A night guard is a dental appliance that is worn over the teeth during sleep. It is designed to protect the teeth from grinding and clenching, which can lead to tooth damage. Night guards are also used to treat bruxism, a condition that causes people to grind or clench their teeth.

Night guards are made from a variety of materials, including plastic, acrylic, and silicone. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes to fit different mouth sizes and shapes. Night guards can be custom-fit by a dentist or purchased over-the-counter.

Types of Night Guard:

There are two main types of night guard:

1. Custom-Fit Night Guard:

A custom-fit night guard is made by taking an impression of your teeth. This impression is then used to create a model of your mouth, which is used to create a night guard that is specifically designed for your mouth. Custom-fit night guards are generally more expensive than over-the-counter night guards, but they offer a better fit and are less likely to cause mouth soreness.

2. Over-The-Counter Night Guard:

Over-the-counter night guards are less expensive than custom-fit night guards but they do not offer as good of a fit. Over-the-counter night guards come in a variety of sizes and shapes, so it is important to find one that fits your mouth well. Over-the-counter night guards can also cause mouth soreness if they do not fit properly.

How to use a Night Guard:

Using a night guard is relatively simple. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind to ensure that your night guard fits properly and is comfortable to wear.

1. Choose the right size:

It is important to choose a night guard that fits your mouth well. If the night guard is too small, it will be uncomfortable to wear and may not provide adequate protection for your teeth. If the night guard is too large, it will be difficult to keep in your mouth and may not stay in place during sleep.

2. Follow the instructions:

Be sure to follow the instructions that come with your night guard. This will help ensure that the night guard fits properly and is comfortable to wear.

3. Clean your night guard:

It is important to clean your night guard regularly. This will help prevent the build-up of bacteria and other debris on the night guard, which can lead to tooth decay or gum disease.

4. Replace your night guard:

Night guards should be replaced every 6 months to 1 year. Over time, night guards can become worn down and no longer provide adequate protection for your teeth. Additionally, if you have any changes in your mouth (such as tooth loss), you will need to get a new night guard that fits properly.

Risks associated with wearing a Night Guard:

Wearing a night guard is generally considered safe. However, as with any dental appliance, there are some risks associated with wearing a night guard. These risks include:

  • Mouth soreness: Wearing a night guard can cause mouth soreness, especially if it does not fit properly.
  • Allergic reactions: Some people may be allergic to the materials used in night guards, such as latex or silicone.
  • Tooth decay: If the night guard does not fit properly, it can trap food and bacteria against the teeth, which can lead to tooth decay.
  • Gum disease: Night guards that do not fit properly can also cause gum irritation and inflammation. This can lead to gum disease.


Night guards are a simple and effective way to protect your teeth from damage caused by grinding or clenching. Wearing a night guard is generally considered safe. If you think a night guard is right for you, talk to your dentist to find out more.