The Differences Between Off-The-Shelf and Dental-Fitted Mouthguards

Bruxism is a common symptom experienced by many people. Also known as Teeth Grinding, your teeth clench and grind together at night whilst you sleep, causing unknown damage to your teeth. This increases the risk of developing cavities, bacteria, and infection. If your teeth are showing signs of degrading, chances are they’re clenching without your knowledge.

Bruxism is typically experienced through one of the following symptoms:

  • Jaw muscle contraction
  • Grinding sounds at night
  • Painful or stiff jaw muscles
  • Facial pain
  • Side to side swelling


Bruxism is not exactly life-threatening. It will, however, degrade the health of your teeth. The solution to this is to use a mouthguard. Mouthguards can also be used for sports activities and it can be confusing whether off-the-shelf mouthguards are acceptable to use at night. It is a valid question. Here, we breakdown what both mouthguard types are and what is recommended.

What Are Off-The-Shelf Mouthguards?

Off-The-Shelf mouthguards are similar to mouthguards used by athletes but are in some respects expected to help with Bruxism and reduce teeth grinding. They are a cheaper alternative but are not expected to protect your teeth as effectively as a custom-fitted guard. This puts your teeth at risk of further dental treatment later on. What’s more, an off-the-shelf mouthguard is usually one fit for all. This means mouthguards may become loose and fall out at times. Shelf mouthguards are typically only available for the upper roof of the teeth.

What Are Dental-Fitted Mouthguards?

Dental fitted mouthguards are prescribed custom-fitted mouthguards that you are given by your dentist. Developed with thermoplastic material, they are designed to fit effectively against the upper and lower roof of the teeth. They provide optimal safety and comfort during sleep and fit well so that they stay in position while you sleep.


Our Recommendation and Why?

Whilst off-the-shelf mouthguards may provide a degree of relief to your teeth, there is no guarantee that they are effective when you sleep. Custom-fitted mouthguards are precisely designed to meet the contours of teeth. They are comfortable, molded to suit your oral needs and do not affect breathing. For those who regularly grind their teeth, sleep becomes distorted and makes you feel lethargic throughout the day.

Off-the-shelf mouthguards may be purchased because of its affordability. However, they won’t protect your teeth properly and puts you at a greater risk of dental treatment later on.

Cosmetic Dentistry is a worthwhile solution for misshapen teeth. Click here to find out more.

If you suffer from teeth grinding and require further advice on mouthguards, contact us at Mentone Dentist now and let our experienced dental team take care of you.

Disclaimer: The content provided on this website is intended for general informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice tailored to your specific needs and circumstances. Any reliance you place on the information provided in these blogs is, therefore, strictly at your own risk. We shall not be held responsible for any loss or damage resulting from the use of the information provided on this website.