Category Archives: Nigh Guards

Information on how to protect your teeth from grinding and clenching.

Grind Teeth and Need a Retainer?

Do you grind your teeth at night (bruxism), but also need a retainer to keep your teeth straight? This is a question that we are commonly asked.  There is a few solutions to this problem, and you need to pick which one would work best for you.

  1. Hard Night Guard and a Retainer: The primary function of a night guard is to protect the teeth from grinding\clenching. With a hard night guard its secondary function is to prevent the teeth from shifting. A night guard will not work as well as retainers do to prevent the teeth from shifting. We recommend getting both a hard night guard and retainers. You can wear the night guard most nights, but want to wear the retainers a couple nights a week to confirm the teeth are not shifting, or the retainers can be worn during the day.
  2. Essix Plus Retainers: The new essix plus material is much more wear resistant than the standard essix material. Essix plus retainers will be able to take moderate teeth grinding but not heavy teeth grinding. If your a heavy teeth grinder you will either have to get the night guard retainer option or replace your essix plus retainers more often.
Teeth Grinding Retainer

Depending on your level of grinding helps decide the correct option for you. If you have questions please contact us at or at 262-290-2396

How long will a Teeth Night Grinding Guard Last?

We get asked this question often, and it’s hard to give an exact answer. We use the analogy of a pair of running shoes and an Olympic athlete. A standard pair of running shoes might last the typical person a couple years, but an Olympic athlete only a couple months. If you are a severe grinding\clencher the lifespan of the guard with be dramatically shortened.

When trying to get the longest lifespan out of a night guard it is important to make sure that you have the proper night guard for your type of clenching or grinding. If you have the proper night guard it will typically last 2-5 years.

Night Guard

We have customers say they had the same night guard for over 10 years. When this is said they normally had a hard acrylic night guard. Studies have shown that solid acrylic night guards did more harm than good. A night guard is designed to be softer then the teeth so that the guard will wear and protect the teeth from wear.

To get the longest life span our out a night guard:

1: Pick the correct night guard. –Make sure your guard works for your type of grinding\clenching.

2: Clean night guard regularly –Use a quality cleaner to disinfect and prevent yellowing. Do not use alcohol based mouthwash.

3: Store Guard Correctly – Dogs love to chew on night guards. Make sure your guard is always in the case and out of reach of animals.

It’s always a good idea to have a duplicate of night guard in case one is lost. The backup can be worn while a replacement is being created. For more information on the different types of teeth grinding guards visit

5 Signs you might be Grinding your Teeth at Night:

Are you wondering if your grind you teeth at night? Studies have shown that up to 25% of all people do some teeth grinding at night. Teeth grinding normally only happens at night and most people have no idea that they grind their teeth until there dentist tells them, or if they start to experience pain in the morning

  1. Grinding sounds at night why sleeping.
  2. Jaw pain in the morning which can cause headaches
  3. Flat or worn down teeth. Even cracked teeth.
  4. Sores on the inside of the mouth
  5. Sensitive teeth –Enamel will be worn causing sensitivity with the teeth.

If you feel like you are experiencing bruxism (teeth grinding\clenching) visit your dentist and they can evaluate you further. The first step in preventing teeth grinding damage is to get a professional fitting teeth grinding guard. A night grinding guard is designed to take the force of grinding\clenching instead of having the teeth. The guard protects the teeth and will normally solve most people’s issues. Here is an example of a teeth grinding guard that we provide on our website.

Night Guard
Hard Flexible Bruxism Teeth Grinding Guard

Top 10 terms for Teeth Grinding Guards.

Terms for Teeth Grinding guards.

  1. Occlusal Splint– Occlusal is the relationship between the upper and lower teeth.
  2. Bite Guard- Your bite is another dental term for occlusal surface.
  3. Night Guard– Since most people wear their teeth guard at night this term has become popular.
  4. TMJ Guard– TMJ is the pain associated with jaw joint and surrounding muscles. Typically one of the first treatments for TMJ is to get a guard.
  5. Bite Splint- Splint is a generic term that connects the teeth as one.
  6. Bruxism Guard- Bruxism is the medical term for teeth grinding\clenching.
  7. MouthGuard- Since the guard is in your mouth this term has originated. Mouthguard correctly used is the term for an athletic sports guard.
  8. Sleep Guard- Similar to the term night guard, since the guard is worn while sleeping.
  9. Teeth Grinding Guard- Teeth grinding guard and night guard are the two most common terms.
  10. Dental Guards- This is a generic term for any type of guard that is used in the mouth.
Teeth Grinding Guards
SportingSmiles grinding Guards

This is just a few of the terms used for teeth grinding guards. There is often a mixture of the terms. Like Occlusal Guard, Bruxism Splint, Bite Guard, Sleep Splint, and Tmj Splint. No matter what term you are using, the guards do the same thing. They protect your teeth at night from teeth grinding\clenching.  If your interested in purchasing please visit.


Gagging On Teeth Night Guards

Many people find themselves not wearing their night guard because they are bulky or cause them to gag. There are a few things that can be done to make the guard more comfortable.

  1. Have a custom thermo-formed night guard that isn’t thicker than 3mm. From our testing at SportingSmiles we found that most people do not find the 3mm bulky, but some do find the 4mm to be bukly. If you find the 3mm to be to bulky there is also a thin 1mm hard night guard available.
  2. The way the guard is trimmed will also affect the gag factor. You want to make sure the guard is thermo-formed, because this provides the tightest fit. Having a tight fit lets lab techs make the night guards with a lower profile and still have a tight fitting guard.
  3. The length of the guard is also an important factor when dealing with comfort and gagging. If the guard is too long on the rear molars it can provoke gagging. Removing one or two molars can increase the comfort of the night guard.
  4.  Find a dentist and dental lab that is experienced in making night guards. There are many dentist/dental labs that aren’t familiar with the different type of materials and techniques that are now available for night guards. You want to do your research and make sure you are not spending hundreds of dollars on a guard that will end up sitting in a drawer because it is uncomfortable. At SportingSmiles we make thousands of teeth grinding guards every year and know the tricks to make the guards as comfortable as possible.

Contact SportingSmiles if you have more questions about getting the right night guard for your needs.

20 Percent Of Americans Grind Their Teeth At Night; Do You?

Banner_1While there are various reports suggesting that between 8 percent and 31 percent of Americans grind their teeth at night, the accepted percentage usually sits right at 20. There is a good chance that you, too, are a member of this group. Involuntary grinding of the teeth – also known as Bruxism – is frequently accompanied with moderate to excessive clenching of the jaw in between episodes.

Tell-tale signs that you are a sufferer include headaches in the morning, jaw muscles that hurt for no reason and heavily worn dental surfaces. If you have crowns or fillings installed in your back teeth, you may have noticed that they frequently break or wear out. While there is some evidence that suggests Bruxism is a hereditary condition, there are also some studies that suggest a connection between nightly teeth grinding and stress.

To counteract the damaging wear on your teeth, SportingSmiles offers you a choice of four different types of grinding guards:

  1. Soft night guard. Made of 3mm of flexible material, this type of night guard is comfortable and soft. If you clench your teeth more than you grind them, this guard is for you.
  2. Single layer hard night guard. We have incorporated 1mm of a denser protective material to minimize the size of this grinding guard. If you clench your jaw but only grind your teeth moderately – and if you want a grinding guard that feels the most comfortable – try this model for nightly use.
  3. Dual laminate night guard. This guard combines 1mm of soft core material and a 2mm strip of a shell-like exterior. If your clenching is moderate but you severely grind your teeth, this guard prevents the motion from destroying the material.
  4. Hard flexible night guard. Made of 3mm of highly-dense materials, the guard is somewhat flexible and extremely durable. When you suffer from strong clenching as well as severe night grinding, this is the most effective guard to protect your teeth while being comfortable enough for nightly wear.

Contact us today to order your set of impression materials. We will build your night guard to order and ship it to you immediately upon completion of the manufacturing process. Is it not time that you protect your teeth from the damage caused by night grinding?

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Do I Grind My Teeth When Sleeping?

Most people are unaware that they grind or clench their teeth while sleeping. Teeth grinding is also know by the medical term of Bruxism and  studies have shown that up to 25% of all people grind or clench their teeth in one way or another.

The 3 main symptoms of teeth grinding are.

  1. Worn Teeth: You or your dentist might notice that you have flat spots or have cracked teeth.
  2. Audible Detection: Your sleep partner may hear your teeth grinding or clenching while sleeping
  3. Jaw Pain: Pain/soreness might be felt in the jaw muscles especially after waking up.

There can be other symptoms to help diagnose if you grind your teeth. If you are concerned we recommend visiting your dentist to get a professional recommendation. Typically the first treatment for teeth grinding will be a night guard that is worn while sleeping.  There are a few different types of night guards available. Some of the materials work better than others depending on whether you are grinding or clenching. The harder materials tend to work better for teeth grinding, while the softer materials work better for teeth clenching.  SportingSmiles makes a hard flexible that is designed for both.

If you suspect that you might have Bruxism you should schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. Once the teeth are worn away, there is no way for them to repair themselves.

The Teeth Grinding Guard Cost

There are many different types of teeth grinding guards with extremely different price ranges.

DoctorsOver the counter:  OTC guards are found in drug stores and range in price from $10-$30. These guards are typically made by placing a universal sized guard in hot water then forming over your teeth. They  typically don’t last long and the fitting is poor.



Custom Fit (From Dentist): Dentist fitted guards range from dual$220-$600 depending on location and dentist. These are made by having a dentist take an impression of your teeth and sending the mold to a dental lab to be created.  Many dentists only make a few night guards wach year and aren’t aware of the different types of material available for night guards. Many times the Dual Laminate night guard is recommended.

Custom Fit (From SportingSmiles): The price range is from $65-$110. These guard are made using a self impression kit and mailing the kit-logoimpression directly to the dental lab. This product is dramatically lower in price since there is no dentist markup.  SportingSmiles has many different teeth guards, so the correct one to match your specific teeth grinding\clenching style can be produced.

How Do I Pick Which Night Grinding Guard Will Work Best For Me?

There are two types of night guards available. Over the counter night guards are available from the drug store and custom night guards are made in a dental lab. The over the counter guards are cheaper than a custom night guard, and are bulkier and less comfortable and typically don’t last as long. Custom night guards are made in a dental lab, using an impression of your teeth allowing for  the tightest, most comfortable fit and are very durable.

The most important part of picking a night grinding guard is understanding your type of Bruxism. Some guards are designed to prevent teeth from grinding, others from clenching or a combination of both.

Soft Night Guard: This guard is constructed with 3mm of a flexible, soft comfortable material. This night guard works well for teeth clenching and light grinding. Single Layer Hard Night Guard: This guard contains 1mm of a dense protective material. This night guard is designed for people with light grinding that prefer a thinner less bulky solution.

Dual Laminate Night Guard: This guard is 3mm thick and combines 1mm of a soft inner material and a 2mm harder exterior. This guard is designed for heavy grinding and moderate clenching.

Hard Flexible Night Guard: This guard offers maximum protection Night Guardwith 3mm of an extremely dense material, but is still flexible. This night guard is designed for severe night grinding and strong clenching.



There are also specialty guards. They are referred to as BackCut or DayGuards. These guards will have the front incisors of the guard removed. BackCut night guards also work well when being worn during the day because they are less noticeable then standard trimmed night guards.