How It Works (including taking your own dental impression, warranty information, and defects/wear policy)

Don’t pay a dentist hundreds of dollars to do something you can do yourself! Taking your own dental impression is easy. Follow our simple tutorial to take your teeth impression for your custom night guard (mouth guard for teeth grinding), athletic mouth guard, or custom teeth whitening trays.

We mail out a dental impression kit to you (putty & trays). Following the easy instructions, you take your own dental impression. Using the prepaid envelope, mail the impression back to us. Upon receipt of your impression we will fabricate your new mouth guard within (7-14) business days. Custom-fit night guards & whitening trays within (8-12) days. That’s it!

Warranty Information: 100% satisfaction or 90 day money back guarantee. If you’re not happy with your new night guard for any reason, Sentinel will either offer a full refund (provided you contact us within 90 days of receiving your night guard) or we will work with you until we get it right.

PLEASE NOTE* Your full refund will be issued for the amount you paid for the product. We offer all inclusive free US shipping. Our $75 all inclusive expedited service (all inclusive priority shipping + 2 business day turnaround time) is non refundable.

“What if I order and then change my mind?”

Not a problem! If you change your mind please contact us as soon as possible to receive an immediate refund. If impression kit was already mailed to you, please return unused kit within (30) days of purchase to receive full refund.

“What if my custom night guard becomes cracked or splits during use?”

Defects and wear policy: If your custom night guard becomes defective and/or wears down before stated time frame (see below) we will replace at no additional cost to you (upon receipt of defective/worn night guard and original invoice).

Hard acrylic dental guard– 12 months from date you received your night guard in the mail

Dual laminated/hybrid night guard– 12 months from date you received your night guard in the mail

Soft 3mm night guard– 6 months from date you received your night guard in the mail[/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=”Why You Save When You Buy Direct Through Our Lab”]

The word is finally getting out about over priced dental offices. There are many expenses you simply cannot get around at the dental office. Fortunately, you CAN get around paying hundreds of dollars for a true custom fit night guard. How so? As with many medical expenses, the truth is, a night guard really doesn’t cost that much to make. What you’re really paying for is the tailored fit and the comfort that comes from having the device made specifically for you. By taking your own dental impression (we supply everything including the prepaid mailer), you can get that very costly night guard for way less.

Why should I get a custom made night guard instead of the cheaper stock one at the store? What’s the difference?

A custom night guard made from a dental impression of your teeth will fit every contour of your unique dental anatomy. It will not fall out and you will be able to sleep soundly with your custom dental appliance. The stock types are standard one size fits all that are mass produced in a factory somewhere and lack the ability to conform to your teeth. The boil & bite or heat moldable mouthguard is a step up from the stock ones because you are able to boil the plastic in water & somewhat conform it to your teeth. Please understand the fit will be subpar to that of a true custom guard. There is a good chance your boil & bite sleep guard will slide around during the course of the night. This presents a number of problems. First, recent studies have indicated that if a plastic appliance is not snapped in & truly fitted to your teeth, you may have the desire to chew on the plastic while you sleep. This can cause your Bruxism to worsen! It is absolutely imperative that you have a properly fitted sleep guard that hugs your teeth. Another problem is comfort. Often people that have tried the boil & bite night guards complain that they cannot sleep comfortably at night because they are still “bulky” and “uncomfortable”. Lastly, the quality of the material in both the stock & boil & bite guard is well..cheap. If you put much force on this cheap plastic, you’re going to grind through it pretty quickly. The price of these boil & bite guards ranges from about $20-$30. For less than $100 you can get a professional custom fit soft clear night time guard from us and the material we use is FDA approved, top of the line, dentist grade dental material. Basically, it’s the difference between getting a pair of nice pants custom tailored for you and throwing them in the dryer in hopes that they will shrink a little. When it comes to your sleep, don’t sacrifice quality. You will regret it in the morning.

What is the difference between the custom night guard my dentist wants to make for me and the ones through the online dental lab?

Please note: There are certain night guard devices that require more involvement in construction than the traditional custom night guards used to treat bruxism (teeth grinding, jaw clenching). These more complicated types used for jaw realignment or severe TMJ may involve metal clasps and/or ramps and must be made through a dental office. We do not make this type of appliance.

In regard to straight forward custom dental night guards: The truth is (and dentists are well aware of this little fact) dentists do not make your night guard. This job is left up to either a dental assistant or a trained professional at a dental lab. We all order our materials and machinery from the same dental supply companies and you are getting the same exact product whether you’re paying $800 at the dental office or $130 through us. Sentinel has ,however, taken night guard fabrication a step further. We have developed a unique polishing system that ,we believe, separates ourselves from our competitors. We use special polishing tips and a method developed by one of our senior lab technicians to make sure each night guard that passes through our doors is made to feel as comfortable as it possible. Because we believe protection starts with comfort. Simply put, if your night guard is not comfortable, you’re not going to wear it. Before we package your new night guard, our senior lab technician will inspect the guard thoroughly. This includes snapping the dental guard on and off the stone mold to make sure it is the appropriate tightness. We also check for any areas that may rub against or irritate your teeth/gums. We guarantee to make the most comfortable night guard for you or your money back.[/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=”Why am I grinding or clenching my teeth?”]

According to the American Dental Association, experts are still not sure what exactly causes teeth/occlusal grinding but they do have some leading suspects. At the top of the list-stress. There are several things you can do to reduce your everyday stress thereby hopefully reducing the intensity of your teeth grinding or clenching habits. Read our blog about ways to reduce stress at Quora.com! An abnormal bite can cause teeth grinding as well. You should talk to your dentist about what you can do to remedy an abnormal bite. Missing or crooked teeth can also be the culprit that entices teeth grinding or jaw clenching. Researchers have discovered that persons prone to sleep disorders tend to be higher risk for teeth grinding and or clenching.

What happens if I don’t get a night guard and continue to grind my teeth? What’s the worst that can happen?

Over time the constant grinding and/or clenching can wear down the enamel. As seen in this picture to the left, the person has suffered from Bruxism to the point where his softer dentin is now exposed. This can cause rapid tooth decay. Replacing these 4 front teeth will cost roughly between $3500-$7000. Other common effects of teeth grinding include loosened teeth, breaking existing dental work (bridges, crowns, partials, etc.), extreme tooth sensitivity, worn out & or flattened chewing surfaces (including cusps and the natural contours and grooves of your dental anatomy -making chewing food difficult). If left untreated, many people will wear their teeth down to the point that they are in dire need of very expensive teeth restoration procedures. Long term teeth grinding can also cause changes in ones appearance. Jaw pain, occasional swelling of salivary glands, earaches, neck aches, hearing loss, and the notorious headaches are all familiar short & long term results of Bruxism.

Is there anything I can do to lessen the severity/intensity of my teeth grinding? Or maybe stop it all together?

Yes! There are steps you can take to try to minimize the degree of which you grind or clench. You should know that these are not guaranteed remedies but rather some things you can incorporate into your daily routine that will hopefully help. In some cases, people have been able to train themselves to stop altogether. Start by training yourself during the day. If you find that you clench your teeth together or grind during the day, put your tongue in between your teeth. Try to be aware of the habit and relax your jaw. Avoid caffeine, lots of sugar, smoking, and alcohol. It has recently been reported by researchers that taking Magnesium once a day can combat against Bruxism. Of course stress has been linked to teeth grinding time and time again. Learn to manage your stress. Take control. Find out what is causing the source of your stress/anxiety and take positive action to resolve it. In the meantime, wear your custom fit night guard to prevent any further damage. A custom fit night guard is far less expensive than the teeth restorations you will most likely need in the future.

You have several night guards to choose from. How do I know which one to choose? And should I choose an upper or lower guard?

We currently offer three types-a hard acrylic night guard, a dual laminated (two layers-soft inside/hard outside) style, and a soft pliable style. Each of these guards are made from top grade materials, FDA approved, & BPA free. They all will fit snug (but not tight) against your teeth but each has a different feel to it. When choosing which sleep guard is right for you, you must determine how severe your grinding habits are and what particular concerns you have. All of these guards will combat against headaches, jaw/facial pain, & protect against occlusal damage. But you may be worried (for instance) about your teeth shifting, or alignment issues. The hard acrylic guard is great for keeping your teeth in place. It is also very thin but tough to grind through. The dual laminated guard is a bit thicker than the hard acrylic (by 1 mm) though it is still thin by industry standards and offers a soft gel like interior with a hard outer shell. Between these two (the hard acrylic and dual laminated) it really just comes down to preference. Some love the thin hard acrylic types and others prefer to have their teeth encased in the soft inside of the dual laminated guard.

sentinel soft dental night guardCustomers love the .120 soft night guard for it’s comfort. Very recently, there has been a shift in the way dentists and researchers are viewing the soft night guard. This soft type has generally been the most common style of night guard produced in dental offices but recent research has indicated that the soft material may actually encourage grinding by up to 50%. The cases that have been reported/studied show that this relatively new revelation is seen more typically with the thicker, bulkier soft plastic guards (such as when a person buys an over the counter mouthguard and tries to conform it to their teeth). Nevertheless, you should be aware of that risk when choosing your custom night guard.

When deciding on an upper or lower custom night guard, there may be some obvious factors that will dictate your decision. For instance, if you’re missing teeth on either the upper or lower set, you will want to choose the set that has more. Or if you know you’re grinding your teeth, and you need to get a night guard quickly but you have some upcoming dental work on your upper teeth (or vice versa) that may change your dental anatomy, you will want to go with the lower teeth (or vice versa). Same thing with loose teeth, or loose crowns/bridge work, etc- You’ll want to choose an opposing guard and avoid the potential to loosen that dental work with the continuous use of a tight fitting night guard.

Now, if you have all of your nice solid teeth on both the upper and lower and no plans for upcoming dental work, it really just comes down to preference . History tells us that the upper guard has been the “go to” choice but if you think a lower guard would feel more comfortable then go for it. We’ve had an overwhelming amount of customers say that they prefer the lower guard over the upper as it tends to be smaller and less obtrusive.

Frequently Asked Night Guard Questions. Answered.

walmart mouthguardQ: How do I know if I’m grinding my teeth at night?

A: A dentist can tell whether or not you are grinding or clenching your teeth either through observable wear and/or tiny fracture lines or through x ray. Other common ways of learning you do grind or clench your teeth include a partner hearing you, waking up with continuous teeth/facial pain, scalloped tongue, and  flattened teeth. 

Q: My dentist says I do but I’m pretty sure he’s wrong. My wife doesn’t hear me and she’s a light sleeper.

A: Dentists can see a lot of things you can’t. When you do grind, it only happens in short bursts; it’s not all night.  Each instance may only last for 30 seconds to a minute.   You may well sleep with your mouth open 90% of the night (doubtful), but still grind the heck out of your teeth during the 10%.

Q: Okay but do I really have to wear a night guard while I sleep?
A: Wearing a night guard is a preventative measure and can relieve a lot of the aching facial/headache pain that is often associated with night bruxing. Dental procedures are very costly and if you’re trying to avoid major restorative work (whether it be short term or long term) wearing your night guard is a good idea.

Q:What’s the worse that can happen if I don’t wear a dental night guard?
A: Things like this.teeth damagecrown preparationsevere case of teeth regression loss of tooth structure

Q: But how am I going to get used to wearing it?

A: At Sentinel Mouthguards, we take comfort into big consideration because we want you to actually wear your appliance. On our shopping site, we give customers an option to choose your own thickness based on your needs and comfort level. If you absolutely cannot stand the idea of wearing a night guard, a thin or ultra thin night guard will be an easy transition and yes, any foreign object that is in the mouth feels well…foreign at first but the good news is, you will adapt to sleeping with it in. A custom mouth guard is far superior to over the counter “one size fits all” types so you’re already ahead of many by choosing to go the custom route.  Many of our customers claim that they now gotten so used to wearing a night guard, that they cannot sleep WITHOUT their night guard in. Imagine that!

Q: How do I know which dental night guard to choose?

A: Any of our night guards will serve the function of protecting your teeth from the effects of bruxism. Email us if you’re confused about which to choose. We will be happy to help. Also, you can ask your dentist which night guard type he plans to make you. Hard material?  Soft? A combination of both? How thick is he planning to make it?

Q: My dentist didn’t tell me how thick the night guard he intends to make me would be. I have no idea what thickness to choose?

A: As far as thickness goes–the thicker the guard, the more durable it will be however a thicker guard also feels bulkier in the mouth.  A thinner guard will be more comfortable but may wear down quicker.The 1mm thickness is typically recommended for daytime use only as it is very thin. 2mm is more durable and is suggested for night use. 3mm (available in soft type only) is for very heavy grinding or clenching.

Q:Okay, what happens if my guard does wear down quickly? Is there any warranty?

A: 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 to your absolute satisfaction. 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.

Q: How long do the night guards typically last?

A: The durability and longevity of a night guard can vary greatly depending on type/quality of material, an individuals’ grinding/clenching habits, how well the night guard is cleaned/taken care of etc. Most high quality, custom night guards last anywhere from 2-7 years.

Q: Okay what about taking my own dental impression. I’m worried I’ll mess it up. How do you do it?

A: First off,  do not use the impression system if you have braces, loose teeth, loose dental work, etc. Sentinel Mouthguard Co. is not liable for any damages resulting from the use of the putty system. Seriously, putty and braces do not mix. Also, putty and loose teeth don’t mix unless you want those teeth to wind up outside of your mouth.  In that case, it’s more effective than the tooth, string, door handle method.
Taking your own dental impression is EASY (and you do not need to pay a dentist hundreds of dollars to do it). We will send you a plastic tray, dental putty, & a pre-paid envelope to mail back to us. You need to have a timer, clean hands, & good solid teeth.
If you do mess up your dental impression the first time, no worries! We will send a new dental impression kit to you free of charge.

Q: I have TMJ. My jaw and bite are misaligned from clenching. I now have an over bite. Can a night guard help?

A:  It is possible that a night guard can help but we don’t recommend buying one online if you have TMJ. You should seek treatment from your dentist.If he/she says you need to wear a custom made guard, you may need a more complex type that involves setting your jaw in a certain position to correct the jaw misalignment. These types of guards are typically far more expensive than the traditional custom night guards for bruxism.

Q: My dentist tells me that I need a night guard because I’m grinding my teeth. My bottom wisdom teeth are growing in and I’m worried about making a custom one and then having to get a new one in a few months because my wisdom teeth are fully grown in. Does the night guard cover the wisdom teeth?

A: The custom night guards do not extend all the way back to your wisdom teeth unless you specifically request this extension.

Q: Does your company do day guards as well? Or no?
A: We do! We can make a thin hard night guard (choose 1mm). This is typically what is called a “day guard” or it can be used for a light nighttime grinder/clencher.

Q: I previously ordered a night guard from another company. My nightguard is already yellowed and I’m trying to figure out how to get it less so. It was never clear as in your pictures. It was whitish. How do I clean it? Can I reverse the yellowing?

Clean it daily with a mild soap and soft toothbrush & remember to dry thoroughly in between uses. Keeping it dry makes a huge difference in the condition of your guard. Now, if it already has an odor and/or is yellowing it may be difficult to reverse it but you might try to soak it in a denture cleaner such as Insta-Fresh or Smile Again. This may pull some of the yellowing out. It is good practice to do a soak once a week in combination with the daily cleaning with a mild soap and a soft tooth brush. Remember to keep your guard DRY and store it in its retainer case between uses.

Q: If I order a night guard and the fit isn’t right what are my options??

A: You can return it for a refund or we will continue to work with you to your satisfaction.

Q: What happens if I wear the night guard for a few months and then need to have a filling put in?

A: Something very small like a small filling probably won’t change your dental anatomy enough to cause an ill fit. However, if you’re getting a new crown, bridge work, implants, extractions- that may cause an ill fit. In that case, you would need to order a new Nightguard and take a brand new dental impression.

Q: Would I have to pay for the new guard or would it be a replacement?

A: If your guard becomes defective for any reason or you wear through your guard we will replace it for free. However, if you received dental work that causes your dental anatomy to change and as a result your Nightguard is not wearable you would be responsible for purchasing a new guard.

Q: I’m looking at the site. Why is one of the questions when ordering the guard if I am a male or female?

A:When we send the impression kit out we send a couple of different plastic tray sizes for you to try in. You choose which one fits best to take your dental impression. If you’re a female we send a medium and small tray. If you’re a male we send a large and medium tray.

Q: Okay. If I place the order today, when can i expect to receive the guard?

A: We ship USPS first class. If you place the order before 5pm eastern time today we will get the kit shipped to you today. USPS First Class mail says to allow 2-10 days for delivery. Usually takes no more than 5 days. Upon receipt of your dental impression we ask to allow 8-12 business days to make your guard. The entire process from start to finish typically takes 3 to 4 weeks. We do offer an expedited service that includes ALL INCLUSIVE Priority mail shipping + 2 business day lab processing time. The cost for this service is $75 and can be added to your cart at checkout.

Please let us know if our Q& A is helpful! If you would like leave feedback or add additional questions of your own to this list, simply comment below and we will continue to update and provide answers.

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