How Is A Night Guard Made By The Dentist Different Than The One I Buy At The Store?

 In Dental Care
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Night guards are used most commonly in adults to prevent teeth grinding, also known as bruxism. Nocturnal teeth-grinding affects many people, and if you’re one of them your dentist will prescribe a night guard. Night guards are available either custom-made by a dentist, or bought over the counter. Which choice is right for you?

Dental Night Guard

There are three different types of night guards:

  • Night guards that are custom made by a dentist.
  • Preformed night guards available at stores.
  • Boil-and-bite night guards, also available at stores.

Store-bought night guards are usually available in drug store and are usually made with clear plastic. They are affordable, and prevent teeth grinding. However, they need to be replaced frequently and because they are a stock size, many people find the plastic still uncomfortably bulky and thick.

Another store-bought option is the boil-and-bite night guard which can be boiled and then moulded to your teeth. Also an affordable option, like the preformed mouth guards, many people find the plastic too thick.

Even though it is convenient and cheap to buy a night guard in a store, there are a few important reasons why you should opt for one made professionally, by a dentist.


The cost of a dentist-made night guard is far higher than a store-bought one for a reason! Dentists use higher-quality materials to create strong night guards that give your teeth the best possible protection, and last for several years. Store-bought night guards are made of cheaper plastic and often only last for a year.


When making your night guard, your dentist will take an impression of your top and bottom teeth. A plaster cast is created from this impression, which is then sent to the dental lab.

The materials, either soft, dual laminate, or hard acrylic, are shaped around the mould to create the perfect fit for you. Your night guard should fit snugly and stably, and there should be no pain or discomfort.

A night guard custom-made for you in a dental lab offers you the best choice in fit, comfort, quality, and protection from teeth grinding. Speak to your dentist if you have further questions and concerns about nighttime teeth grinding, or if you have questions about your current mouth guard.

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