My new bite guard: for $450, they could have done better

Having completed the first year of my Ph.D. program, I discovered (rather, my dentist discovered) that I have started to grind my teeth. A bite guard to wear at night was duly ordered–and it cost $450. OUCH!

Well, I got it today. I have just tried to sleep in it and failed miserably. It is bulky, and it takes just enough extra effort to keep my mouth closed and not drool that I am not falling asleep, and ending up even TENSER than without it.

Can someone PLEASE tell me about their experiences with bite guards? Is it supposed to be like this? Why couldn’t they make it a very thin layer of plastic, to form-fit over my top teeth?

I’ve only had a spacer that I wore at night on my top teeth. I can understand how it could make trying to sleep a hassle. I just finally just refused to take it out at night. That’s the only alternative, other than just not wearing it. Eventually, you’ll get used to it. Give it a chance. Good luck!

My dentist wanted to order one for me. I told him not to bother, I wouldn’t use it if I had it. He very wisely believed me. :smiley: When that period of stress ended, I stopped grinding my teeth.

A couple of years ago, I started up again, and my dentist commented on it. I started putting my tongue between my teeth when I went to sleep ( I sleep on my side because it is easier on my back) and very quickly stopped grinding my teeth when asleep. :stuck_out_tongue:

I got a nightguard about a month ago. I was informed that I would get used to it in short order. Hasn’t happened yet, I still hate it. Also, I don’t grind my teeth, I clench them, so it hasn’t really helped. The thing was supposed to help with my ear problems, and it hasn’t at all.

However, I only had to pay $70. My insurance covered it.

I gave up wearing mine because I’d wake up in the morning with the guard somewhere in the bed, not in my mouth. I still can’t figure out how I kept removing it without waking up.

How did your dentist discover that you were grinding your teeth? and is it such a problem that you have to spend $450 dollars to stuff a sponge in your mouth?

They can tell by the wear pattern on your teeth if you’re grinding your teeth.

My first one was a full top guard, and that was $900 (insurance didn’t cover it either.) It took a little bit of time, like two weeks, before I could sleep the night through with it in. Then I had some surgery to rebuild the bone under my gums. Two weeks later, I was told I could start wearing it again, and found that it was just too painful. It seems the teeth on the right side of my mouth shifted, causing the bite guard to no longer fit.

I now have one that fits just the first couple of front teeth. An NLI, they called it. I’ve only had it a couple of days, and still can’t sleep through the night without taking it out. But I’ll get there.

I’m with you on this one. I can’t figure out why they couldn’t make it thinner. Fortunately, I got it done at school and my insurance covered it, so it was less than $100, but I hate wearing the thing to bed. I’m not best pleased about having to buy denture cleaners to soak it in (I’m 24!) during the day, and I can’t help but feel like it’s not actually doing anything. I mean, the thing is hard. So if I’m chomping down on my teeth, or I’m chomping down on the guard, what is being protected? As far as I can tell, my bottom teeth will still be wearing down since it’s only on the top.

I’ve had my nightguard for about 2 years now and I wear it every night. I’ve only flipped it out a couple of times while sleeping. I resisted getting it for several years because I didn’t think I’d be able to get used to it. Mine covers my upper teeth from my canines back. It’s not too thick. $160 total cost; insurance covered part of it. It’s light blue!

I clench and grind–I still wake my husband up, even with the night guard. However, I’m grinding the night guard with my bottom teeth now instead of shifting my upper teeth around by locking my lowers in and grinding.

Wear your nightguard! Don’t be like me; because I have a tendency to bone loss, my tooth grinding contributed to the loss of 5 teeth. I’m only 38 years old and now I have to wear a partial plate forever. Though I finally got my permanent plate and it fits well and looks okay, I miss my real teeth. My nightguard still fits. Although it only covers two teeth on one side now, I know it’s all that’s keeping me from grinding my sole upper right molar right out of my head.

Even knowing how awful clenching and grinding is for my teeth, I still find myself doing it during the day. I used to be able to wear my nightguard during the day as well if I needed it (a couple of very stressful days it was necessary), but now that I have the partial plate, I can’t wear my nightguard and my teeth at the same time.

I’ve been wearing one to bed for about 3 years. It goes on the bottom and I adpated to it in just a few days. Now I can’t sleep without it. But it’s a nightly ritual, I go to bed and then discover I haven’t put it in yet. So I have to drag myself back to the bathroom and fetch it.

My insurance didn’t cover it and it was $300.

does it look like this? My dentist is trying to push that on me, so far I haven’t bit…

No, it doesn’t look like that. Think of those trays they put gel in to do fluoride treatments. Now imagine they fill that tray with clear molten plastic, and dip the mold of your teeth into it. That’s exactly what it looks like–when I wear it, it looks like I bit into something rather squishy.

I cracked a tooth, I have worn down my canines, and I have pain in the teeth behind my canines, all from grinding my teeth.

I asked my dentist for a night guard. He gave me lots of advice (which I’ll share, of course), then told me to go away and think about it before I asked him again for one. He said there are two kinds of night guards – soft and hard – and it can take some experimenting to find the kind that’s right for me. He said that many people find it difficult to use a night guard, and one of the dangers (particularly with the soft kind) is that it actually encourages tooth-grinding/clenching, because now your teeth have something to gnaw on. He said the tooth-grinding has its basis in psychological issues (like stress) and that a better solution is controlling the stress.

Then he laughed and said that he grinds his teeth, can’t seem to control the stress, and spits his night guard out, so I should take his advice with a grain of salt. I went away and thought about it, and am now attempting to control the tooth grinding with the power of my mind.

Sattua, maybe you should try the other kind of nightguard? I can’t tell from your description whether you have the soft or the hard kind (I think it’s hard), but maybe a different kind would help. The drugstore also sells “night guards” for about $20 (I’m sure you get what you pay for), but maybe you could see if there’s one there that might help. I don’t remember, but I think those might be the soft kind. Good luck.

Incidentally, I had to get a crown to replace the tooth I’d cracked through grinding/clenching. While I had a temporary in, I didn’t grind or clench at night. Not because my life wasn’t stressful right then, but because I was too worried about popping out the temp. So that taught me that I can control it, but I need to focus.

How’s it going since then? Uh . . . let’s just say my mind isn’t cooperating just yet, but I have hope that I’ll get better at it.

I don’t think it’s always stress related, because as far as I know, I’ve been grinding my teeth since I was a child. I’m not particularly stressed now, but I have recently realized that I keep my jaw muscles semi-tense for most of the day. I’ve been working on relaxing them whenever I think about it, but how am I supposed to know if it’s improving my night time grinding/biting? I sleep alone, sadly, so there’s nobody to tell me if I am. Although it would make an interesting pick up line…
“Hey baby, want to sleep with me? No no! Ow! Hey! I meant just to see if I’m still grinding my teeth!”

I had one similar to the type Sattua mentioned. Got it about 8 years ago and ground through it over the course of a couple of months. Although I don’t sleep with people that often, the handful I have over the past few years have never complained. It used to be so bad that my sister would hear me from the room next to mine. I wouldn’t be surprised if I clenched, though, as I do such throughout most of the day.

This may be a really stupid question, but why spend so much money on a mouthguard? I can go into a sporting goods shop and buy a mouth guard for about $8. If the goal is to stop teeth from grinding, wouldn’t that do the trick? Why go to a dentist and get a custom made one for much more money?

I ask the same question…I even tried the football ones. They’re much bulkier and really triggered my gag reflex.

I got the clear kind that fits over my top teeth from my dentist. I had to have it trimmed, though. That might help you, Sattua. The dental tech shaved off some of the bulkiness around the back and I was no longer gagging on it. I have since shaved off a bit in a couple of other places where I noticed I have a tendancy to have swollen gums at certain hormonally crappy times o’ the month.

Good luck with it.

My dentist actually told me not to waste my money on a custom mouthguard because the sporting goods kind was just as good. (I bought mine for a buck.)

I got my nightguard around 15 years ago - still have the same one, actually. It’s a hard acrylic that snaps over my top teeth. I love it. Before I got it, I had constant headaches and toothaches. The dental hygenist spent nearly an hour getting it ground down exactly right. It cost around $600, IIRC. If I go without it for a couple of nights, my teeth move out of alignment and my head starts hurting again. Getting a nightguard is about the best thing I’ve ever done for my teeth.

Well, I’ve never found a store-bought mouthguard that fit as well.

I got one in 2003 because I was wearing away my canines. I only had to have a top one made, and it took one trip for the mold-making and one trip to pick it up. I loved it. I never spat it out, had any trouble faling asleep with it, or anything. I only stopped using it when my dog chewed it to tiny pieces.