How to Choose the Right Mouthguards & Night Guards

sports mouthguards - Choosing the right mouthguards and night guards

According to the National Sleep Foundation, up to 20% of your pediatric patients and 8-18% of your adult patients suffer from sleep-related bruxism.

Add to those all your patients who participate in sports–from little league football and middle-school soccer, to rowdy adult pick-up basketball games–and the need for mouthguards and nightguards in your practice becomes apparent.

We are a nation determined to put our teeth at risk for trauma, injury, and abnormal wear.




A variety of products exists for treating your patients’ bruxing habits, and protecting their teeth from sports-related injury.

For mouthguards, there are three major options: Stock (preformed & sold over-the-counter), boil-and-bite (available both over-the-counter and through your dental lab), and custom-made (fabricated only in dental offices or labs).

The custom-made night and mouthguards provide the best fit, adaptability, and durability.




Astron CLEARsplint night guards, a semi-flexible appliance made with a modified composite, provide advantages such as accurate fit and little-to-no chairside adjustments. When placed in warm water, the night guard softens enough for easy insertion. They can also be customized based on the occlusal plane you prescribe. Ramps and guide planes are also available as add-ons.


Related: What Astron CLEARsplint™ Can Do For Your Dental Practice


For night guards that provide maximum strength, hard acrylic night guards can be worn at night, or even during the day. Heavy bruxers benefit from hard acrylic, as they typically chew right through softer material.

A hard/soft night guard – a combination of a hard outer shell with a soft liner – serves as an excellent option for those who don’t require the strength of a hard night guard. A thermo-formed appliance, the hard/soft night guard can also be customized with acrylic for anyone with specific occlusal plane requests.

For light bruxers with sensitive teeth, a flexible, soft night guard offers the best solution. Made from soft ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), these work for both patients missing several teeth, and those with unusual bites.


Athletic Mouthguards


For athletes, you’ll have two options: Custom-made mouthguards, and less expensive “boil and bites.”.

Custom-made athletic mouthguards provide superior protection, and they come in a variety of colors for your most fashion-conscious teenagers. Boil-and-bite mouthguards, which are boiled or microwaved prior to fitting, provide decent protection as well, and can be adjusted to wear with braces.

The American Dental Association encourages dentists to talk with their patients about sports safety, and to recommend the use of mouthguards as a standard piece of athletic equipment. Discuss the risk of injury to the teeth, jaw, lips, tongue, and other soft tissues with any patient who participates in sports.

Likewise, educate patients who grind their teeth about the dangers of bruxing – temporomandibular (TMJ) disorders, stress, facial pain, and problems sleeping.


The Right Lab, Your First Choice


The professional dental laboratory technicians at First Choice Dental Lab® fabricate several types of mouth and nightguards each day.

We can advise you on the appropriate products to meet your patients’ unique needs, and get them to you on-time, every time.

Contact us today by completing the form below, or by calling us at 630-541-7666, to discuss available options, and to get professional advice on the appliances that are right for your patients!

Give your patients a reason to smile with First Choice Dental Lab®!




Contact Us Today to Create a New Smile!