Custom-Fit vs. Over-the Counter Dental Guards: Pros & Cons

 In Dental Guard

If your dentist recommends a dental guard, you have a decision to make: Do you spend hundreds on a custom-fit guard, or do you save some money and time and choose an over-the-counter dental guard?

Over the counter Dental Guard - Sleep Right

Custom-fit dental guards can only be made and sold by your dentist. If you need one, you’ll need to schedule a time for an appointment to be fitted for your custom dental guard. Custom guards require professional attention and are made specifically for your mouth. They can cost anywhere from $100 to $1,000 depending on the material used, how much material is needed, and any other specifications you need for your mouth. Your dental plan might cover or partially cover the cost, but you should check before scheduling the fitting.

Custom-fit dental guard benefits include: providing the best protection available, offering a custom fit for your mouth and teeth, and extreme durability. However, custom-fit guards can be expensive and requires several dentist appointments to be fitted and ensure they fit properly.

If you need a dental guard but don’t have the extra money or time to spend on a custom-fit guard, you may want to try an over-the-counter option.

The biggest criticism of over-the-counter dental guards used to be that they are a pain to fit to your teeth and even then, the fit is not great. But with new technology, that has changed. While you can still get the old “boil-and-bite” guards that you have to place in boiling water to make the plastic soft and pliable enough to fit to your teeth by biting, no-boil guards are available.

SleepRight’s Dental Guard features patented self-adjust technology features two bite pads that fit between your upper and lower molars. The pads have four positions, making it easy to customize the fit. They adjust forward for a smaller fit, and backward for a larger fit, and they swivel to match the angle of all bites. Another option, the SleepRight ProRx Custom Dental Guard is made from a moldable thermoplastic material that softens in water at only 140 degrees, or about 72 degrees cooler than the average boil-and-bite guard. This offers a more comfortable and faster fitting experience and provides a secure-fitting, ultra-thin custom dental guard.

Over-the-counter mouth guards like SleepRight’s are convenient, and you can pick one up today at most pharmacies, Walmart and some online retailers. They are affordable and quick to fit. However, they may not be suitable for violent teeth grinders, they may not last as long as custom-fit guards and the fit may not be as precise as what a dentist can provide.

Both types of dental guards provide good protection for teeth. Whether you are considering a custom-fit guard or you want to try an over-the-counter dental guard, be sure to talk to your dentist about your specific needs and what might be best for you. Visit for more information about their line of no-boil, quality dental guards.

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