custom dental night guard occlusal guard

5 Reasons Not To Pay A Dentist To Make Your Custom Dental Night Guard

A Quick Note On The Information Provided:

We strive to provide the most accurate information possible. The dental night guard (sometimes referred to as occlusal guard) suggested in this article is a basic appliance used to alleviate teeth grinding (bruxism), jaw clenching and to protect your veneers, crowns and bridges. It can even be worn as an anti-aging device.

Some individuals may require more complex, custom dental night guards. Some custom made occlusal guards can be used to treat issues such as jaw alignment, severe TMJ and tooth misalignment. A licensed dentist will be able to evaluate and determine which dental guard is best suited for your needs.

Date last reviewed for accuracy and completeness 02/25/20

Custom Dental Night Guards

occlusal guard

In a dental office, the average cost of the occlusal guard can be anywhere from $300-$1000. Online, you can get them for as low as $80. What gives? People are even applying for Care Credit (a medical credit card through their dentist) to pay for the custom fit dental night guard (sometimes called an occlusal guard). As if our society isn’t in enough debt, it’s everyday situations like these that make things even worse.

I was watching a documentary from director Tom Shadyac (of Ace Ventura) called “I Am”. Its good stuff! Watch it if you get a chance! The film touched on something that I found myself thinking about over and over. Tom talked about how nature only takes what it needs and how we (human beings) get into this mindset of “needing more”. Why is it that some people have more than enough while others are struggling to get by?

On a larger scale, medical cost is a huge political issue, and since I am just one tiny person, I won’t tackle that giant. Maybe later. Right now, I just want to focus on a speck amongst a big, giant blob of a problem.

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The Dentist and their dental night guards.

Below are five top reasons you should not let a dentist make your dental night guard (occlusal guard) for clenching or teeth grinding. Unless ,of course, you can talk them down to a reasonable price.

1. Get Your Dental Night Guard from An Online Dental Lab For WAY Less

Let’s cut straight to it. The #1 reason is because you can get the same exact product through an online dental lab

There is no difference in the process or material used to make the guard. None! Do not think you are getting a better quality guard through a dentist because you were duped into paying a premium for it. It’s a sham, a ruse, a hoodwink!

Whether you’re dealing with nighttime or daytime jaw clenching, teeth grinding, protecting your new veneers or tongue biting, a lab-made occlusal night guard will protect your teeth from physical harm.

Even if you go through a dentist, most likely they will send it to a dental lab and their fee is less than a quarter of what the dentist is going to charge you.

Did you know?

Mass produced night guards are discourage by most dental providers. Avoid the urge to buy cheap type ‘one size fits all’ guards. These types rarely last more than 6 months. They’re uncomfortable. They don’t stay in place at night and can even worsen your bruxism.

2. No Guarantee

Most dental offices offer no replacement warranty or satisfaction guarantee.

Let’s say you pay $500 (or more) for a night guard. You then go on vacation and stay at a nice hotel. You wear your new night guard like you’re supposed to only to come back home and realize – HOLY CRAP! You left that $500 night guard in the hotel bathroom!

You call the hotel. However, they cannot find your night guard anywhere! You call your dentist. They offer to make you a new one at a discounted price. They still have a stone mold of your teeth on file after all. How gracious of them.

You shell out another $250 for a brand new night guard. What if you receive your night guard and simply can’t get used to it? Good luck getting a dentist to remake your appliance or work with you to find the right type of night guard for you.

Want to switch to a different material or type of night guard? Forget about it! Most of the time you will hear these words “Go home. Wear it for a few hours at a time. Take it out. Give your teeth a little rest and try it again. You will get used to it.” Even then if you still say it’s too uncomfortable, some dental offices will charge you to adjust your night guard. As Vizzini from ‘The Princess Bride’ would say “Inconceivable!”.

One of the great things about Sentinel Mouthguards is that we will work with you to guarantee you have the right night guard. This includes trying a different material type, changing dental guard thickness, switching to a lower guard instead of an upper.

Example situation: A customer orders a hard night guard, but has issues getting used to the material. They decide to switch to the soft type instead, under our 90 day satisfaction guarantee. Try to find another dental night guard company that will do that!

3. Insurance Probably Won’t Cover You

9 times out of 10 the dental night guard is not covered by your insurance.

This needs no further explanation. Good luck getting your insurance to cover even a portion of your dental night guard. Insurance companies don’t want to pay hundreds of dollars for something non-invasive and pretty inexpensive to make, so why should you? If you have ever been confused by your own dental insurance plan you are not alone.

While your dental insurance may not cover you, your HSA (Health Savings Account) & FSA (Flexible Spending Account) credit cards can be used for dental night guard and retainer purchases.

4. Your Dental Night Guard Is Being Made By Someone Other Than Your Dentist.

The dentist does not make your night guard.

Nope. They do not. I know, I know. You are crushed right?? I mean, if I’m paying several hundred dollars for a professionally made custom fit dental night guard, I want my dentist to be back in the lab constructing and cutting and polishing and doing everything to make my perfect fitting appliance. Instead, the dentist sends the dental impression (that most often THEY didn’t take. I’ll bet my last dollar a dental assistant took your dental impression) off to a dental lab.

FACT: Even when your impression is sent off to a dental lab, that lab makes many other appliances and does not specialize in night guard creation alone. They are busy creating far more expensive and intricate dental prostheses such as dentures, partials, flippers, crowns and bridges. The night guard is low on their to- do list. The lab has possibly hundreds of orders and they don’t take the time because your night guard is going to go back to your dentist who is supposed to make tweaks and adjustments.

However, as many of our customers can attest, many dentists can’t seem to get the fit perfect and send you on your way hoping you will “just get used to it.”

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Our team cares. We are a specialized dental night guard, teeth whitening and athletic mouth guard lab only. We take the time to trim, polish, and make sure your night guard fits like a glove before shipment.

5. You Can Take Your Dental Impression Yourself.

You are perfectly capable of taking your own dental impression.

dental night guard

We’re talking about a plastic tray and some putty that resembles play dough. You mix the putty up, place it in the tray and submerge your teeth in it. That’s it! It’s not rocket science. If it were, dental assistants all over the world would be struggling daily.

Guidelines and tips when ordering online: Read the directions carefully when taking your own dental impression. Do not take your own dental impression if you have loose teeth, loose dental work or if you have braces.

If you mess up your dental impression for whatever reason, a reputable online night guard lab will send you a new kit free of charge. We use disposable dental impression trays unlike most dentists who clean and reuse the alginate trays time and time again.

Some dental assistants forget to rinse the plastic alginate trays after removing them from cold sterilization. Ever had cold sterile solution in your mouth? YIKES! You can rest assured that your mail order dental impression kit from Sentinel Mouthguard Co. will come with brand new disposable trays.

Interested in ordering?

Your most common questions answered:

“How does it work?”

First, decide which night guard type is right for you. One common question we are asked is which thickness to choose. The 2mm thickness is the most common choice. Just to give you a reference point, 2mm is about the thickness of a Nickel coin.

If you’re a heavy grinder you may need a more durable 3mm night guard. The 1mm is very thin and typically recommended for daytime use. Remember, any of our dental night guards will serve the function of protecting your teeth from the damages associated with teeth grinding and jaw clenching. These two articles will help guide you further:

Dental Night Guard Thickness: Which To Choose? 


Hard, Soft, or Dual Laminated Night Guard: Which is right for me?


Once your order has been placed you will receive a do-it-yourself dental impression kit. This kit contains two plastic trays (choose which one fits best), blue and white putty paks, instructions, and a prepaid return mailer.

Taking your dental impression is EASY! Check out our “how to” video. Upon receipt of your dental impression, we will make your custom appliance within 8-12 business days. That’s it!

“What if I don’t take my dental impression correctly?”
We will mail a redo impression kit to you free of charge.

“Can my night guard be used to prevent the look of aging?”

Yes! One of the major effects of teeth grinding is the flattening or shortening of the teeth. This is an indicator of age. Wearing a dental night guard consistently to protect your teeth from become shorter is a great addition to your nighttime regimen.

“What if my occlusal guard (night guard) does not fit correctly?”

Keep in mind that the Sentinel warranty and return policy is unlike any other. We stand by our products and will always work with you. This means that if you are dissatisfied with your product for any reason, you can either contact Sentinel within 90 days for a full refund or opt to continue working with us until you get a great fitting guard. Our commitment to you is 100% satisfaction.

“I LOVE the occlusal guard you just made 🙂 It fits perfectly and stays in place! I want another just like it. How do I reorder?”
We keep all impressions on file for one year from the purchase date. Place a new order.

Be sure to contact us for a discount to apply to your reorder. Upon receipt of the new order we will pull your existing dental impression on file and get to work!

So There You Have It Folks

Many consumers tell us that they have ordered a night guard from their dentist only to be disappointed in the fit, usefulness and ability to wear it comfortably at night. If you do decide to cough up the cash and pay a dentist, then you should be certain that they are going to work with you to your complete satisfaction. It’s one of the perks of going through a dentist. That is, the ability to get your night guard adjusted to your exact specifications if needed.

If you have started looking into the subject of bruxism and you’re trying to understand nighttime teeth grinding/jaw clenching, you’ve probably already noticed some real inconsistencies and downright contradictions out there.

For example the NTI night guard, is controversial in its usefulness and effectiveness. Some even say the small device is dangerous because of the potential to swallow it during sleep. Yet it’s popular. Some dentists ONLY make the NTI guard in their office. Others swear against the use of it.

TMJ is one twisted issue. Everyone is different – dental anatomy, habits and pathology vary widely from person to person. You may very well have to go through some trial and error to gain control of your bruxism and/or TMJ.

If you opt to let your dentist make your night guard, pay attention to what your dentist tells you. Be proactive and seek to understand your disorder. Make changes in your lifestyle to lessen the severity or intensity of the grinding/clenching.

yoga helps with bruxism

Yoga To Stop Teeth Grinding at Night?

Want to know how to stop teeth grinding at night? Start Doing Yoga.

how do I stop grinding my teeth at night?
How do I stop my teeth grinding at night?

Let’s skip straight to it. The generally agreed upon short answer to the question “how do I stop teeth grinding at night” is that it is very difficult to stop or control this involuntary habit that occurs in your sleep.

Over the course of your life you may go through some periods where you grind your teeth– maybe severely, maybe just moderately.

That does not mean that you should give up and quit trying to cure your bruxism. There are plenty of things you can do to combat the severity of teeth grinding. Stress is believed to be a dominant factor. If we can reduce the stress in our lives, we can, in parallel, reduce the stress driven force that is behind the urge to grind or clench.

What do we know about the “cause” of teeth grinding?

Bruxism is classified as a sleep disorder and there’s still a lot of debate about its exact causes.

The truth is, dentists and researchers are still not exactly sure about what causes the habit of grinding or clenching teeth as much as the effects of the disorder.

Some things we DO know:

  • Contrary to popular belief, your bite doesn’t effect whether or not you grind your teeth. In other words, it doesn’t matter if your teeth fit together perfectly or not.
  • If you do grind, it only happens in short bursts; it’s not happening all night. Each instance may only last from 30 seconds to a minute. Even if you sleep with your mouth open 90% of the night, you still grind the heck out of your teeth during the remaining 10%.
  • You can clench up to 130% harder at night than during the day, because your protective reflexes are switched off.
  • Clenching and grinding aren’t really the same thing:
    Teeth Clenching: the teeth squeeze so tight that they can’t move. These patients typically do little damage to their teeth, but have much worse pain.
    Teeth Grinding: the teeth still squeeze hard, but not so hard that they can’t move around. These patients tend to do a lot more damage to their teeth, but actually experience less pain.
    Some people do a mix of both.
  • Enamel is the hardest substance in the human body – 15% harder than your bones. To wear your enamel flat in a lot of places it takes a lot of force, a lot of times, over a long time period. You can’t wear out your enamel from moderate bruxism in just a couple of months.
  • Acidic foods (sodas, etc) weaken your enamel and make it easier for it to wear down during bruxism. It’s like a multiplier from negative bruxism effects on the teeth.
  • Stress seems to play a dominant role in the severity of bruxism. Make steps to create a calmer, more peaceful day-to-day environment.

The damage caused from teeth grinding can be downright scary.

Choosing not to wear a device at night that will protect your teeth could mean a world of very expensive trouble down the road.

It’s no secret that the dentist is expensive! Major restorative procedures are something most people tend to dread and avoid.

We do understand and sleeping with a plastic object in your mouth takes time to get used to. But you can get used to wearing it after a week or so. This is why we offer variable thickness choices so that you can choose which dental night guard thickness is right for you.

Can’t tolerate a thick durable night guard in your mouth? No problem! Choose a 1mm or 2mm thin style that snaps into place. It is hardly noticeable and very easy to sleep with.

Choosing to wear a night guard is choosing to take the proper measurements to prevent long term damaging effects. The good news is, we’re good at what we do! Even our most durable night guards (3mm+) are heavy duty, yet slim (so much better than anything store bought and even superior to some dental office made guards).

Comfort is our top priority. Sentinel guards fit over your exact dental anatomy for the most comfortable fit.

Pinpointing an exact cause of teeth grinding has proven to be quite difficult and the proposed reasons range so widely that it is confusing at best.

Though we don’t have all the answers, we do know that wearing a custom night guard is entirely beneficial. This fact can be agreed upon (almost universally) by dentists and researchers.

The night guard appliance will break up that direct tooth on tooth contact instead of letting teeth grind against each other, causing TMJ tooth, neck, and jaw pain – and in some instances abscesses.

In regard to abscesses: continuous bruxing on a particular tooth can irritate the periodontal membrane and cause it to thicken over time.

When this happens, the tooth sits higher up (micromillimeters higher) in the jaw, causing you to keep ‘hitting it’ when you grind, thus irritating it even more (and eventually leading to a root canal, a.k.a. more dentist expenses).

Reducing stress to help stop bruxism

When trying to reduce stress in your life, think about your daily habits.

Starting from when you first wake up. What do you so?

Caffeine reduction, fitting exercise into your schedule, eating healthier, quitting smoking/alcohol consumption, and removing the negative from your life can lighten your physical and mental loads significantly.

How do we reduce stress?

Stress is an almost unavoidable part of life.

According to the latest ADAA survey on anxiety and stress disorders, 3 in 5 US adults say they experience anxiety or stress every day. Most say the stress, at the very least, interferes with their lives moderately.

When people were surveyed by the American Psychological Association in 2009, more of them reported emotional and physical symptoms as a result of stress than they did in 2008, and, almost half reported that their stress had gone up in that past year.

It is almost impossible to get rid of stress, but you can learn how to manage it, and most people normally do.

In a recent ADAA poll, some 15% of people use physical exercise to cope with stress. Others reported turning over to family or friends (20%), sleeping (19%), watching TV or movies (16%), as well as listening to music (17%) and eating (13%).

While each of these are popular coping techniques, yoga is among the most underestimated powerful stress reducers and is recommended by health care experts.

Interestingly, among the poll takers who do physical exercise, only a small percentage consider yoga as a powerful stress reducer: yoga (10%), walking (30%), and running (21%).

Here are some brilliant ways to manage and reduce stress, promote peace, relaxation and calm within yourself:

1. Exercise and Yoga

Exercise is the main method of promoting relaxation and reducing stress for most people. One of the values of regular exercise is the moderating effect it has on emotion. This is a long-standing benefit, but non-aerobic and aerobic exercise may also work in severe situations as an ideal symptomatic treatment.
If you feel upset or angry, a brisk run or walk, or a half-hour of weight lifting will every so often keep you in a nice mood. However, even though exercise is an ideal way to burn off excess energy, it doesn’t teach you how to manage stress in a different way. Because of that, it isn’t recommended as your only method of relaxation, rather it’s a supplement to another method, like visualization, yoga or breathing, for example.
Yoga is a superb relaxation promoter as well as a great form of non-aerobic body conditioning. It complements aerobic exercise perfectly.

2. Body Work and Massage

Enjoy a massage or other type of bodywork, for a perfect, relaxing experience. You need to give in to the touch of a professional therapist and be totally passive in order to derive full benefit.

There’s a great deal of evidence that the nervous system and state of mind are mirrored in the musculature state – bodywork is one-route into our unconscious mind. Some types of massage tend to be more relaxing compared to others.

Some of the most popular forms of massages for reducing stress include Trager work – a system that makes use of bouncing and rocking movements to calm and lull the recipients into a very pensive altered state– as well as Watsu, that is done using warm water.

Massage-like exercise, is more of a symptomatic stress reducer than a lasting treatment. It also tends to be limited in how it is applied, because only a few people are able to visit a massage therapist every day, and most people require practicing relaxation skills every day.

3. Meditation

Meditation is “directed concentration”. Meditation leaders practice focusing their consciousness and target it onto a body: the breath, a word or phrase repeated silently, images in the eye of the mind, or memorized inspirational passages.

Immediate benefits have been documented by researchers in terms of respiratory rate or decreased heart, increased blood flow, lowered blood pressure, as well as other measurable precursors of the relaxation responses.

Even though meditation potentials are vast, not everybody should go for it as a way of relaxing because many people aren’t ready to get into meditation.

The first move is to come up with good exercise schedules, learn to breath properly, and improve one’s diet.

Some individuals may derive from simpler relaxation techniques, ones that offer instant results without much effort.

Shop around a form that seems comfortable and one that isn’t at odds with your belief-system and suits, if you want to start meditating. All types of meditation call for regular, every day practice for a long time period before they deliver huge rewards.

Start to meditate on daily basis without fail, 20-30 minutes being a sensible time length to reduce stress.

Many people tend to think the goal is to halt every thought. That is not really possible. Withdrawing your attention from the unending chains of relentless thoughts that continuously stream through your mind is what you wish to learn. Whenever you are aware that your concentration has strayed (to thoughts of dinner, sensations etc.) slowly direct back to your selected object. Meditation requires just this continuous awareness of your attention/focus and fetching it back.

4. Avoid Unhealthy Habits

Don’t rely on smoking, caffeine and alcohol as your ways of managing stress. Men are more likely to do this than women. This known as avoidance behavior, but women are not largely affected as most tend to seek support from their acquaintanceship.

These crutches will not solve your problems on the long-run. They will just create new problems. It’s like putting your head in the sand. It may be short term relief, but it is not going to make the problems fade away. You need to seek healthier ways to help you tackle the causes of your stress.

5. Connect with people

A good support network of friends, family and colleges can ease your stress and help you see things in a better perspective. Health experts warn that if you fail to connect with people, you will not get support to turn to whenever you need help.

The activities you do with friends and colleagues help a lot in relaxing and reducing stress. You will, time and again, have a good laugh with your loved ones and friends, and this is an excellent stress reliever. Talking things through with friends will also help you get better solutions to your problems.

Yoga and stress reduction to cure bruxism – A Quick Recap:

So you grind your teeth at night? The main reason for that could be stress. Teeth grinding is something that many people develop involuntarily and can hang onto for many years.

For this reason, it may become frustrating when trying to stop it, especially because it’s something that happens when you’re sleeping. However, most people positively overcome the condition, so don’t let it overcome you.

You can try different methods to see how you can deal with it. One thing is for sure – Yoga is helping in an unsuspecting way.

Teeth grinding is also known as bruxism. It refers to excessive clamping together of the upper and the bottom jaw that is accompanied by the grinding of the lower teeth with the upper ones.

Most people are not aware of the problem because it happens at night. Normally, it is only when a dentist points out the teeth damage from grinding that a person with bruxism becomes aware of the problem.

Teeth Grinding affects both adults and children, though adults are the most affected. Even though it is not considered a serious medical problem, it can cause havoc in the mouth. It can lead to painful teeth and cause them to loosen. Parts of the teeth can also break and this can lead to jaw disorders, pain, damaged teeth, and headaches.

Stress is the main cause of teeth grinding.

When someone is stressed, they gain a negative form of energy that needs to be released.

Even though every person responds to stress differently, some people respond through muscle contraction. For example, if you have an existing bite problem, and you bring in some stress, your body may find teeth grinding relieving.

By simply reducing your stress level with lifestyle changes, you may find that you can put an end to this problem. You can actually reduce stress by doing more exercise, or, if you have personal problems in your life that are causing stress, you could talk to a therapist.

Other simpler things you can do is listen to your favorite music, go out for a walk, or get a cute little pet.

You can also ease stress by taking a warm bath and relaxing and doing yoga. In fact, yoga has been identified by many as the golden ticket to reducing the frequency and severity of teeth grinding.

Different yoga techniques help reduce tension in the body and muscle activity.

Experts say yoga and meditation can help.

There are numerous yoga techniques that can help you stop grinding your teeth at night.

First, relaxation is very important if you want to overcome teeth grinding. As stated above, stress play a very big role in teeth grinding. Therefore, it is very important to adapt a daily routine that focuses on relieving your stress to ensure you are stress-free at night.

Yoga stretches are very important, not just to reduce teeth grinding, but also for your health. Some of the yoga poses that can help reduce teeth grinding include:

  1. Eyes around the clock pose – Shockingly, stress on the eyes can drop down to the rest of your face, including your jaws. You need to relax your eyes by doing a yoga pose known as “eyes around the clock”. Start by closing your eyes slightly and rotate your eyes clockwise twenty times, then rotate your eyes counter clockwise another twenty times.
  2. Warrior 2 Pose – this pose opens the sub-occipital muscles in the neck. When you stand to do the pose, make sure one of your legs is at 45 degrees, and the other one is facing straight ahead. Then place your arms at the shoulder level, and keep the shoulders back and relaxed. Increase the size of your spine, and then turn your head to the left or right. Hold this pose for about 10 breaths. Then turn and face the other direction with your legs.
  3. The Camel Pose – this also opens the sub-occipital muscles found in your neck. Sit on a mat and bring yourself onto your knees, and space them out to be hip-width apart. Then, gradually straighten up on your knees. Lengthen your spine to the sky as high as you can, push your pelvis forward and up. And then keep your hands on your lower back and let your neck be long.
    Gradually bring your head back as far as you can bring it. Make sure your shoulders are relaxed. You should hold the pose for 10 deep breaths. Your jaw physiques will be strained and tension will be released.
  4. Bridge Pose – This is another yoga pose that can help get rid of teeth grinding. Lie on your back, and gradually lift your hips high, then push them slightly forward. At the same time, interconnect your fingers behind your back without squeezing your shoulder edges together, and then fold your chin into your chest.
    Hold this pose for 10 deep breaths. You will feel a nice upper back release.
    how to stop bruxism

Yoga is a practice. The yoga cure will not work overnight.

As you get deeper into your yoga practice, you will start to notice a lighter feeling and a sense of ease that you will carry with you throughout the day and into the night.

Hence, the most important thing to remember is to stop, relax, take a deep breath, and commit yourself to your practice every day. In short, the more you can let go of stress during the day, the less likely you are to be overwhelmed by the issue at night. Through consistency and deep breathing/yoga improvement, the likelihood of teeth grinding occurring at night or during the day will begin to lift.

Since nocturnal bruxism is a sleep disorder, another way to deal with the problem is to visit a sleep study center. You can find these centers at universities or hospitals. They can use their sensors to take measurements of all the things your body does while you fall asleep. They can even tell if you have other sleep disorders, such as snoring and sleep apnea, which are common with people who grind their teeth. Your doctor will then recommend treatment based on those results.

Though it is difficult to stop the habit of grinding your teeth at night, it is not impossible. It is therefore necessary to visit your dentist, and make yoga your favorite workout.

messed up my dental impression

If I Mess Up My Dental Impression What Do I Do?

no need to hit the panic button

If you mess up your dental impression there is NO NEED to hit the panic button. If your first dental impression doesn’t go very well, simply contact us. We will ship out a new dental impression kit to you. Hang on to your prepaid mailer as you will be needing that to mail back your new (and better) dental impression.

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COMMON MISTAKES WHEN TAKING A DENTAL IMPRESSION, AND HOW TO AVOID THEM

Here’s a list of the most common errors when taking your own dental impression and some tips on preventing the mess-ups:

  1. Attempting to take your dental impression before reading through all of the material and watching the video. Always Read our how it works page, and take a look at the instructions you receive in the mail first.
  2. Taking too long to mix the putty. As a result, the putty becomes hard before you submerge all of your teeth. Remember to set a timer and watch your time! Mix quickly and thoroughly for 40 seconds to 1 minute. Roll the putty quickly into a hot dog shape and place it in the tray. With your finger, smooth out the areas as needed so you have a nice, equally-distributed surface before submerging your teeth.
  3. Misjudging the tray position and hitting your teeth on the plastic wall. Here’s a great tip: practice taking the empty tray in and out of your mouth several times before actually taking your dental impression. Stand in front of a mirror and pretend that the tray is already filled with putty. Try to keep the tray as straight as possible. Place the tray in your mouth and then push the bottom of the tray upwards (in a uniform, even manner). If you’re taking an impression for your lower teeth, follow the same process- You would just press the tray downwards instead of up. Make sure to submerge all of your teeth.
    common dental impression mistakes
  4. Moving the tray once the teeth are submerged. This will result in a distorted dental impression, and thus, an ill-fitting mouth guard. Remember to submerge all of the teeth and stay still for the full 3 minutes before taking your impression out. Even if you’re drooling all over–KEEP STILL!  
    custom teeth whitening
  5.  Taking your tray out too soon. Removing the tray before the putty is completely set can cause some distortion. Remember, 3 minutes!

We have a very high success rate of customers taking their impression correctly on their first try. Over 85% of customers take their impression perfectly the first time. Also, one of the greatest things about taking a nice, clean impression of your teeth is that we keep your dental impression/stone mould on file here in the Sentinel lab! This means, we can make and remake your future night guards (as long as your dental anatomy doesn’t change) and they will all fit beautifully!

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teeth sore when I wake up

My Teeth Are Sore When I Wake Up. Why?

“Why is it that my teeth are sore when I wake up in the morning?”

Waking up with sore teeth is common amongst many people.

Often times, when a person goes to sleep, their teeth feel healthy and fine but when they wake up the teeth will feel sore.

This may or may not be accompanied by a headache and/or jaw pain and can cause a lot of discomfort and inconveniences.

A person who wakes with complaints of ‘my teeth are sore’ might be unable to eat breakfast or brush teeth comfortably. It’s not the best way for one to start their day and can actually be doing real damage to the teeth if you are suffering from a disorder such as Bruxism (constant nighttime teeth grinding) or TMJ. So lets take a look at some top reasons why a person might wake up with sore teeth and also the solutions to this issue.

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1. Teeth Grinding Or Jaw Clenching at Night

It is estimated that most of us grind or clench our teeth at some point in our lives.

The most common cause of sore teeth when waking up is the grinding and clenching of teeth while asleep.

The majority of people who experience this issue usually clench and/or grind their teeth while asleep.

In fact, 1 in 10 people grind or clench their teeth at night.

This might be caused by many things including stress, dreaming and irregular temperatures at night amongst other reasons. A person who clenches and grinds his or her teeth at night will not have control of this situation, since it is not possible to stop clenching and grinding of teeth while asleep.

Therefore, if such a person does not find the right solution, the problem will persist and the person will be waking up with complaints of ‘my teeth are sore’ and slowly making the teeth flatter and more susceptible to cracks & breakage.. This makes it paramount to find a permanent and effective solution to solve this problem.

Don’t know if you’re grinding your teeth? The most convenient and effective solution to waking up with sore teeth because of grinding and clenching of the teeth at night is the use of a dental night guard. These guards are effective because they prevent the teeth from coming into contact at night, and even if the person wearing the night guard clenches or grinds the teeth, there will be no negative effect.

Custom made night guards (based on a dental impression of your teeth) are far superior to store bought dental night guards. Custom guards are also easy to put on and remove and they can be worn by almost anyone. Finding the right night guard for you can sometimes be tricky. A custom made dental night guard (made from a dental impression of your teeth) is almost universally recommended by dentists and researchers alike over the stock, store bought types. Skip dental office prices and get your night guard to stop your sore teeth directly from the lab!

2. Food Stuck In Your Teeth

Another common cause of teeth soreness while waking up is eating foods and failing to brush while going to bed. Some of the common foods that usually cause this problem include hard foods whose particles might remain on the teeth, or meats that get in between the cracks.

These food particles will have a negative effect on you while sleeping which can easily cause teeth soreness. The most effective way of avoiding this problem is ensuring that you brush and floss prior to sleeping. Through brushing and flossing one can remove the food particles that might have remained on the teeth and therefore have a comfortable night.

3. Sleep Positions

People who tend to sleep in certain positions might wake up with their teeth feeling sore. For instance, placing the hands below the face, especially on the jaw area, or sleeping with your face on something hard like rings or bracelets (it’s common for people nowadays to sleep with their phone right next to them) can cause the teeth to be sore.

Pay attention to where the pain/soreness is being distributed. Is it just on one side? Both sides? Upper teeth? Lower teeth?
A person who usually moves his or her face towards the rail of the bed might also make the teeth feel sore in the morning. The ideal solution for teeth soreness caused by these issues is ensuring that one removes all jewelry before going to bed, and puts their phone on a nightstand nearby.

One should also practice placing the hands away from the face while sleeping. It is also helpful to try sleeping far away from the bed rails and placing a pillow between yourself and the rail, so as to avoid placing the face along the rails while asleep.

Other possible reasons my teeth are sore

4. Have you had a dental appointment or cleaning lately?

Sometimes getting your teeth and gums probed and prodded with dental tools can cause some continued soreness. This will usually subside within a few days after treatment and should not cause alarm.

5. Sprained Tooth Syndrome (STS)

This can form from a number of things; such as an overfilled filling or crown, cold allergy/sinus issues, or shifting of teeth. Additionally,  crunching , grinding or opening the mouth continuously can aggravate the tooth & ligament that is attached to the tooth, and even exacerbate clenching and grinding.

Sometimes STS can arise from a small minor accident like crunching on a pointy, sticky or chewy food & worsen from that point. Dental treatment for STS may include changing the patients bite, Ibuprofen, the use of sensitive toothpaste and/or a dental night guard.

You should seek professional dental help if you suspect you may be suffering from STS as this syndrome can be complex.

What do you think? Have you suffered from morning teeth soreness?

  • Yes I do and it’s because I grind my teeth
  • Yes I do and it’s because I clench my teeth
  • I do and I don’t know why
  • I do have tooth soreness and its because of another reason entirely. Tell us why in the comment section!
  • It could be because I’m not brushing/flossing my teeth enough
  • It could be because of my sleep position, phone in bed with me, railing, jewelry, etc

Solving the problem of grinding and clenching by wearing a custom night guard is now a convenient solution because these guards are easily accessible online. A person who might need a dental night guard can complete the entire process without ever having to leave their house.

Don’t know if you should go through an online night guard lab or pay your dentist? There are some instances when you should definitely go through the dentist. If you’re suffering from TMJ, jaw alignment issues or if your dentist recommends making you a special type of night guard involving metal clasps or ramps, you will need him/her to fabricate that type of special appliance for you.

The process of buying a Sentinel Night Guard is simple and the payment modes with features that include PayPal are secure and user-friendly.

Furthermore, purchasing your new night guard from Sentinel Mouth Guards is way less expensive than what a dentist charges.

There can be other reasons why you might complain that “my teeth are sore” that are not listed in this article. Discuss your tooth soreness with your dentist. He/she can take x-rays to see if there are some visual signs of trouble in one or more of your teeth. A dentist can also perform sleep tests and examine your teeth for fracture lines or dental damage if you are indeed grinding or clenching at night.

Do you have something to add to this article? Please do! See the comment section below.

night guard after veneer

Should I be wearing a night guard to protect my veneers?

Why it’s worth protecting your smile after such a big investment:

Jenny saved and saved for her new veneers on her front teeth. It was a dream come true for her. No more smiling with slight pursed lips. Prior to the veneers, she had what she aptly referred to as “rabbit teeth”. Her lateral incisors (the two teeth on either side of the two front teeth) were shorter than her central incisors (the two front teeth).

She cried at the dental office when she saw her new smile for the first time. Holding the small mirror in front of her face, she couldn’t believe the smile transformation.

But there was a problem with her new smile. After a few nights with her new teeth, she woke up to a chipped lateral incisor. She went to the dentist and he fixed it. Two weeks later, it chipped again. Another trip to the dentist.

Jenny’s problem is extremely common after cosmetic work. Her bite and grinding habits prior to getting the new veneers are now dangerous to the new teeth.

The solution is to wear a night guard.

Custom Night Guard

Protect Your Teeth

Shop Now

Wearing a soft dental night guard will protect your teeth from direct contact with each other. The soft padding provides a much needed barrier between the two destructive surfaces.

If you have received veneers on both the upper and lower teeth, it may be necessary to wear soft night guards on both teeth arches. These are not bulky.

Here at Sentinel Mouth Guards, we sell soft, thin 1mm dental night guards for both the upper and lower teeth for less than $200/set – A smart investment to protect your new veneers.

Dentists don’t always tell you the downside of new veneers. There’s a golden rule that I think everyone should be aware of: There is nothing better than your natural, healthy teeth.

Take dentures for example. Dentures are not going to feel like real teeth. You just eventually get used to them and forget what your real teeth felt like.

Your new veneers are going to take some getting used to.

Sometimes dentists conveniently forget to tell you that food can get up under the veneer, and overtime, your little nub of a tooth can start to decay. Only to be discovered years later when the dentist pops that veneer off. That is what often lies under those beautiful, new veneers.

You know what else can happen to veneers? They can chip and break.

Sometimes it feels like one thing after the other.

For most people, getting new veneers is a huge expense and one that takes a lot of time and diligence to save the money for.

The reality is simple. Any cosmetic dentistry work is just downright expensive.

So when your dentist tells you that (on top of the thousands of dollars you just laid down for your dream teeth) you now need to wear a night guard to protect those new pearly whites, it can be quite a blow. You might even be wondering if you REALLY need the night guard.

The Short Answer

Most dentists strongly recommend the use of a night guard after veneers.

The reasons are obvious. If you crack or chip your new porcelain teeth it’s going to be an expensive fix. Also, the new veneers will create a new and unusual bite. This new bite can actually cause you to start involuntarily grinding your teeth together.

We’re here to let you in on a little secret:

The good news is, this protective night guard does not have to cost you another $500, $600 or $700+

A lot of people are unaware that they can purchase a custom made night guard, for around $100 online.

These are the same exact custom night guards made in dental offices. The only difference is, you take your own dental impression and your custom fit night guard is made in a dental lab specializing in night guard & mouth guard fabrication.

What is the best type of night guard to protect my veneers?

A soft night guard (generally the least expensive type) should be just fine for you (given that you do not have any severe grinding or clenching issues and/or any teeth alignment issues).

If you have had a decent amount of dental work done you have probably had a dental impression taken a time or two.

You should know that a dental assistant takes most dental impression all by his/her self. If a dental assistant can take a cast of your teeth, guess what! So can you.

Here at Sentinel Mouth Guards, we strive to provide the best and most up-to-date information available.

Do you have experience wearing veneers? Share your story! We would love to hear from you in the comments section below!

night guard to protect veneers
is taking a dental impression easy?

How To Take Your Own Dental Impression For Your Night Guard or Mouth Guard

how to take your dental impression

How To Take Your Own Dental Impression

For The Best Fit

When ordering a mouth guard that is truly custom fit, a dental impression of your teeth must be taken.

If you’re going through a dental office, a professional will take a nice, clear impression of your teeth.

If you’re purchasing online, you will get a kit sent to your home, and the impression part is up to you. It’s not rocket science, but it does take some prepping by familiarizing yourself with the process before you begin.

The fit of your mouth guard or night guard for teeth grinding depends on how well you take your dental impression. In this article, we break down the process into easy steps to ensure that you take a perfect impression of your teeth for your new custom fit mouth guard.

What the Kit Contains

sentinel dental impression kit

1. Plastic tray(s).

2. Mixing putty (usually purple and white, or blue and white).

This putty is a base and a catalyst. When mixed together, it becomes hard after 1-5 minutes (depending on which type you get –fast set or slow set– as set times differ).

Sentinel Mouthguard’s impression putty has a working time of 40-60 seconds and a set time of 3 minutes.

3. Written instructions and/or video.

1. Read the instructions thoroughly and watch the video (if supplied)

How to take your own dental impression

As stated above, the fit of your mouth guard depends on how well you take your dental impression. So it starts with you. Taking your own dental impression requires focus. Pay attention to the directions. Make sure you’ve set aside time so that you’re not rushed and can focus on the task at hand.

Take several minutes to read through the instructions and make sure you feel comfortable enough with the process before you start tearing things open. There are several helpful videos on Youtube to help.

 2. Wash your hands and brush your teeth

Wash your hands. Don’t use gloves during the impression process. Just wash your hands and dry thoroughly before you begin.

Brush your teeth. Clean teeth are essential for getting a clear impression of your teeth.

3. Get Familiar With Tray Placement

Some online mouth guard companies will give you a couple of different trays to try in. If this is the case, choose which tray fits best. It’s better to be a little larger than too small (you don’t want any of your teeth hitting the sides of the tray).

If you’re having to stretch your lips a bit, try putting on some chap stick or Vaseline to avoid them cracking.

Practice putting the plastic tray in your mouth and taking it out. Your teeth should not be right up against the sides of the tray. Remember, you will be filling this tray with putty and submerging your teeth into the putty. So, you’re not going to want your teeth hitting the sides of the tray.

4. Have A Timer Ready. Get Ready To Mix The Putty!

The most common error that we see when attempting to take your own dental impression is letting the putty get hard before submerging the teeth.

It is very important to pay attention to your time, work fast.

Different brands and putty types have different “working” and “set” times. If the putty has a working time of 2 minutes (for instance) you must quickly mix, roll into a hot-dog like shape, place in the tray and submerge ALL the whites of your teeth within 2 minutes.

The set time will be however long you must hold the tray in place once teeth are submerged in putty. As stated above, our impression putty has a 40-60 second “working” time (this is the time you are mixing the putty, rolling it into a hot dog shape and placing in the tray). The set time for our impression putty is 3 minutes.

5. Mix Thoroughly

Mix the putty quickly and thoroughly, folding and kneading to get as much of the white blended into the purple as possible. Watch that clock!

6. Roll Into a Hot-Dog Like Shape

With the palms of your hands, roll the putty into a hot-dog shape.

7. Place Putty In Tray

Place the putty in the plastic tray. With your fingers, spread the material evenly (making sure to cover the sides of the tray too).

8. Submerge ALL Teeth In Putty

Make sure you press the putty-filled tray into your teeth, covering ALL of your whites. Do not bite down. Hold in place for however long is indicated on your instruction sheet.

9. Remove, Rinse, Pat Dry and Mail Back

After removing your dental impression, give it a quick water rinse and very gently pat dry. Place the impression in your mailer, and return it to the company.

DIY teeth cast/impression

A few common questions:

“I messed up my dental impression. How can I get a new kit?”

Here at Sentinel Mouth Guards, we supply one free redo kit if you mess up. Simply contact us to request your redo kit. Remember to hang on to your prepaid mailer as you will be needing it to mail back your new dental impression.

“I have missing teeth. Is that a problem?”

Not at all. We make night guards for all types of dental anatomy.

“I have loose teeth and/or some loose dental work. Can I still take my dental impression?”

No. Sentinel Mouth Guards is not liable for any damages resulting from the use of our putty system. If you have loose teeth or loose dental work, you will need to get those issues resolved before purchasing our product. Good, solid teeth are a must!

“I bought the kit, but now I don’t want it. Can I return it?”

We have a 90 day, no questions asked return policy. You can return your impression kit for a full refund if you are within 90 days of purchase date.

“What type of impression putty does Sentinel Mouth Guards use?”

We use VPS regular set impression material. The working time is 2 minutes, and the set time is 3 minutes.

That’s it!

We hope you learned how to take your dental impression. Taking your own dental impression is easy squeezy! Not to mention you save a lot of money by going through an online night guard or mouth guard lab compared to paying a dentist.

We hope this guide helps you feel confident about taking your own teeth impressions. If you have ANY additional questions or concerns, please feel free to ask in the comments section below. Thank you!