Night Guard Question

Langage barrier with the dentist, so I’m asking here!

I got my night guard today from the dentist, to deal with the teeth-grinding issues I have when I sleep.

But when I first got it, the thing was REALLY tight, like, to the point of hurting. The dentist made some adjustments and all, but it still feels extremely tight. He said it would adjust to my mouth and feel more normal after some time. (It’s made of hard resin.)

1. A website I saw suggested wearing it during the day (about 8 hours per day) for a week before trying to wear it at night. Anyone else do this?

2.Those of you with night guards — did yours also feel tight as hell when you first tried it on? (It’s just that it feels like it’s pressuring my front teeth back and the teeth on the sides inward, even though the dentist said, “Oh, no, no, it’s not!”)


By the way, I’ll probably revert the post to limited access later, because who wants to read about night guards? But I still appreciate your comments!

14 thoughts on “Night Guard Question

  1. I’ve never had a custom owned nightguard that hurt, however they are tight (without being painful) when I get them. I wouldn’t wear them during the day, just wear them at night when they do the most good.

  2. My only experience with nightguards was a *long* time ago, back in childhood. If they’re still cast out of clear plastic, yes, they do tend to be a little bit out of dimension, possibly due to shrinkage in the cast plastic as it sets/cures. I got used to it, but the first time I wore the thing it was definitely on the edge of being painful.

  3. I have been wearing one for year, but because I traveled a lot I would often forget them in a hotel in a country I might not see again, ever.

    I solved this by buying a hand full of those cheap mouth guards you get at pharmacies. You know, the ones you would want to use for things like American Football or Rugby. You drop it in hot water, pop in in your mouth and after a bit of adjusting and cutting of the excess “plastic”, you are ready to go.

  4. I’ve heard the changing of the guard at 3pm in Deoksugung is worth catching.


    I happen to know a pretty good dentist in the downtown, if you want a second opinion.

  5. Thanks everyone!

    I didn’t wear it last night, but I think I will try it tonight. This morning I put it in for a half hour or so and it really felt like it was pressing my front teeth, but I figure one night can’t kill me. The dentist said if it bugs me, come back.

    Otto, in an earlier comment I made here about night guards, a commenter said those cheapies can give you an overbite.

    Robo, Thanks! I’ll bear that in mind. My guy’s locally very well regarded, though, so I was just wondering whether initial tightness is really normal. I have dentist trust issues, is all. But thanks!

  6. no, it should not hurt you (you should be able to pop it in and out easily with just a click.) sounds like it needs more adjustments. or ask for another nightguard made of soft material. they also have ones with soft inside and hard outside.

    1. Thanks Tal. Yeah, I resolved this problem a little while later: a few quick adjustments and it was much easier to put in. Of course, at one point while traveling I stopped using it for a month or so, and after that it didn’t fit again. When it finally cracked a few months ago, I had my dentist make me a new one, and this time it fit perfectly without even needing more than a tiny bit of adjustment.

  7. MINE TOO. mine is like a rubber though. I havent worn it in ages for that exact reason. It’s way too tight and it almost feels like it’s loosening my teeth because it is soooo tight. I hate it. I tried wearing it tonight actually, and it was soo tight I had to take it out. My dentist already dislikes me because I’m rebellious about my flossing routines, so i dont want to talk to him bout this, and i can’t afford adjustments honestly. I dont think theres much he could do anyways, considering mine is rubber.

    1. I strongly recommend talking to the dentist about it. If you don’t use one for a while, it stops fitting, or that’s my experience, and you need a new one at that point, or at least you need adjustments made to the one you have neglected to use. (As I mentioned in my reply to Tal’s comment.) Also, if you get a new one, try it on in the dentist’s office and have the dentist make adjustments if it doesn’t fit reasonably comfortably right way. That’s what I did. Mine is some kind of hard plastic, so adjustments were easy to make, but rubber should be adjustable… I can’t see a dentist using a material that isn’t adjustable, since these things routinely need a little fiddling at the beginning.

  8. Hey there, I know it’s a it late but I got my night guard two days ago. I tried it on at my dentist’s office and it was quite tight but I though it would go away after some use so I didn’t say anything. I put it on the first night and it hurt a lot, it was really tight and felt the exact sensation you described. I kept it on for a couple of hours but I eventually took it off causeI couldn’t stand it. Then the following evening I dipped it in hot water and then put it on, it was so much better,I even managed to sleep all night with it but the next morning when I took it off my teeth hurt like hell. It still bothers a bitso i wanted to know how you solved your problem. Did it go away with use? Thanks

    1. Hi Martina,

      For my first night guard, no, I had to take it back to the dentist, who adjusted it so it fit better. It went from being painful to wear, to mere discomfort. My next night guard, years later, it fit better from the start but there was a period of initial discomfort. I’d say that as long as you’re giving it a serious try and you really feel you can’t stand it, you should go back and get it adjusted… or at least show the dentist how ridiculously tight the fit is, so he can judge whether it is too tight.

      (Discomfort when you first start wearing it is normal, but pain isn’t, not really.)

    2. Oh, and this reminds me, I’ve fallen out of using my night guard, and probably should start again… but it’ll likely need to be adjusted. If you stop using it, it does stop fitting. So stay on with it if you can.

  9. I have had a night guard in the past and it was tight and uncomfortable and when I took it out in the morning it actually felt like it had been pushing on my front teeth as they ached when I took it out.
    Any way I lost my first guard when I moved so i went back and got another from my dentist a few days ago. I’ve worn it for 3 nights now and it was even tighter than the last… I had that feeling when I took it out that it had pushed my front teeth back. I’ve always had straight teeth and certainly don’t want that to change!
    Last night when I put it back in at night, it actually hurt because my teeth were still aching from wearing it the previous night. I daren’t risk not wearing it because I had shattered a filling through teeth grinding in the period I wasn’t using a night guard so I went downstairs and cut the front part of the guard off just leaving the molar parts complete and a strip that connected either side on the back of my front teeth. Thus may be naughty but I woke up pain free and it still stayed in place throughout the night:)

    1. Hannah,

      Hm, interesting solution, though I’d be concerned that this would reduce the strength of the night guard. When I had the problem of pain (note, this was long ago) I simply took it to the dentist who’d had it made for me and explained the situation, and he adjusted it till it didn’t hurt, and I had no problems after that. They do shift a little in use to accommodate your teeth, and I wouldn’t worry about it unstraightening them. Bit late now, but maybe with the next one, hold off on the radical route and see if the dentist can adjust it for you.

      Which reminds me, I should dig out the old thing and start using it again… though it’ll definitely need adjusting now. (I got out of the habit of using it while traveling in Southeast Asia a few years back, as it was always a pain in the ass to brush and clean it with potable water, and I didn’t dare do it with the nasty tap water available in most places.)

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