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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