The 4 Best Over-The-Counter Mouth Guards For Teeth Grinding

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Teeth grinding can happen at any hour. However, Tricia Quartey-Sagaille, D.M.D., FAGD, told Bustle in an interview that grinding at night has the most potential to be harmful because it’s not under a person’s conscious control. Luckily, the best over-the-counter mouth guards for teeth grinding can help separate your top and bottom teeth, preventing the jaw pain, headaches, and even tooth damage often caused by grinding. Dr. Marc Lowenberg of Lowenberg, Lituchy & Kantor in New York City told Bustle that anyone who grinds their teeth can actually benefit from wearing a mouth guard, regardless of whether they notice any symptoms. While both experts that I talked to said that the best mouth guard is one that is custom fitted to your mouth by your dentist, an over-the-counter (OTC) pick can still be beneficial (and is usually much, much cheaper).

Stock Versus Boil And Bite Over-The-Counter Mouth Guards

OTC mouth guards typically fall under two categories: one-size/stock and boil and bite.

  • One-size/stock: This is usually the cheapest option for a mouth guard and comes ready to use… literally pop it right into your mouth straight from the package. Keep in mind, though, that this option is not fitted to your teeth, so some find stock mouth guards difficult to wear.
  • Boil and bite: A boil and bite mouth guard takes a little bit more work by you initially; the mouth guard needs to be placed in hot water (or boiled) and then placed in your mouth so it can conform to the shape of your teeth. The good thing is that this extra step usually allows for a better fit. According to Dr. Quartey-Sagaille, “Mouths are individual, which is why a ‘boil and bite’ mouth guard has an edge over the one-sized fits all product.”

To help you find the ideal mouth guard for you, here are four highly-rated options on Amazon.

1. A Highly-Rated Pack Of Boil And Bite Mouth Guards

With a stellar 4.6-star rating on Amazon among 950 and growing reviews, this pack of boil and bite mouth guards from Neomen has many users thrilled about the improvement of their teeth-grinding symptoms. One reviewer wrote, “Very happy with purchase, I was grinding my teeth a lot and waking up with headaches. Now that has stopped! [...] Great product and great price. Really recommend.”

When it comes to getting these boil and bite mouth guards to fit comfortably in your mouth, reviewers say that the process is actually quite easy. Choose from the included small and large sizes (there are two of each), and take comfort in the knowledge that the guards can be trimmed to sit comfortably in any mouth). To fit the mouth guard, simply heat it up and put it in your mouth so it molds to your teeth (read the instructions for a full step-by-step guide). Then, presto! In just minutes you've got an effective barrier to protect you from the discomfort of teeth grinding.

The mouth guards are BPA-free, and the set even comes with a case for easy storage. And another perk? The mouth guards can help with more than just grinding — they are a good mouth protector for athletes and can also be used for teeth whitening.

2. Boil And Bite Mouth Guards That Come In Two Different Thicknesses

The two different thickness options of these boil and bite mouth guards from ConfiDental are what truly sets this pick apart; the pack comes with five mouth guards total, three for regular protection (3 mm thickness) and two for heavy-duty protection (6 mm thickness), so that you can choose one that perfectly matches your needs. The moldable material can accommodate any mouth size, and Amazon reviewers? Well they give it a 4.4-star rating on the site, saying that the mouth guards work like a dream.

According to one reviewer, “This is the most comfortable mouth guard I’ve ever worn ever. I wouldn’t ever imagine myself to take the time to write a review for such a simple product but it definitely deserves a good one."

This pick is BPA- and phthalate-free, and can be used for teeth grinding, as an athletic dental guard, and for teeth whitening, too. And if you find that they aren’t fitting quite right in your mouth, they can be molded and remolded, no problem whatsoever. Store the mouth guards in the convenient carrying case.

3. A One-Size Mouth Guard You Can Use Right Away

This one-size mouth guard from SleepRight is ready to use straight from the package… no boiling, warming, cutting, or molding required. But don’t let the simplicity of this pick fool you — a comfortable fit is totally achievable thanks to a few smart design features. Adjustable bite pads allow you to create a more custom fit, while stability wings are located on the upper sides of the bite pads and help to hold the mouth guard in place all night long.

Amazon reviewers agree that this one-sized pick is worth a buy. One reviewer wrote, “All thanks to this sleep guard, I don't wake up in the morning with splitting headaches and jaw pain anymore. This sleep guard is adjustable and fits on my molars perfectly. [...]. Overall, [definitely] worth the money.”

This pick has no BPAs, latex, silicone, or phthalates, and is backed by a one-year warranty.

4. A Pack Of Disposable One-Size Mouth Guards

When an Amazon reviewer claims that a product is “exactly what I needed,” then you know it’s got to be pretty dang useful. And there are many happy customers extolling the virtues of these one-size mouth guards from Plackers.

“After trying many different night guards, I finally found one that I can use. Other night guards were too bulky (even the ones that claimed to be smaller), and I couldn’t get used to them - lots of saliva and gagging. Yuck. [...] I have a small mouth and this one was a perfect fit, but the way it’s designed, it would fit a large mouth, too,” wrote one reviewer.

The disposable mouth guards can be used for the upper or lower teeth, and are ready to use right away, with no warming, cutting, or molding necessary. It’s also a really hygienic pick compared to other options since each BPA-free guard is individually packaged, and you only use it for up to three nights before throwing it away.

Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.

Experts:

Tricia Quartey-Sagaille, D.M.D., FAGD

Dr. Marc Lowenberg, Cosmetic Dentist at Lowenberg, Lituchy & Kantor