Teeth Care

How Many Hours Should I Wear a Night Guard?

how many hours should I wear a night guard?

A night guard is a dental appliance designed to protect your teeth and jaw from the harmful effects of grinding and clenching, which often occur during sleep. The Sentinel Night Guard is a custom-made, removable device typically made of soft or hard materials.

Wearing a night guard is crucial because grinding or clenching can lead to various dental problems such as tooth wear, chipping, and jaw discomfort. The night guard acts as a cushion, absorbing the excessive forces and preventing damage to your teeth and temporomandibular joint (TMJ). By wearing a night guard, you can not only preserve your dental health but also improve your sleep quality and reduce associated headaches and jaw pain.

Understanding Night Guards

Night guards come in different types to suit individual needs. Soft night guards are made from a pliable material that provides cushioning and comfort. They are particularly suitable for individuals with mild to moderate teeth grinding or those who prefer a softer texture. Hard night guards, on the other hand, are crafted from a rigid material such as acrylic and offer greater durability and protection. They are often recommended for individuals with more severe grinding habits. Dual laminate night guards combine the benefits of both soft and hard materials, providing a balance of comfort and strength. These night guards consist of a soft inner layer for cushioning and a hard outer layer for enhanced durability. Depending on the severity of your teeth grinding and your personal preferences, your dental professional will guide you in choosing the most appropriate type of night guard for your specific needs.

Duration of Night Guard Usage

The duration of wearing a night guard can vary depending on individual factors and recommendations from dental professionals. Initially, it is important to consult with a dental professional who can assess your specific situation and provide personalized guidance. During the initial adjustment period, you may be advised to gradually increase the usage time of your night guard. This allows your jaw muscles and mouth to adapt to the presence of the appliance.

Factors influencing the duration of night guard usage include the severity of teeth grinding, your comfort level, and the recommendations of your dental professional. It is essential to monitor any changes and improvements in your symptoms over time. Your dental professional may suggest wearing the night guard nightly or provide specific instructions based on your unique needs. Following their recommendations and maintaining regular communication with them will ensure the most effective and appropriate duration of night guard usage for your oral health and well-being.

defend your teeth against the daily grind graphic

Recommended Night Guard Usage Guidelines

When it comes to the recommended usage guidelines for a night guard, nightly usage is generally advised. Consistency is key to derive maximum benefits from wearing a night guard. However, the duration of wear per night may vary. Dental professionals often recommend wearing the night guard throughout the entire duration of sleep, as teeth grinding and clenching can occur during various stages of sleep.

Exceptions and special cases may arise, such as during dental procedures or treatments where the night guard needs to be temporarily removed. It’s important to follow the specific instructions provided by your dental professional in such instances. Additionally, for individuals who have been wearing a night guard long-term, periodic evaluations by the dental professional may be necessary to reassess the need for continued usage or to make any necessary adjustments. By adhering to the recommended night guard usage guidelines, you can better protect your teeth, jaw, and overall oral health.

What if I wear my mouth guard during the day? How long do I wear it?

If you’re wearing a mouth guard during the day to address daytime clenching and grinding, the duration of wear may differ from wearing it at night. It’s important to consult with your dental professional for personalized guidance. Typically, the mouth guard should be worn during periods of daytime clenching and grinding, but it’s essential to remove it while eating and drinking. This allows you to enjoy your meals comfortably and prevents any damage to the mouth guard itself. Your dental professional will provide specific recommendations on the duration of wear based on your individual needs. By following their guidance and incorporating regular check-ups, you can effectively manage daytime clenching and grinding, protecting your teeth and jaw from potential harm.

Maintenance and Care

Proper maintenance and care of your night guard are essential to ensure its longevity and effectiveness. Cleaning your night guard regularly is crucial to remove bacteria and prevent unpleasant odors. You can gently brush the night guard using a non-abrasive toothbrush and mild soap or toothpaste, taking care not to damage or deform it. Avoid using hot water or harsh chemicals, as they can cause the night guard to warp or lose its shape.

After cleaning, store the night guard in a well-ventilated container to prevent moisture buildup and bacterial growth. Regular check-ups with your dental professional are important to monitor the condition of your night guard and make any necessary adjustments or replacements. Over time, night guards may wear down or become less effective, so it’s recommended to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines or consult with your dental professional regarding the ideal replacement timeline. By maintaining and caring for your night guard properly, you can ensure its longevity and continue reaping the benefits it provides for your oral health.


In conclusion, wearing a night guard is an important step towards protecting your teeth and jaw from the detrimental effects of grinding and clenching. The duration of wearing a night guard varies based on individual factors and the guidance of dental professionals. It is crucial to consult with a dental professional who can assess your specific needs and provide personalized recommendations. Following their advice, you can gradually increase the usage time and aim for nightly wear to ensure consistent protection.

Proper maintenance, including regular cleaning and storage, is necessary to preserve the effectiveness and longevity of your night guard. Additionally, periodic check-ups with your dental professional will help monitor the condition of the night guard and address any concerns. By adhering to the recommended guidelines and maintaining open communication with your dental professional, you can enjoy the benefits of a night guard, safeguard your dental health, and improve your overall well-being.

Would you like to learn more about Sentinel Mouthguards products and services?

Visit our help center today!


sentinel mouthguards author
Ashely Notarmaso

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

Verified By

Related Posts