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A member asked:

will a store-bought night guard work if i can't afford a custom one? i need a night guard to protect my teeth against grinding, but my insurance won't cover any of the cost of a custom one, and i also can't afford to pay it. in a pinch, can i just get one

5 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Chad Gretzula
Specializes in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
The : The short term answer is yes. It will help to stop the wear and tear on your teeth. Make sure you get one that is for only your top teeth. You dont want to get one that does both the top and bottom at the same time becase this will cause issues with your bite and may effect your joints. The long term answer is no. You really need to see a dentist who can coustom make you one that correctly fits and helps your occlusion ( your bite). Good luck.
Dr. Majid Jamali
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery 26 years experience
Hello, I : Hello, i don't think that is good idea. They are not made for you bite and teeth. They might cause more problems for your tmj.
Dr. Peter Certo
Dentistry 29 years experience
I : I agree with dr gretzula. One thing to add; these soft over-the-counter mouthguards promote clenching, which can cause damage to your tmjs. We make night guards that are hard to prevent clenching. Any guard at all will protect your teeth from damage from grinding or clenching, short-term, but what will they do long-term is the more important issue. Ask your dentist for a payment plan that will work for both of you.
Dr. Robert Tang
General Practice 38 years experience
Store nightguard: Yes, it will help the teeth from wearing because you kept something in between teeth . Since it was not made by dentist, the bite can be a problem which means it can create more muscle activity which is not great as you can end up with muscle fatigue and headache
Dr. Arnold Malerman
Orthodontics 53 years experience
Not recommended: For some people it's helpful. For most it's not, and can even cause worsening of your symptoms. Professional oral orthotics are custom made. Think of it this way, do you think one-size-fits all shoes are a good idea?

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Last updated Apr 13, 2019

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