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Best Hard Night Guards to Stop Teeth Grinding, Clenching, and TMJ

Contributors:  Simon Frers

Looking for a hard night guard to stop teeth grinding?

You may need a personalized night guard for your teeth if you suffer from bruxism, or teeth grinding. There are a variety of undesirable side effects from clenching or grinding your teeth while sleeping, including enamel loss and headaches.

A night guard is a barrier between your upper and lower arches that fits over your upper teeth. As a result, if you grind your teeth, they will be grinding against a much softer plastic than the enamel that covers your teeth's surface.

There are one-size-fits-all night guards, night guard types that you can adjust to fit your bite, harder night guards that you can get custom-made for you, and hard dental night guards that you can purchase straight from the dentist.

In addition to the various fitting types, you also have the choice between different materials. Hard acrylic night guards and dual laminate night guards are some of the available options.

In this article, we’ll discuss the following:

  • What are hard night guards?
  • What are hard night guards made of?
  • What are the best hard night guards for clenching and teeth grinding?
  • Comparison of hard night guards vs. soft night guards

We hope that after reading this guide about hard dental night guards you can make the right decision for your specific needs.

What are hard night guards?

A hard night guard, also known as a nighttime mouth guard, is a dental device that fits over your teeth and prevents your top and bottom teeth from grinding or clenching at night. Certain individuals may require dental mouth guards throughout the day, but they are most often used at night, as many people grind their teeth while sleeping.

Sleep disruption, morning headaches, jaw discomfort, and earaches are all signs that you grind your teeth at night. If you think you're grinding your teeth at night, talk to your dentist about getting a harder night guard. Teeth grinding may cause enamel and tooth damage over time, leaving your teeth more sensitive and vulnerable to decay.

Different types of hard night guards

Make your impressions at home

Depending on the brand you pick, you may be able to customize the fit of your night guard. The following are the various night guards for bruxism:

  • One-size-fits-all: You may purchase over-the-counter mouth guards that are not custom-fitted. These are, undoubtedly, the most cost-effective solutions for the occasional teeth grinder.
  • Boil and bite: To make your own impression, just boil it in water and bite into it. It's typically rather straightforward to do and is inexpensive.
  • Order online: You may order nightguards from the comfort of your own home. You send your impression to the company you ordered from, and they give you a night guard that fits perfectly.
  • Night guards made in the dental lab: Mouth guards are available from your dentist. They provide the best possible fit because they are made in a lab using your impression.

It's one thing to consider the many kinds of fitting types. There are, however, also a variety of materials and structures to choose from.

Dual laminate night guards

A dual laminate night guard is also a harder type of night guard. However, the interior of a dual lamination night guard is soft, while the exterior is firm, providing extra protection and durability. 

It's a good alternative if you’re looking for maximum wearing comfort, but your teeth grinding is more severe and you want your night guard to endure longer.

Hard acrylic night guard

Another option is the hard acrylic night guard, also known as a hard plastic night guard. The hard acrylic night guard is much more durable than the soft night guard and other types.

Acrylic is a transparent, rigid plastic substance. This type is designed for people who grind their teeth often or severely. However, the acrylic night guard is not the same as an acrylic bite splint.

The acrylic biting splint is recommended to a patient to alleviate TMJ problems, while a standard hard acrylic night guard can help protect your teeth from damage through teeth grinding and clenching.

Because the hard acrylic night guard is constructed of a stronger material, it's essential to acquire a custom night guard that fits you exactly. The night guard may simply not fit onto the patient's teeth if the impression is not perfect. Custom night guards are also necessary if you need a night guard for braces.

hard night guard vs soft
Hard night guard vs soft: What types are the best?

Hard night guard cost

Your dentist will almost certainly recommend a harder night guard as a treatment option if you've been diagnosed with bruxism or TMJ disorder.

So, how much does a hard night guard cost you?

The cost of a harder night guard can vary greatly. The amount you need to spend depends on the severity of your bruxism and where you’re buying it.

Custom night guards cost $120 to $180 from internet retailers, a night guard from a dentist costs $300 to $900, and an over-the-counter night guard costs $20 to $30.

The quality and fit, on the other hand, differ substantially. An inexpensive night guard will not suffice if you're a heavy tooth grinder. You'll have to invest some money to get a high-quality night guard.

Hard night guards pros and cons



  • More durable

  • Prevents teeth from moving and shifting

  • Typically, it has a longer warranty

  • Can be uncomfortable

  • It can be more expensive

Are harder night guards the right choice for you?

Harder night guards are almost always the better choice, while soft night guards are only recommended in certain circumstances. They enable the bottom teeth to slip around easily. Furthermore, the soft ones may aggravate bruxism since the jaws naturally prefer to chew soft items.

Hard night guards vs. soft night guards

When comparing hard night guards vs soft night guards, there are benefits and drawbacks on both sides.

Hard night guards

Soft night guards

  • Durable

  • Long lifespan

  • Good for heavy grinders

  • Can be uncomfortable at first

  • More expensive

  • More comfortable

  • Cheaper

  • Heavy grinders will bite through them quickly

  • Can lead to more teeth grinding

Recommended hard night guard

It might be tough to choose whether soft or hard night guards are the best choice. Both kinds have advantages and disadvantages. The softer ones are more pleasant to wear, and most people find them more comfortable. However, the hard night guards are way more durable and a must if you’re a heavy grinder.

The ones we recommend are the SmileBrilliant night guards. They're just 2 mm thick, ultra-durable, and designed for maximum comfort. These Smile Brilliant night guards are hard night guards, and they are ultra-durable, while at the same time being comfortable to wear.

Depending on the severity of your bruxism, you may customize your Smile Brilliant night guard package. Here are your choices:

Intro package

Moderate Package

Deluxe package

You'll get one ultra-durable hard night guard that can last up to three months even if you're a heavy grinder.

You'll get two ultra-durable hard night guards that will last up to 6 months with heavy grinding.

You'll get four ultra-durable hard night guards that will last a year with heavy grinding.

Each of these hard night guard packages includes the following:

custom hard night guard
smile brilliant makes custom night guards
  • Custom-fit hard night guards: The hard night guards from Smile Brilliant are ultra-durable, ultra-thin, and comfortable to use while sleeping.
  • Tray for impressions: You'll get special impression material to create molds of your upper or lower teeth.
  • Impression materials: You’re being delivered two sets of impression material. If you don't get it right the first time, you'll have to use another set of impression materials to make your molds.
  • Pre-paid three-way postage: There will be no charges for shipping to and from the lab!
  • Professional dental lab services: Your night guards are hand-crafted at a dental laboratory in the US.


You may still be unsure whether you should get soft or hard night guards. They both have some benefits and drawbacks. Unless you're just grinding once in a while, hard night guards are usually the best option.

If you grind your teeth a lot or usually wear a retainer, you should always pick a hard night guard that is as durable as possible.

If you're looking for a hard night guard that provides great comfort, while also giving you maximum durability because you grind your teeth a lot, we suggest the SmileBrilliant night guards.

Best Hard Night Guards to Stop Teeth Grinding, Clenching, and TMJ
1.7 (33.33%) 3 vote[s]

Simon specializes in writing content on healthcare and dentistry. He is also the country manager for
Sources Night Guard for Bruxism: Teeth Grinding and Clenching. Consulted 23rd March 2022