right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04

Night guard for teeth grinding?

jgotteachjgotteach 90 replies7 threads Junior Member
edited July 2011 in Parent Cafe
My son's new dentist informed us that his teeth are wearing down from nighttime teeth grinding. We weren't aware of this (snoring and talking in his sleep yes, but not grinding!) but want to follow through with their recommendation for a night guard.

The office has given us a referral to an orthodontist for a custom made nightguard/retainer combination. I haven't called for an appt. yet, so I have no idea what the cost will be. I'm wondering about the retainer part, as DS was not good about wearing his retainer in middle school, although he says now he will wear the nightguard to protect his teeth, if it isn't too uncomfortable.

Does anyone have any experience with nightguards, either custom or over-the-counter?

Thanks, in advance, for your help!
edited July 2011
30 replies
Post edited by jgotteach on
· Reply · Share

Replies to: Night guard for teeth grinding?

  • SchmoomcgooSchmoomcgoo 1219 replies76 threads Senior Member
    I have used the over-the-counter type and, I'll admit, my use has been spotty. If you trim the heck out of them they are comfy enough, I just find it...er...obstructive in certain intimate situations. :$ I have, more-or-less, learned to sleep with my chin raised so that my teeth don't meet, but that's surely not foolproof.

    The custom guards cost a bundle--$300+ because they have to take impressions (or maybe the dentist is sending you to the orthodontist because they already have impressions?) At any rate, do get one and impress upon him the importance of wearing it! I have flattened teeth and problems with broken fillings and am currently in the process of getting a very costly implant because no one noticed until I was in my late 30's.
    · Reply · Share
  • jym626jym626 56591 replies2968 threads Senior Member
    HEres a ways to get less espensive custom guards. No clue if they are reputable, just read about them Custom Night Guard
    · Reply · Share
  • mimk6mimk6 4108 replies54 threads Senior Member
    DH got one and then started having jaw pain that stopped when he stopped using it. Something similar with someone else I knew. I might get a small one as I've ground a gold crown away. Check your insurance. Mine covers a good part of it, but DH was upset to get his and then find out that insurance didn't pay - the dentist's office didn't disclose that. I understand the fit is very important and some people think it should be made by an orthodontist.
    · Reply · Share
  • fendergirlfendergirl 4623 replies160 threads Senior Member
    If you have insurance check if they cover TMJ - that's the portion of dental insurance that covers on night guards.
    · Reply · Share
  • CCsiteObsessedCCsiteObsessed 569 replies7 threads Member
    I've been grinding my teeth for years, cracked my fillings, etc. Regular dentists have made my night guards. DD started to grind her teeth, too. Somewhere along the way, she lost her upper retainer. She just started to go to my dentist, and he said a night guard would be about half the cost of a new retainer, but that they do the same thing. Well, you could never wear the night guard out in public, so I can see why the retainer would cost more. My dentist makes an impression, then sends it out to be made.
    · Reply · Share
  • ellemenopeellemenope 11344 replies36 threads Senior Member
    I have used the over-the-counter type and, I'll admit, my use has been spotty.

    I've got the expensive, custom made type and I, too, admit that my use has been spotty.
    · Reply · Share
  • polarscribepolarscribe 3200 replies32 threads Senior Member
    I have a custom-fitted NTI-tss upper mouthguard... wear it religiously, because my dentist said I was on a road to not having much enamel left.
    · Reply · Share
  • BunsenBurnerBunsenBurner 39705 replies471 threads Senior Member
    TMI insurance does not cover night guards unless you have other, real TMJ problems. DH got one at his dentist's office, and it was $300 out of pocket. I suggest you shop around and maybe try a drug store one first. DH's teeth guard works, because he wears it. If you are not good at following your doctors' instriluctions religiosly, it will be a waste of money.
    · Reply · Share
  • fireandrainfireandrain 4685 replies54 threads Senior Member
    I have a custom night guard, and wear it religiously. I'm so used to it now that it feels funny to sleep without it.

    Before getting it, while waiting for it to be made, I used an over-the-counter one. I definitely prefer the custom-fit one. It cost a lot of money, but I haven't cracked a tooth since wearing it. I had 3 cracked teeth, and one root canal, in the year before getting it. So it was expensive, but has paid for itself already.
    · Reply · Share
  • VeryHappyVeryHappy 18746 replies328 threads Senior Member
    I also have a custom nightguard, for the bottom teeth, and wear it religiously. My teeth were wiggly before I got it (15 or so years ago). Whenever I have dental work done on the bottom, I bring the nightguard with me so they can fit the new work to the nightguard.

    I think it also acts as a retainer, by keeping the bottom teeth in place.

    If I recall, it was over $500 -- huge, but absolutely necessary.
    · Reply · Share
  • fafnir605fafnir605 327 replies20 threads Member
    My D has one. Actually, she's on her second, so I imagine she would have no teeth left if she didn't use it religiously. The cost depends on your dental insurance, though. Her first one was covered completely, the second only partially due to a change in insurance. Luckily, her new dental coverage at work has reverted back to the original insurer, so the third one will be fully covered.
    · Reply · Share
  • ElleneastElleneast 1199 replies45 threads Senior Member
    I have been using a custom guard for the past year or so. It cost a little less than $500. I no longer have jaw pain during the day and my husband says that my snoring has lessened as well. :)
    · Reply · Share
  • FallGirlFallGirl 8201 replies28 threads Senior Member
    My custom night guard cost around $300- $400 and has lasted for years. In the long run it has most likely saved me money.
    · Reply · Share
  • MomofWildChildMomofWildChild 23052 replies194 threads Senior Member
    I would not recommend getting a custom guard for your son, and I am usually the first one to rush to the more expensive item. They are easily lost/misplaced and I think you can do the self-fitting ones that you order online (you heat them up or something and make a mold and send it back in) for about $90. I would do that. I don't know anyone in person, despite the reports above in this thread, that has thought their custom guard was worth it. It is sort of like Vit D- it is being pushed by all dentists right now.
    · Reply · Share
  • somemomsomemom 10912 replies328 threads Senior Member
    My DH used a custom one for years ($300++) and was diligent in his usage. Then the puppy chewed it up and we bought drugstore ones which seemed to work fine.

    A while later he had a horrendous headache/toothache and saw a dentist for the emergency tooth pain. It sort of sounded like a scam, but the guy said he did not have anything wrong with his teeth, it was his bite. We bought an even pricier night guard, which the dentist adjusted every day for a week, to tweak DHs bite a bit each day. by the end of a couple of weeks, his head/neck/back pain were relieved and he is a religious user. He uses it on long drives, too.

    At the very least try the drug store one first, though. DHs first night guard did not have the bite adjustment attachment and I am not sure how confident I would be in just getting one of those from just any one.
    · Reply · Share
  • BCEagle91BCEagle91 22635 replies127 threads Senior Member
    Got one for our son a while ago: $300.
    · Reply · Share
  • jgotteachjgotteach 90 replies7 threads Junior Member
    It sounds like insurance is long-shot, but I'll give them a call Monday morning.

    I'll look around at our local drug store today, to see what I can find. I did research one of the online companies for a custom guard, where they send you the molding kit, and then ran across some reviews that said this particular company was a scam. It sounds like a good idea, but it's going to take more searching.

    Has anyone had any positive experiences with any of the online companies?

    I'm thinking I'll have my son try an over-the-counter version while I'm looking into other options. I guess the best value is going to be whichever one my son will wear on a regular basis. He says he wasn't "mature enough" :) to wear his retainer regularly when he was in younger but that he's more motivated now to keep his teeth from wearing away. So if we do decide to invest in a custom guard, the added benefit would be the retainer part.

    I think his former (and maybe future) orthodontist give free consults, so I need to make an appt. to get his professional opinion.

    It does seem like our children are proscribed so many more "necessities" when I was growing up. My brother-in-law remembers his dentist telling him that unless he was planning to be a movie star, there was no need to fix his (noticeably) crooked teeth! My son's teeth, however, looked exactly the same to me and my untrained eye pre and post-orthodontia - although his bite was adjusted.

    Thanks to everyone for your suggestions!
    · Reply · Share
  • pugmadkatepugmadkate 5824 replies64 threads Senior Member
    My dentist makes mine. It's nice because when I grind through the back teeth part of the guard, they can just cast another one for me.
    · Reply · Share
  • Emaheevul07Emaheevul07 5890 replies76 threads Senior Member
    I had a custom nightguard, tried it for a week, and stopped using it. It forced my lower jaw slightly forward and drove me INSANE all night, gave me headaches, and I couldn't sleep at all. In the morning my jaw was too stiff to eat breakfast. I have actually ground holes in my enamel and have exposed dentin, so it's a serious problem for me-- two different denists told me that if we didn't stop this we'd have to sand my teeth down and put porcelain caps on all of them. But wearing the bite splint was agonizing so I gave up. Now that I've stopped grinding during the day, I don't have any more pain so maybe I don't do it at night anymore either. The dentist hasn't yelled at me recently...
    · Reply · Share
  • walkinghomewalkinghome 7508 replies298 threads Senior Member
    I bought two from Target and both worked very well. I would certainly go that route before going for an expensive one. My dentist actually recommended I try that first. I used to wake up with an aching jaw and sometimes headaches.
    · Reply · Share
This discussion has been closed.

Recent Activity