance that cannot be fixed with anything less than expensive cosmetic work.

So why are my teeth flat?

The Problem With Short Teeth 

It’s no secret that teeth play a big role in the overall appearance of the face. The wearing down of teeth because of grinding and or clenching is a tell-tale sign of aging. Teeth that are too short age you. Other notable characteristics that can occur from teeth grinding are an enlarged jaw muscle (protrusion), and stress lines around the mouth.

Check to see if your teeth are too short

Stand in front of a mirror with your lips slightly apart in a relaxed position. If you relax your mouth and just leave it agape slightly, there should be between 1-3mm of tooth exposure. Do you see a little bit of your front teeth? If you do not, your teeth may be too short. This is not always a result of teeth grinding. This can simply be your natural dental anatomy. If you wish to have your teeth extended you can opt for direct bonding or porcelain veneers.

The Good News

It’s preventative.

A night guard acts as a preventative to the effects of teeth grinding and teeth aging. Think of it as putting your teeth in a perfectly fitting case each night before bed so that they remain safe and protected against well…yourself.

Simply wearing a night guard at night will prevent your teeth from wearing down. 1 in 10 people grind their teeth at night. A custom made dental guard is far less expensive than restorative cosmetic work. Preserve your teeth & face the natural way. It’s just as important and routine as putting face moisturizer on at night  to prevent dryness and excess wrinkles.

You’ve Decided To Wear A Night Guard? Great!

Now Keep It Clean

As you probably well know, wet and dark places are a great breeding ground for bacteria. Your night guard can go from a nice clear to yellow and smelly in a matter of months. Make sure you store your night guard in its original case. Clean with a soft toothbrush and a little toothpaste. Rinse thoroughly and store DRY. Dry is the secret to a clean long lasting night guard. You do not want water sitting in your guard night after night. Additionally, Efferdent makes a really great denture/retainer cleaner you can use once a week to preserve the life of your guard.

Additional Ways To Keep Yourself Young

Take Care of Yourself In A Natural Way 

Consumers will spend 290 billion  dollars this year (globally) on anti-aging products. There is always a latest and greatest product that claims reverse aging results. We think the best way to keep that healthy young look can be achieved spending as little money as possible.

Some tips to prolonging life spans and living well include:

  • Drinking purified water
  • Taking Vitamins
  • Wearing sunscreen
  • Exercising daily
  • Keeping stresses down
  • Eating raw fruits and vegetables

Other Reasons To Wear A Dental Night Guard At Night

Wearing a night guard has so many benefits! It prevents cracking and breaking of natural teeth and dental work. It will protect a new set of porcelain veneers, bonding, crowns & bridge work. If you wake up in the morning with jaw soreness, tension or pain this can be a sign that you’re either clenching your teeth at night or grinding them together.

white teeth make lip color pop

How a Whiter Smile Can Have an Effect on Makeup

You may have come across many articles discussing the opposite if this headline like, How Makeup Can Make Your Smile Look Whiter or 5 Lip Shades That Will Make Your Teeth Pop This Holiday Season

While it is certainly true that the right, bright shade of lipstick can make the teeth appear whiter, the more common result of wearing a bright or dark lipstick is that it draws attention to the mouth and simply accentuates what is already there.

If the teeth are already stained, focusing on a whiter smile first to enhance your natural beauty is hands down the way to get that wow factor you’ve been looking for. Once your teeth have been whitened, applying makeup including or excluding a seasonal lip color will make that new, white beautiful smile pop!

Most of us have picked up a few good makeup tips & tricks over the years.

My Mema used to say “If there’s only one thing you can put on your face, it better be a nice red lipstick.” But red lipstick and yellow teeth? Not such a great match.

So what’s a girl to do? Focus on a whiter smile first. Then build on that.

Why whiten your teeth in the first place?

Our teeth naturally darken over time. Drinking tea, wine or coffee daily can cause the teeth to yellow. All sorts of foods and drinks stain our teeth. For example, blueberries, beets, curry, tomato sauce, certain candies, soda, Gatorade are all delicious yet yellowing culprits.

Studies have shown that we humans have a positive response to a bright smile.

We attribute many characteristics (albeit presumptuous and possibly incorrect) to a nice set of pearly whites. This includes attractiveness, a certain level of assumed success, cleanliness and good oral hygiene. Hey, I know how this sounds BUT it’s a material world and I am a material girl.

Remember: Don’t let your makeup enhance your smile. Let your smile enhance your makeup.

Tips to Keep Your Teeth Bright and White

  • Whiten your teeth! There are hundreds of whitening products online all claiming to do a better job than the other at whitening your teeth. Be leery of high concentration of peroxides and bleaches as it can cause severe tooth sensitivity. Whitening your teeth with a safe, dentist recommended gel and using custom made trays will minimize contact with the gums (which can cause irritation) and has been proven to be the quickest, most effective way to whiten the teeth.
  • Brush your teeth often and use an electric toothbrush-not a manual. The cleanse you get from a good electric toothbrush is far superior.
  • Avoid coffee or red wines. Easier said than done, I know. If you simply can’t skip it, try drinking from a straw instead and/or brush your teeth soon after finishing your drink.
  • Eat super foods that help whiten your smile. Strawberries contain malic acid which is a natural whitening agent!
  • Stick to blue toned lip colors. Blue toned lip colors to bring out that white smile while more yellow tones enhance imperfections.

A whiter smile is worth investing in. Take care of your teeth and smile with confidence. We are here to help! Have a question or comment? You can also visit our website for dental night guards, athletic mouthguards and more! Feel free to comment below or email us at [email protected]

Magnesium examples

Can Taking Magnesium Stop Teeth Grinding?

Can taking Magnesium daily stop my teeth grinding?

Yes and maybe and possibly not at all. So why do so many people recommend taking Magnesium to stop teeth grinding?

Many people all around the world have attested to the positive impact that a daily dose of magnesium has had on their teeth grinding habit.

Magnesium levels could be low (particularly amongst women).

These low levels of Magnesium can cause one to feel more anxious, muscle cramps and nausea. It can also affect muscle function and nerve function.

Not all people can or should take magnesium in a pill form.

Some individuals may need to “up” their daily dosage of magnesium the good old fashioned way, e.g. eating leafy greens, avocados, broccoli, beans, seeds and nuts, even dairy products, meat, chocolate and coffee!

What is Magnesium and how does it work?

Do you remember Magnesium (Mg) from the periodic table of elements in your chemistry class?

Magnesium is an abundant mineral found naturally in the earth.

One important function of Magnesium is to help the regulation of blood pressure. Magnesium is also needed for the successful contraction and relaxation of muscles and nerve function.

Magnesium supports a healthy immune system, helps keep bones strong and gives you more energy. It does all kinds of things. In fact, magnesium aids in over 600 bodily processes!

How much should I take?

Always check with your doctor before taking Magnesium. The recommended daily dose is 400-420mg per day for men, and 310-320mg per day for women.

What does Magnesium have to do with my teeth grinding?

Magnesium can help relax the muscles. Specifically, it can help relax the small, twitching muscles in the jaw, which reduces the pressure of grinding.

This new addition to your sleeping regimen should be implemented in conjunction with some other nightly practices.

Taking a bath with Epsom salts, meditation, soft yoga, massaging the neck, and making sure your bedroom is a comfortable place to relax and fall to sleep are all things that may make a big difference to your teeth and jaw come morning time.

Fact: Drinking alcohol before bed worsens teeth grinding. Avoid drinking or taking any stimulants hours before bed time.

Are most Americans Magnesium deficient?

According to World Health Organization statistics, most US adults are deficient in magnesium. Up to 75% of adults in the US do not meet the recommended amount of daily magnesium intake.

A damaged digestive tract and/or certain digestive disorders may cause individuals to not be able to absorb Magnesium fully or properly.

Can I take too much Magnesium?

Absolutely! Taking too much Magnesium can lead to confusion, feeling sleepy (lethargy), muscle weakness and stomach pain/diarrhea.

What other home remedies are there to stop teeth grinding?

Some studies claim that B-complex vitamins have a significant effect on controlling teeth grinding. Deficiencies in B Vitamins have also been linked to severe psychological stress, depression and panic attacks.

Taking a B Vitamin supplement in addition to the Magnesium may help curb the intensity of teeth grinding and/or stop it all together.

Wearing a night guard will not stop the teeth grinding habit, but will protect the teeth from the physical harm that is caused from the habit.

In addition, the night guard will help relieve tooth aches and pain in the muscles and joints that stem from the grinding action.

Make good decisions. Lessen or cut out the things that you know may be harming you. This includes sugar, alcohol, caffeine, drug stimulants like Adderall, cigarettes, and negative situations that are causing you stress.

Are there any potential side effects of taking Magnesium?

Most common side effects from taking Magnesium reported are upset tummies, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Basically, all the tummy woes can occur.

This doesn’t tend to happen if you’re getting your Magnesium intake naturally (through foods). Magnesium supplements seem to be the culprit in this case more often than not.

Is teeth grinding caused by a mineral deficiency?

It could be that teeth grinding is caused by not just one factor, but many.

A mineral deficiency may be part of the equation. Another big part of the picture is stress. Researchers are still working to find the exact cause of teeth grinding and how to stop it.

What happens if I wear my teeth down?

Your teeth can start to feel like they’re “sprained” all the time. You may be able to press on certain teeth with your fingers and feel pain. The wearing down of your teeth can cause tooth sensitivity, jaw pain, tooth pain, broken teeth, and even not being able to open and close your mouth properly.

Can you cure teeth grinding?

can you cure your teeth grinding?

There is no surefire way to cure teeth grinding, but there are ways to lessen the intensity of teeth grinding. Sometimes we simply stop on our own with no real explanation.

Children oftentimes grind their teeth together intensely while they’re young, and outgrow the habit at a later age.

Adults can also go through spurts of teeth grinding throughout our lives only to stop and then start again. Some of us grind severely our whole lives.

Stress is still the #1 indicator of teeth grinding. We hold an incredible amount of tension in our jaw area. Be aware of this and take on the practice of stretching, relaxing the neck, face and shoulder area. Relax the mind and wear a dental night guard.

Did you enjoy our article? Feel free to reach out to us at [email protected] with any questions or concerns, or just to say hello!

We wish you the very best in your quest to stop teeth grinding. If we can be of any assistance visit us at

Will Dental Insurance Cover My Night Guard?

Your Dental Insurance and Purchasing a Night Guard

Has your dentist suggested you wear a dental night guard because you’re grinding or clenching your teeth?

You may initially balk at the dental office price, but you have good dental insurance and your custom night guard is surely covered. Right?

Many people assume that dental insurance would likely cover their night guard for teeth grinding (especially since it has been recommended by the dentist)!

Surprisingly enough, oftentimes dental insurance doesn’t cover any costs or offers to cover a certain percentage of the costs. If your dental insurance has decided not to cover anything, it could be because insurance companies argue that this condition is caused by preexisting conditions that have been slowly damaging your teeth, and by the time it gets the attention of a dentist, the damage has already been done.

This is simply untrue. The damage can worsen (to the point of very costly dental repairs down the road) if a dental night guard is not worn as a preventative measure. Anyone who has dealt with subpar dental insurance coverage can attest – what and how much they cover can be a finicky issue.

will dental insurance cover my night guard?

Our teeth are one of the most important body parts because they assist in two major functions of the body; chewing and talking.

Taking care of the teeth is not an option, but a priority. So when a certain problem that could potentially put the health of your beloved teeth at risk occurs, it would be wise do your best to  prevent damages before long term issues occur, as the cost for restorative dental work can be thousands of dollars.

Teeth grinding leads to the destruction of one’s dental anatomy because of the continuous clenching and grinding of the teeth. People who suffer from this problem usually experience it at night when sleeping. Once you discover this, you need to visit a dentist who will most likely prescribe a nigh guard for you.

night guard covered by insurance

What Is a Dental Night Guard

Before we go further, let us first find out what a night guard is. In simple terms, a dental night guard, or bite guard, is a small plastic appliance made of either soft, hybrid, or hard material. Its main function is to stop teeth from clenching and grinding against each other, which may cause permanent damage to the dental anatomy and its surrounding components (like the gums and jaw muscles).

This tooth grinding and clenching condition is also known as bruxism. It can be caused by stress and anxiety, the use of psychoactive substances, and abnormal sleeping disorders which push one to grind or clench their teeth together as a way of stress relief.

Why Won’t My Dental Insurance Cover My Night Guard? What Are My Options for Obtaining a Night Guard? Are there other options available?

Night guard alternatives

My dental insurance will not cover my night guard and I am in pain from grinding and clenching my teeth. I cannot wear over the counter/ store bought night guards. Are there any alternatives?”

Yes! You may be able to skip the dentist and purchase online. If your bruxism is a result of other conditions like misaligned teeth, you will need to go through your dentist to get a more complex night guard made that will actually move your jaw back into position.

Most insurance will typically cover the cost of treatment to correct the misaligned jaw. If you have braces, you will need to have a dentist fabricate your custom appliance. If you simply need a non-complex, non-specific night guard, you can purchase one online.

This at-home process allows you to purchase a night guard kit (impression kit includes plastic tray(s) + dental putty to take your own dental impression). You would then mail your dental impression to the lab and have a custom night guard made for you.

Sentinel Mouthguard Co. offers this online solution at a fraction of the cost.

Sentinel Mouthguards accepts payments using your FSA (Flexible Spending Account) or HSA (Health Savings Account) card.

Pricing ranges from $98-$130 (compared to $600+ in dental offices).

The material used is Proform by Keystone Industries which is a dentist-grade night guard material available in splint (hard) version or soft. The material is BPA, latex and silicon free. The night guards are made using a Drufomat Scan, which is equal to or superior than most dental office machines/equipment.

Trained lab technicians will construct, trim, and polish the custom night guard. A stone mold check is performed several times throughout the process to ensure the best fit possible. This involves testing the newly constructed appliances by placing it onto the stone cast of your teeth.

The process is repeated until the night guard fits snug on the teeth, but not too tightly. Sentinel Mouthguard Co.

crooked teeth
Crooked teeth? No problem. Sentinel Mouthguards are made to fit your existing dental anatomy. Whatever that may be!
night guard for crooked teeth

There is no ultimate fix or solution for stopping nighttime grinding and or jaw clenching.

Stress seems to be the #1 reason or cause for bruxism sited by dental professionals. Since curing this disorder is unfortunately not to be relied on, the best option would be to wear a night guard. This will alleviate the damages associated with teeth grinding or jaw clenching (including teeth wear/breakage, teeth flattening, headaches, jaw pain).

How Can I Use My Insurance to Buy a Night Guard?

Every dental insurance coverage varies in terms of the extent of services provided.

There are those that provide full coverage for bruxism treatment. Some offer partial coverage. Some offer bruxism treatment coverage but not the night guard dental kits or lab fees, while others do not make any payments on your behalf for any procedures in regards to bruxism.

Some insurances that partially cover the cost of bruxism treatment will fully pay for the treatment of tempo-mandibular joint disorders also known as TMJ syndrome. It truly depends on which insurance provider you have and what their policy is.

Pain is a side effect of bruxism. The symptoms also include headaches, jaw clicking, pain in the ears, jaw joint pain, sore and stiff jaw muscles, as well as pain in the temple among others. Some individuals self medicate or drink alcohol to lessen their pain, but pain pills and alcohol cal exacerbate the disorder.

Let’s be clear: If you are grinding or clenching your teeth at night you should be wearing a well fitted, professionally made custom night guard to prevent further pain and damage.

Is there anything I can do to just stop it all together?

Another option to take hold of the situation and save your teeth is to look at the factors that are causing this condition like stress, anxiety and sleeping disorders.

Before any cure is found for a disease, doctors will look at the root cause. Once you establish what is causing you to grind your teeth, you can explore ways of dealing with the main cause first, rather than treating the problem that is birthed after.

Ex: If your bruxism is caused by taking tea, coffee, smoking cigarettes and/or using other psychoactive substances, then the first option would be to address that. Your doctor can prescribe nicotine patches, or recommend alternative drinks to indulge in that will eventually lead to a stop to the bruxism.

If stress and anxiety are leading to the teeth clenching and grinding, then you should explore healthy lifestyle changes to relieve stress. Once you find another place to channel your stress, you will give your teeth a break.

The Final Verdict 

Will Dental Insurance Cover My Night Guard?

Check to see if your dental insurance plan will cover the cost of your dental night guard. Also, many of our customers have used their HSA/FSA accounts to purchase the Sentinel Night Guard. You may need to provide them with a detailed Sentinel receipt as proof of medical purchase.

If you cannot receive dental insurance benefits for your dental night guard, don’t despair. There are less expensive options.

Please avoid over the counter or store bought guards.

These cheaply made, mass produced guards can sometimes cause more harm than good.

It will be more costly if you decide to have one that is custom made to fit your dental formula perfectly, but the benefits will be beyond what you expect from a night guard, thanks to its perfect fit.

Do you have a dental insurance story you’d like to share with us?

Please comment below! We would love to feature your experience in our blog to help others suffering from bruxism.

why am I clenching my teeth?

Why Do I Clench My Teeth?

The Effects of Teeth Clenching

It’s hopeful to imagine that all you need for optimal oral health (especially the condition of your teeth) is a good diet and mouth cleaning habits. Unfortunately, there are other habits like teeth clenching which can easily cause destruction to your teeth.

Teeth clenching (whether during the day or at night) is a common condition affecting millions of both adults and children.

So, why do I clench my teeth?

How Do You Define Teeth or Jaw Clenching?

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Teeth and/or jaw clenching is one of the manifestations of a bigger problem known as bruxism.

Its unfortunate counterpart is teeth grinding, and they could occur together or one can act alone.

‘Clenching teeth’ is the static and sustained contact of both your sets of teeth using the jaw muscles responsible for closing the mouth. It’s a para-function, meaning it’s dysfunctional – not the intended purpose of the jaws.

Why Is Clenching My Teeth Harmful to My Dental Health?

Teeth clenching is a major problem because it wears out your chewing system.

Have ever asked yourself ‘why do my teeth hurt from clenching my jaw?’

It is because you are straining them. The human chewing system, known as the masticatory system, is designed to work for just 45 minutes every day. This is usually enough time for you to have your three meals a day.

However, teeth clenching (whether done in the day or night), can easily add anything from minutes to five hours of “working time”, which is more than 500% the duration the system is designed to be functioning at.

This leads to overworking of the teeth and other parts of the system, making them weak and worn out. This results in a number of disorders and can create an environment in which other problematic dental conditions thrive.

Causes of Teeth Clenching 

While scientists are yet to pinpoint exactly what causes teeth clenching, research shows the leading factor could be stress.

According to research, jaw clenching is a body’s way to fight stress. This happens because teeth clenching causes the brain to produce chemicals that help to fight stress.

In this self-preservation mechanism, teeth clenching helps protect vital body organs like reducing overproduction of acid in the stomach which leads to ulcers.

The chemicals also help control blood pressure and increase nutrient absorption in the small intestines. There are other causes of teeth clenching too, and they include;

  • Sleep disorders such as hallucinations, talking in sleep, and apnea can all lead to the development of bruxism of which teeth clenching is part of.
  • Poor lifestyle habits like smoking, alcoholism, and the use of other recreational drugs also contribute to the development of teeth clenching as a side effect or to deal with the strain caused.
  • Some types of medication, especially those belonging to the group which selectively inhibits the re-uptake of serotonin (SSRI’s) that are largely used for the treatment of depression. These drugs, like the recreational drugs and other substances above, cause teeth clenching as a side effect of their use.

Symptoms of Teeth Clenching

At times, it may be hard to know whether you are suffering from teeth clenching, especially if it happens when you are asleep.

For this reason, it is always recommended that you consult a dentist for a comprehensive dental evaluation. Some of the symptoms of the condition include:

  • Waking up in the morning with pain in the jaws or the jaws are tight
  • Morning headaches that are caused by the prolonged tension of the jaw muscles which are placed under a lot of strain.
  • Increased tooth sensitivity because the protective enamel layer of the teeth becomes gradually worn out and the nerves inside the teeth become exposed.
  • Pain in the area surrounding your ears when yawning or chewing food. It can also result in the development of sinus pain.
  • Swelling occasionally on the lower side of the jaw caused by the clenching.
  • For those using dentures: dysfunctions and the need to keep adjusting them or even replacing them.
  • Chronic pain in the neck and surrounding area – and when this is treated, relief only lasts for a short period.

If you observe these symptoms in yourself, we suggest consulting your doctor to rule out any other possible causes, and to get advice on the best method to fight the condition depending on the severity of your case.

The Damage of Teeth Clenching to Your Dental Health

Besides the symptoms, teeth clenching can lead to severe dental damage if it is not checked early. Some of the effects of this condition include:

Cracked and crooked teeth – the excessive pressure placed on the teeth leads to the development of small cracks in the teeth. These gradually expand, causing cavities and allowing bacteria room to get inside the teeth. The teeth can also become misaligned because of the constant excessive pressure.

Masseter hypertrophy – this is a term that refers to the enlargement of the jaws over time. This happens because teeth clenching acts as a workout for jaw muscles and makes them increase in size. This may affect your physical appearance.

• The overworking of the jaw muscles can also lead to bone and gum loss, which further lead to increased tooth root sensitivity.

• It can lead to adrenal stress syndrome since a dysfunctioning masticatory system has been shown to increase the cortisol levels in the blood.

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Prevention and Treatment of Teeth Clenching to Prevent Pain and Dental Damage

There are several practices and therapies you can use to prevent teeth clenching some of them include:

  1. Use mouth guards and splints – this is effective when one is asleep, and while mouth guards do not stop clenching, they redistribute the force of the clenching, preventing it from being exerted on the teeth.
  2. Avoid stress and anxiety whenever you can, and when it’s not possible, try to practice better ways of fighting it, like stress-relief exercises, and if necessary, counseling. Ignoring your stressful moments makes the body look for self-preservation alternatives.
  3. Avoid caffeine and alcohol which affect the quality of your sleep, leading to clenching at night, since your body becomes physically depressed.
  4. In cases of severe teeth clenching, a muscle relaxant can be used to prevent the jaw muscles from clenching while asleep.
  5. You can train yourself to be self-aware of the clenching, especially during the day. This can be done by keeping your lips together and teeth apart with the tongue in between.

It is not a guaranteed fix, but if stress seems to be the main trigger for clenching and/or grinding, it would make sense to take strides to lower your stress. How can we do this?

You are at your best when you’re optimal, and when are you optimal?

When you’re working out, eating healthy and taking charge of your life. Keep your body healthy. Keep your mind healthy and keep your stress levels down.

Wear a dental night guard to ease your jaw tension and stop the pain and teeth damage associated with teeth grinding and jaw clenching.

Want to chat with our team? Contact Us or use the chat tool on the lower right of your screen, Mon-Fri 9am to 5pm EST.

alcohol make my teeth grinding worse

Alcohol & Teeth Grinding

Does Drinking Alcohol Make My Teeth Grinding Habit Worse?

Carla noticed that her teeth and jaw hurt more after the nights that she would have a couple of drinks before bed.

“My teeth pain is definitely worse the next morning after drinking alcohol compared to nights when I don’t drink,” she tells her dentist.

“Wearing my night guard helps a lot… when I remember to wear it.” she adds.

Carla confesses that on the nights that she has imbibed, she is less likely to remember to wear the night guard before bed.
“I forget!” She tosses up her hands casually.

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Her dentist gives her a look and again stresses the importance of wearing the night guard.

“Think of it like a protective case for your teeth. The power of your jaw is greater at night. Much greater. It can do a lot of damage over long periods of time. Your teeth have little micro cracks in them. Fracture lines. I can see them. Alcohol & teeth grinding are linked. Alcohol intake before bed disrupts sleep patterns and can intensify teeth grinding,”

“And soon… You’ll experience far more than just a little pain and discomfort
(if you keep forgetting to wear your night guard that is).”

“Like what?” Carla asks.

“Eventually your teeth can start chipping and breaking. The teeth pain and jaw pain will become greater. You may begin to experience tooth sensitivity.
Not to mention teeth flattening that will make your skin around the mouth appear saggy.”

Carla’s eyes widen in alarm.

Her dentist smiles kindly. “It’s preventable Carla. Don’t drink before bed and WEAR YOUR NIGHT GUARD.”

Does Drinking Alcohol Make My Teeth Grinding Habit Worse? Really?

Recent research points to YES.

A series of over 800 studies were conducted on the link between sleep bruxism and alcohol consumption. Of these 800 studies, the authors selected 7 to be included (samples ranging from 51 to over 10,000 participants).

The findings were published in The Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA). Results showed that sleep bruxism was highly associated with alcohol and tobacco use – even more than patients who drank 8 or more cups of coffee a day!

It turns out that as far as nighttime teeth grinding goes, alcohol wreaks even more havoc on your teeth than an entire pot of coffee. Eek!

The study concluded by stating that while there is a correlation between alcohol & teeth grinding, more research is needed to further evaluate the effects of consuming alcohol, teeth grinding and the resulting damage that can occur.

Your Teeth Grinding Habit is Generally Linked to Stress.

As if carrying the weight of stress isn’t enough (sigh)? Now our teeth have to hurt too!

Most often, the stress in one’s life is how it begins. We hold tension in our upper back, neck and jaw. We clench our teeth together during the day and at night.

But the keyword here is “habit”. Once a habit is formed, it is hard to break.
Your stressful days may be long behind you, but that pesky teeth grinding habit can hang in their like a hair in a biscuit!

Bruxism can be an incredibly difficult habit to break, and one thing that does not help in the quest to stop nightly teeth grinding is the consumption of alcohol.

Things you can do to lessen the severity of teeth grinding, or stop it all together

1.) Lower stress levels.

These are things you probably already know, but are you implementing them?

Daily exercise reduces stress levels. It’s a known fact. Make good day to day decisions. Good decisions build self confidence.

Eat better. Be kinder to yourself and other people. Remember Newton’s 3rd law of motion? For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Be the best version of yourself. Stay away from negative people. Take control of your life or it will take control of you!

2.) Avoid alcohol, caffeine and any type of stimulants – such as adderall, diet pills, etc.

Teeth grinding intensifies after consuming these things, especially at night. Alcohol & teeth grinding are two habits that do not go together well. The end result can be damaged teeth and a whole lot of pain.

If you have a glass of wine, get it over with early in the evening and give yourself a few hours to wind down, or better yet, avoid it entirely!

Don’t drink coffee late in the day and for goodness sake how bout’ we put the cocaine and meth down shall we? For good!

3.) Wear a dental night guard.

Wearing a dental night guard for your teeth can greatly reduce and even eliminate the jaw pain and teeth pain that stems from grinding and clenching teeth.

It will 100% protect your teeth from further damage. It provides protection from the teeth so that there is no tooth on tooth contact. Make sure your night guard fits well and is comfortable in the mouth.

Avoid mass produced “one size fits all” dental night guards as the ill-fit and bulkiness can cause discomfort.

Signs that you’re grinding or clenching your teeth

  • Teeth pain/sensitivity
  • Jaw pain
  • Chipped or broken teeth
  • Your partner hears you grinding your teeth
  • Your dentist says you’re grinding your teeth

alcohol stimulants and teeth grinding

You Are In Control.

If you believe you’re suffering from teeth or jaw pain because of excessive teeth grinding, a.k.a. Bruxism, contact your dentist as he/she can evaluate the health of your teeth.

Take control early. Wearing a dental night guard is PREVENTATIVE. It can save you thousands of dollars down the road.

Have questions or comments? We’d love to chat! Connect with us via our Live Chat from 9am to 5pm EST, or feel free to email us at [email protected]

reventing gum recession

Why Are My Gums Receding? Common Causes and Prevention

When the margin of your gum tissue starts pulling back, your teeth are exposed.

This process is known as gum recession. It is not something that can be easily noticed since the process is gradual and the early symptoms are usually ignored. Gum recession is a serious dental condition which could lead to loss of teeth if left untreated. This is usually because the bone structure of teeth is damaged thus preventing teeth from being firmly held. If you have gum recession, you will be glad to know there are treatment methods available and steps you can take to prevent it from progressing.

Why Do Gums Recede?
1. Poor Dental Health
Brushing and flossing your teeth is mandatory. Failure to do these as required results in formation and accumulation of plaque which later turns to tartar.

2. Poor Brushing Methods
Brushing should be done gently. When done aggressively, it makes the enamel wear away thus leading to gum recession.

3. Periodontal Disease
This is a gum infection which destroys the gum and supporting bone tissue thus leading to loss of teeth. In many cases, gum recession occurs due to gum disease

4. Bruxism
This is the grinding of teeth. When a lot of force is exerted on teeth, the gums recede.

5. Tongue or Lip Piercings
As cool as these piercings look, they can cause damage. The piercings irritate the gum causing it to wear away gradually.

3 ways to prevent gum recession

How Can I Prevent Gum Recession?
It has been repeatedly said that prevention is better than cure and this is true in this case. There are various things you can do to make sure you are not a victim of gum recession. The most common 3 ways to prevent gum recession include:

1. Wearing a Mouth Guard
A mouth guard is a covering worn over the teeth. Its purpose is to protect your teeth from harm that may be caused by grinding or any other harmful thing.

There are different kinds of mouth guards. In order for them to work effectively, you need to know which type to use. The various kinds of mouth guards include:
a) Stock Mouth Guards
These guards come ready made and they can be easily found in various stores. Many people opt for this type of mouth guards because they are cheap. In the long run, they are expensive due to the oral damage they can cause. Most of us have different dental structures and needs hence, a mouth guard may need to be adjusted to meet those needs. Stock mouth guards can rarely be adjusted and this makes it difficult for you to talk or breathe normally.

b) Boil and Bite Mouth Guards
They are also commonly found in various stores. The boil and bite mouth protector works by boiling it to soften it and then placing it in your mouth. Once it is in your mouth, you can shape it using your finger or tongue by applying pressure around it. They provide more protection than stock mouth guards since their structure can be altered to fit your needs.

c) Custom mouth Guards
These are the best mouth guards to use. The guards are usually designed by your dentist or available for order online and fitted in your mouth after being molded. Unlike stock mouth guards, custom guards are comfortable to wear and offer maximum protection. Some people avoid using custom guards due to their expensive nature but a person can now purchase custom dental night guards online bypassing the dentist and saving hundreds of dollars.

different types of dental night guards

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The type of custom mouth guard prescribed by your dentist will depend on how severe your teeth grinding is. The main types of custom night guards include:

i) Soft Night Guard
It is suitable for mild cases of teeth grinding. They are made using soft material which makes it comfortable for you to wear it.

ii) Dual Laminate Night Guard
It is made of soft material on the inside and hard material on the outside. This type of night guard lasts longer and is suitable for severe cases of teeth grinding.

iii) Hard Night Guard
This is the hardest type of night guard and is suitable in cases of heavy teeth grinding. It can last up to 5 years.

2 Proper Brushing Methods
Brush your teeth gently preferably 3 times a day. Avoid being aggressive while bushing and also avoid brushing your teeth multiple times a day. This may make the enamel of your teeth wear off which results in gum recession.

Something most people do wrong is brushing their teeth for 30 seconds and then rinse their mouths and go. Proper brushing should be done for about 2 minutes so that you can remove as much residue as possible from your teeth.

If the toothbrush you are currently using is almost a year old, you need to throw it out immediately. Dentists recommend that you change your toothbrush after every 3 months of use. Yes, even if it still looks new, it may not be effective in removing plaque compared to new brushes. You should also change your brush each time you have a flu or cold to make sure the germs that stick to your toothbrush do not cause a re-infection.

3 Treating Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease needs to be treated as soon as possible to prevent further damage to your gums and bone tissues. The type of treatment you will require depends on how advanced the periodontal disease is.

Mild cases of the disease will require deep cleaning to remove plaque. A laser may be used at times to remove tartar and plaque. It results in less inflammation, less bleeding, and less discomfort. In addition to this treatment method, antibiotics may be prescribed to kill the remaining bacteria and reduce the size of periodontal pockets.

In severe cases, surgery is necessary. If deep cleaning and antibiotics do not work, surgery is unavoidable. In this case, the gums are lifted to remove tartar and they are sutured back so that they can be firm around the tooth. This procedure is known as flap surgery.

Grafting is another procedure performed to regenerate tissue of the bone or gum which was lost due to the disease. The graft used can be either synthetic or natural. The type of graft used will depend on your situation since each case is different. You should always ask your dentist about the level of success of the graft he chooses to use.

why are my teeth sensitive to hot and cold?

“Why Are My Teeth Sensitive To Hot and Cold?” | Sentinel Mouthguards

Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

“Why are My Teeth Sensitive to Hot and Cold Foods and Drinks?”

Tooth sensitivity is the simple term commonly used to refer to root sensitivity or dentin hypersensitivity. Having sensitive teeth means cold, hot, sweet and highly acidic drinks and foods, or even breathing cold air will make you feel pain in your teeth.

This problem is very common and is fortunately treatable.

Tooth sensitivity develops when our gums recede, or when the enamel, the outer, protective layer of our teeth becomes thinner. This exposes dentin, which is the underlying surface of the tooth – weakening the protection that the gums and the enamel give to the root of the tooth.

Dentin, the material found in the inner tooth, is composed of tiny tubules which contain microscopic nerve endings.

A hard outer coating of enamel covers the dentine in the crown section of the tooth.

The dentine in the root of the tooth is protected by a layer of thin, bony material called the cementum.

Nerve irritation –or dentin hypersensitivity– is the result of dentin losing this protective coating of cementum or enamel.

The stimulated hypersensitive nerve endings become inflamed, painful and sensitive when exposed to cold, hot, sticky, or acidic foods and drinks, and sometimes even cold air.

Below are some causes of tooth sensitivity:

Toothbrush abrasion –brushing teeth too hard, especially in a side-to-side motion. This leads to the wearing away of the enamel, particularly in the sections where teeth and gums meet. The newly exposed dentine becomes sensitive.

Dental erosion –this refers to degradation of the tooth enamel due to acid attacks from acidic drinks and food. The worn enamel leads to dentine exposure, resulting in tooth sensitivity.

Natural gum recession –this is when our gums recede or shrink back naturally, leaving the roots of the teeth exposed. The roots are therefore left with no protection, resulting in tooth sensitivity.

Gum disease –Accumulation of tartar or plaque can result in the gum receding downward. This may even damage the bony material that supports the tooth.

Pockets may also develop in the gums surrounding the tooth, rendering such sections hard to clean properly and worsening the problem.

Occasionally, heat sensitivity may indicate that the tooth is infected by bacteria from the inside. These bacteria may enter through a cavity, a crack, or a leaking dental crown or filling.

Bacteria emit gas as part of their natural processes. Exposing such a tooth to heat makes the gas which is trapped inside the hollow tooth interior to heat up and expand. The expansion of this heated gas applies pressure to the hypersensitive nerve tissue, causing pain.

gum disease
Tooth grinding –This habit involves grinding and clenching teeth together. This leads to the wearing down of the tooth enamel which causes the sensitive nerves in the dentin to be inflamed, leading to tooth sensitivity.

The solution to this problem is to wear a dental night guard. You can wear a daytime and/or nighttime guard. For more information on dental night guards and online ordering click here.

A filling or cracked tooth –a cracked tooth is one which is broken. A crack may begin from the biting area of the tooth and continue downwards to the root. Severe temperatures, particularly cold, may cause immense discomfort.

Tooth bleaching –There are people who briefly experience tooth sensitivity during or after the bleaching procedure.

How can I make my teeth less sensitive to hot and cold foods?

Tooth sensitivity can be reduced in several ways.

• Brushing thoroughly with low-abrasion toothpaste is one way

• Flossing daily is another way since this will eliminate plaque between gums and teeth

• Reducing intake of highly acidic food and drinks will also prevent this problem.

sleep apnea in relation to teeth grinding

“Does My Sleep Apnea Also Make Me Grind My Teeth?”

“Does My Sleep Apnea Also Make Me Grind My Teeth?”

It’s only natural for most people to grind and clench their teeth once in a while. Occasional teeth clenching and grinding does not usually cause any lasting damage or harm. However, when teeth grinding occurs frequently, eventually the teeth can be damaged and other more serious oral health complications can arise. This teeth grinding disorder can sometimes be coupled with sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea and Teeth Grinding. What’s The Common Thread?

The disorder “bruxism” is sometimes triggered when people experience periods of being partially awoken from their sleep. For that reason, bruxism is often associated with sleep disorders that engage in breathing pauses during sleep, extreme movements and snoring, which are symptoms linked to the sleep apnea disorder.

Other symptoms of sleep apnea include:
    • Snoring loudly


    • Feeling tired the next day


    • Morning headaches


    • Moody


    • Restless sleep


  • Sleep interruptions including choking or gagging

According to an article written for, sleep apnea is a condition that affects an estimated one in 15 Americans but often goes undetected. Likewise, bruxing or night teeth grinding statistics are roughly the same numbers. People who have sleep apnea repeatedly stop breathing during their sleep, in some cases, hundreds of times. Individuals with untreated sleep-apnea are usually unaware they are suffering with the disorder. This is the same case with bruxism. Most people are completely unaware of their teeth grinding or clenching. Sleep apnea is a bit more serious as it means the brain and the body may be deprived of oxygen, all while the individual is asleep. The most common form of the sleep apnea disorder is obstructive sleep apnea. This particular sleep disorder is caused by an inadvertent blockage of the mouth by the soft tissues in the rear of the tongue and the mouth collapsing during sleep.

Evidence tells us that nighttime teeth grinding (otherwise known as bruxism) is a red flag for sleep apnea. Studies have shown people are more likely to grind their teeth while they’re asleep if they suffer from a sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea.

sleep apnea and teeth grinding

You may be asking yourself, does having sleep apnea also make me grind my teeth?

In recent years; studies have indicated that airway instability during sleep, such as sleep apnea significantly causes nighttime bruxism. This makes sense. As we fall asleep, a shift in muscle tone regulation occurs with the parts of the mouth that are responsible for the breathing airway at night. Your brain repositions how the tongue, jaw and soft palette all interact at the toward the read of the mouth’s airway. This determines the way you are able to breathe and sleep at night, thus, affecting your sleeping ability.

As you sleep, the tongue in particular becomes less tense, naturally falling backwards towards the throat. This can lead to significant airway resistance or critical obstruction during sleep. Since the individual is sleeping, the only anticipated defense against this process is to continuously clench the teeth, i.e. grinding, to subsequently stimulate the muscles and soft tissues in the upper airway to hold the tongue in place and keep the airway more open.

These credible clinical researches have also shown that treating the obstructive breathing issues during sleep leads to significant improvement or complete resolution of nocturnal bruxism in many cases.

You certainly can’t die from grinding your teeth, but any breathing disorder can become life-threateningly serious.

sleep apnea & bruxism

Though there is no guaranteed cure for teeth grinding, this disorder may decrease in frequency and/or cease to exist if:

A: You are diagnosed with sleep apnea

B: Treat the sleep apnea disorder, as you will have possibly removed your body’s impulse to grind in the first place.

Keep in mind that if you grind or clench your teeth because of a separate reason (ex: stress) you may be able to resolve the sleep apnea but not the teeth grinding. In this case you will want to concentrate on tips to reduce your stress level.

How do I treat sleep apnea?

The most common treatment routes for sleep apnea are:

  • The use of a CPAP mask
  • Lifestyle changes (including exercise, diet, no smoking, no alcohol can significantly help)
  • Throat exercises
  • Treatment for an underlying medical condition
  • Keep regular sleep hours

Directly treating sleep apnea does not guarantee that your bruxism disorder will stop though if you have been diagnosed with both disorders you should seek treatment for sleep apnea. This may help resolve your bruxing as well. If you find you are still grinding/clenching and damaging your teeth you will need to wear a custom made dental night guard to prevent any further damage to your teeth.

Note from our author*

We now have almost 50 separate articles written & almost all are addressing questions that have been asked by real customers. Take a look around our Sentinel Blog. If you have anything to add, questions or concerns please use the comments box below. We’d love to talk!

What Age Can a Child Wear a Dental Night Guard?

Can a Child Wear a Dental Night Guard?

Short answer: Ask your dentist. Recommended use for children varies greatly.

As parents, we deal with miniature crisis’ all the time–scraped knees, growing pains, hunger pains, sick days, and everything in between. These common issues have aided us in becoming pretty proficient in what to do when unexpected situations arise, but when faced with child teeth grinding, there seems to be a lack of clarity, understanding and call-to-action.

Here, we attempt to answer the most common questions regarding teeth grinding or jaw clenching in children under 12.

What causes teeth grinding in children?

As of today, dentists, academics and researchers alike still can’t fully agree on the reason we grind our teeth. It is generally agreed upon, however, that stress & anxiety are contributing factors.

Is there anything I can do to lower the chances of my child grinding his/her teeth?

There could be some things in your child’s environment that trigger instances of teeth grinding. Some tips to create a calmer environment include:

  • It sounds cliche! But, minimize everyday stress. Plan ahead. Make lunches the night before school. Lay out clothes ahead of time. Get up on time in the morning. Understand the needs of your children and meet them.
  • Parents! Get control of your own anxiety. Your kids are “mini-you’s”. Lead by example.
  • Create a calm and soothing bedroom. Listen to your child and let them have a hand in decorating their own bedroom. Choose their favorite colors and consider low lighting.
  • Exercising every day and healthy eating. Less sugar.
  • Positive reinforcement instead of negative.
  • Reading books before bed.

Is there perhaps another reason my child is grinding (or clenching) his/her teeth?

One of the more common possibilities that are being explored has to deal with the growth phases of a child’s teeth and jaw. During the nascent stages of development, a child’s top and bottom set of teeth do not fit together comfortably. The instinctive response that some children have because of this fact is to grind their teeth to provide a respite from the discomfort that they may be experiencing.

Some children tend to outgrow the habit of teeth grinding. Other children may develop an attachment to the habit and carry it well into adulthood.

Ok. So how do I stop his/her teeth grinding?

You should know that there is no known cure for teeth grinding. Many children will outgrow the habit by age 12. Your first step is to schedule an appointment with your dentist. The dentist may suggest your child wear a custom night guard.
There seems to be a lot of contradictory information as far as what age is acceptable for a child to wear a night guard to bed.
Ask your dentist to see what he/she recommends.

Is there a choking risk?

There does not appear to be any choking risk from wearing a dental night guard.

Here is a great forum about dental night guard use from real users with personal experiences.

Custom Made Dental Night Guards


  • Far more superior to athletic mouth guards or OTC (over-the-counter, or mass produced)
  • Guaranteed proper and comfortable fit


  • The dental anatomy in children is constantly changing, so you’ll need to replace them frequently to maintain an exact fit.
Can a Child Wear a Dental Night Guard?

So what to do now?
Being a parent, you would immediately want to acquire a clear-cut solution to the teeth grinding challenges that your child is currently facing.

The first thing that you should do is to schedule an appointment with your dentist. An initial consultation with an established dental practitioner may yield a few solutions for this specific occurrence.

So, can a child wear a dental night guard?
The most common solution that dentists may prescribe is to have your child use a dental night guard while he / she sleeps. The decision to employ a dental night guard can prevent your child from forming permanent damage from grinding his / her teeth. Remember: teeth don’t grow back.

Risks and precautions

While a dental night guard may seem like an ideal solution for your child’s teeth grinding problems, there are still a few caveats that you must take into account.

Some children may not feel comfortable using a mouth guard at night. The sense of discomfort that they experience could interfere with their sleeping patterns. Even if your child doesn’t have any issues with using a dental night guard, there are still a few things that you need to watch out for.

Once you spot that the form of the dental night guard has become irregular, stop using the device and acquire a replacement as soon as possible.

Some children may experience oral irritation because of frequent utilization of a dental night guard. Before you have your child use the device, make sure that you check his / her gums for any mouth sores or other oral lesions.

Given the nature of appliance, dental night guards tend to accumulate a considerable amount of bacteria over a period of time. You must be rigorous when it comes to sanitizing the dental night guard that your child uses on a daily basis.

Over the course of using the night guard, make sure that you get to schedule regular oral exams with your child’s dentist in order to assess the progress that has been made or whether adjustments need to be executed.

Final Thoughts: Can a Child Wear a Dental Night Guard?

It is essential for you to acquire a dental night guard from a reputable dentist or online dental night guard lab. There are a variety of mouth guards that are available on the market and you may be tempted to acquire one, but you run the risk of compromising your child’s safety. While going to a dentist may require you to keep up with a specific amount of cost, you can guarantee that your child will be able to use a well fitted dental night guard that addresses all of his / her needs and preferences.

Mouth Guards – The Bad, the Good, and the Best Mouth Guard

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]So you’ve decided that you need a mouth guard. Not just any mouth guard. You’re looking for the best mouth guard!

Maybe you’re an athlete or maybe you grind your teeth at night, or maybe both. Maybe you already use a mouth guard, and you want an upgrade or a replacement. Whatever your circumstances, you’ve made a good choice. Take care of your teeth, and they’ll take care of you.

But where to begin? Worry not. Sentinel Mouthguards is happy to lay it all out for you and demystify the process of finding the best mouth guard for you.

We understand your need for the best mouth guard. If you’re an athlete or just trying to get a good nights’ rest wearing a night mouth guard, you need to be able to do what you do without being worried about a mouth guard that is too big for you or too thick or just plain uncomfortable.

In essence, there are three types of mouth guards: bad, good, and great. If those labels seem a bit judgmental, that’s because they are. When it comes to the health and well-being of your most precious bodily aperture (your mouth), we think you should get only the straight dope. And just like Roy Jones Jr., we don’t pull any punches.

While you may find some of the popular information on mouth guards to be obscure, irrelevant, or even contradictory, you can rest assured that the key factor that determines the quality of your mouth guard is actually pretty simple (even obvious): fit.

Below is a rundown of your main quality and fit options.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_column_text]43237-default-xl-1[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][ultimate_heading main_heading=”Bad.” alignment=”left” spacer=”icon_only” spacer_position=”top” line_style=”solid” line_color=”#333333″ icon_type=”selector” icon=”Defaults-thumbs-down” icon_style=”none” icon_color_border=”#333333″]Also known as “stock” mouthguards. Sometimes, you can “customize” these by cutting them with scissors if they’re too big… Ugh. They generally don’t fit very well, they’re usually uncomfortable, and they’re pretty much useless. It’s best to avoid this type of mouth guard.

In a nutshell:[/ultimate_heading][info_list position=”left” style=”hexagon” icon_border_style=”none” border_color=”#333333″ connector_color=”#333333″ icon_bg_color=”#89be25″ icon_color=”#ffffff”][info_list_item list_title=”Buy it.” icon_type=”selector” list_icon=”Defaults-dollar” animation=”fadeInUp”][info_list_item list_title=”Take it out of the package.” icon_type=”selector” list_icon=”Defaults-share” animation=”fadeInUp”][info_list_item list_title=”Stuff it in your mouth.” icon_type=”selector” list_icon=”Defaults-user” animation=”fadeInUp”][info_list_item list_title=”Try not to choke.” icon_type=”selector” list_icon=”Defaults-remove” animation=”fadeInUp”][/info_list][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_column_text]images[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][ultimate_heading main_heading=”Good.” alignment=”left” spacer=”icon_only” spacer_position=”top” line_style=”solid” line_color=”#333333″ icon_type=”selector” icon=”Defaults-ok” icon_style=”none” icon_color_border=”#333333″]You may have heard these described as “boil-and-bite”. These aren’t bad for certain uses and budgets. They do offer some degree of customization over “stock” guards, and they’re generally inexpensive. They’re made of a thermoplastic material, which is a fancy way of saying that they change shape when heated. This type of guard provides a level of customization, though limited when compared to custom-built mouth guards (see below).

new sensor-laden boil & bite mouthguard

In a nutshell:[/ultimate_heading][info_list position=”left” style=”hexagon” icon_border_style=”none” border_color=”#333333″ connector_color=”#333333″ icon_bg_color=”#89be25″ icon_color=”#ffff”][info_list_item list_title=”Buy it.” icon_type=”selector” list_icon=”Defaults-dollar” animation=”fadeInUp”][info_list_item list_title=”Take it out of the package.” icon_type=”selector” list_icon=”Defaults-share” animation=”fadeInUp”][info_list_item list_title=”Boil it. ” icon_type=”selector” list_icon=”Defaults-fire” animation=”fadeInUp”][info_list_item list_title=”Bite it.” icon_type=”selector” list_icon=”Defaults-cogs” animation=”fadeInUp”][info_list_item list_title=”Cool it. ” icon_type=”selector” list_icon=”Defaults-tint” animation=”fadeInUp”][info_list_item list_title=”Wear it.” icon_type=”selector” list_icon=”Defaults-user” animation=”fadeInUp”][/info_list][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][ultimate_heading main_heading=”Great.” alignment=”left” spacer=”icon_only” spacer_position=”top” line_style=”solid” line_color=”#333333″ icon_type=”selector” icon=”Defaults-thumbs-up” icon_style=”none” icon_color_border=”#333333″]This is where Sentinel Mouthguards comes in. Again, it’s all about customization. Where Good mouth guards provide some degree of personal fit, Great mouth guards are handmade specifically for you. In a laboratory. Pretty cool, right? This type also has more options for materials and thickness, to guarantee that they’re spot-on for your individual needs. And the kicker is that while this kind of mouth guard is usually crafted by a dentist with a hefty price tag to cover overhead, dental school loans, and who know what else, it doesn’t have to be that way.

best mouth guard

In a nutshell:[/ultimate_heading][info_list position=”left” style=”hexagon” icon_border_style=”none” border_color=”#333333″ connector_color=”#333333″ icon_bg_color=”#89be25″ icon_color=”#ffffff”][info_list_item list_title=”Receive your materials in the mail.” icon_type=”selector” list_icon=”Defaults-truck” animation=”fadeInUp”][info_list_item list_title=”Make your own mouth impression. ” icon_type=”selector” list_icon=”Defaults-cogs” animation=”fadeInUp”][info_list_item list_title=”Send the impression to Sentinel Mouthguards.” icon_type=”selector” list_icon=”Defaults-envelope” animation=”fadeInUp”][info_list_item list_title=”We build a custom mold of your mouth.” icon_type=”selector” list_icon=”Defaults-cogs” animation=”fadeInUp”][info_list_item list_title=”We use the custom mold to build a custom mouthguard. ” icon_type=”selector” list_icon=”Defaults-truck” animation=”fadeInUp”][info_list_item list_title=”We mail it back to you. ” icon_type=”selector” list_icon=”Defaults-user” animation=”fadeInUp”][info_list_item list_title=”You get a one-year guarantee that your mouthguard woes are a thing of the past.” icon_type=”selector” list_icon=”Defaults-ok” animation=”fadeInUp”][info_list_item list_title=”You rejoice.” icon_type=”selector” list_icon=”Defaults-smile” animation=”fadeInUp”][/info_list][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]We hope this article has helped you decide what kind of mouthguard is right for you. If you’re still unsure, get in touch with Sentinel Mouthguards and we’ll be glad to talk you through it. The bottom line: “Boil-and-bite” mouthguards aren’t bad, but custom-built mouth guards are better. In fact, they’re the best mouth guard. Oh! And when you’re finished here check out this article on custom mouthguards & their superior protective qualities.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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