What Are the Best Over the Counter Mouth Guards for Teeth Grinding?

over the counter mouth guards What Are the Best Over the Counter Mouth Guards for Teeth Grinding?

There’s no doubt that life nowadays is stressful, and as a result, we are grinding our teeth more than ever. According to a New York Times article, incidences of teeth grinding have increased since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, owing to generally increased levels of stress and anxiety nationwide. While a little clenching and grinding might not seem like a big deal, bruxism can become quite serious when left unchecked. Unattended bruxism may lead to sensitive teeth, and damaged teeth, and may increase the likelihood of cavities developing in damaged areas.

So how can you protect your smile and improve your sleep? The simple answer is by wearing a mouthguard. Over-the-counter mouthguards are an effective and accessible way to treat bruxism without making a trip to the dentist’s office. If you’re looking for fast relief, investing in an over-the-counter mouth guard will help mitigate your symptoms in a matter of days.

Like many dental appliances, there are multiple varieties of over-the-counter mouthguards to choose from. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most common varieties and explored the pros and cons each one has to offer.

How Do I Know I Have Bruxism?

First things first, let’s talk about some of the signs and symptoms of bruxism. Often caused by grinding teeth due to anxiety and stress, the symptoms of bruxism generally manifest in the neck, jaw, and face.

Symptoms include:

  • Soreness in the jaw.
  • Limited mobility in opening and closing the mouth.
  • Headaches and neck aches from tense muscles.
  • Sensitivity in the teeth.
  • Worn or damaged enamel.
  • Cracked teeth.

If you suspect you might be suffering from bruxism, make an appointment with your dentist for an exam. This way, you ensure any underlying problems are solved before you start wearing your mouthguard.

Over-the-Counter Mouth Guards for Bruxism

Selecting the right dental appliance to treat bruxism relies on a combination of factors including the severity of the condition, your budget, and the recommendations of your dentist. Remember that every case is unique, and it’s important to find what works best for your health.

Prefabricated Mouth Guards

The most accessible type of mouthguards is prefabricated varieties available in most drugstores and pharmacies. These mouthguards are typically made of hard plastic material and come pre-molded in the shape of upper or lower teeth. Prefabricated mouthguards are designed with the intention that you simply pop them in and enjoy immediate benefits without any fuss or hassle.|

  • Easy to find in your local drugstore or pharmacy.
  • Prefabricated mouthguards are usually inexpensive, typically ranging between $15-$20 at the store or online.
  • There’s no fuss or need to mold the mouthguard to fit your teeth. Just pop it in and you’re ready to go!


  • The hard plastic material can make prefabricated mouthguards more uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time.
  • Because these mouth guards are prefabricated they may not fit well, depending on the structure of your mouth and teeth.
  • Prefab mouthguards are not suitable for people with severe bruxism since they aren’t as durable as other varieties.

Boil and Bite Mouth Guards

Boil and bite mouthguards are another fantastic over-the-counter option for quick relief from bruxism. Like prefab varieties, they are usually in stock at most drugstores or easy to find online. Boil and bite guards provide slightly more customization than prefabricated guards. To mold the mouth guard to fit your teeth, heat the material in hot water until it’s soft, then, bite into the material to make an impression of your teeth. Once you’ve completed the customization steps, your mouth guard should fit your teeth snugly.


  • Accessible at pharmacies and drug stores.
  • More customizable than prefabricated varieties, resulting in a more secure fit.
  • The soft material makes these mouthguards comfortable to wear overnight.
  • Boil and bite mouth guards are a budget-friendly option, usually ranging between $25-$30.


  • The softness of boil and bite mouth guards makes them more susceptible to general wear and tear over time, and they often need to be replaced more frequently.
  • Despite some opportunities for customization, these mouthguards may still be bulky or uncomfortable since they aren’t customized by a professional manufacturer.
  • Like prefabricated mouth guards, boil and bite guards aren’t suitable for individuals with severe bruxism.

Custom-Made Mouth Guards

Custom mouthguards offer the convenience of over-the-counter varieties and the efficacy of professional appliances. Custom mouthguards can be ordered online, and require the consumer to complete an impression kit to get the best-fitting guard. Once completed, the impression kit should be mailed back to the manufacturer so they can make your custom-fitted appliance. Custom mouthguards come in a variety of thicknesses and materials, depending on what type of condition you’re treating.


  • Custom-made guards offer the best overall fit of any variety. Since they are molded to match your teeth exactly, they won’t fall out or feel bulky.
  • Custom guards are typically comfortable for long-term wear.
  • Because they can be adjusted to address a variety of issues, custom guards are typically much more durable and long-lasting.
  • Unlike boil and bite guards, custom guards are suitable to treat severe bruxism.
  • Custom guards are easy to access online, and don’t require a trip to the dentist’s office.


  • Because they are specialized, custom guards are typically more expensive than other varieties, ranging between $120-$150. This being said they are more durable and will last for years without needing to be replaced.
  • Since custom guards need to be made to specifically fit your mouth, they take longer to receive than other varieties. Buying an inexpensive bite guard as an interim solution is a great way to get relief while you wait for your custom guard to arrive.

Finding Your Perfect Fit with Dental Lab Direct

It’s clear that if you’re looking for the most sustainable, long-term results, ordering a custom-made mouthguard is the best option. At Dental Lab Direct we offer a variety of custom-made dental appliances delivered straight to your door. Our guards are made from FDA approved materials, so you know your guard is high-quality and safe to wear for long periods of time.

Skip the inconvenience of the doctor’s office by ordering your mouth guard directly to your home. Our three-step ordering process is easy, and hassle-free, and guarantees that a custom mouth guard will be delivered to your home in a matter of two to three weeks.

Don’t let teeth-grinding define your life. Choose Dental Lab Direct and enjoy a brighter, healthier, smile.