Many people grind and clench their teeth during sleep, leading to facial pain when they awaken. Those who experience this spend the night unintentionally biting down too hard while sleeping. Some remain unaware of this phenomenon, while others have headaches or jaw pain once they wake up. Dentists will usually prescribe a mouth guard to wear at night to help prevent this problem, but their suggestions usually come at a high cost. Employ an easy and inexpensive way to make a night mouth guard and help solve any clenching problems.

Making Your Night Guard

Purchase a plastic sports mouth guard from any sporting goods store, and trim away any excess plastic using a pair of sharp scissors.

Test the sports guard in your mouth to make sure you can center it between your front teeth. If the guard feels too large or small, try a different size.

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a pot. Remove the pot and let it sit on a heat-resistant surface for about 15 to 30 seconds.

Place the plastic sports guard into the hot water, and let it soak for 45 to 90 seconds (depending on the thickness of the plastic). Do not allow the plastic guard to touch any sides of the pot. (Use tongs if needed.)

Gently remove the sports guard from the water with a pair of tongs, and place the guard onto a clean surface for about 10 seconds.

Place the warmed guard into your mouth, using your fingers to mold the guard to the roof of your mouth and the front of your teeth up to the gum line.

Bite down on the guard to form it to your top and bottom teeth. Suck on the guard to create suction, which will allow the guard to have a snug fit in your mouth.

Allow the guard to continue to mold to your teeth for about two to three minutes, then remove and let it continue to set.

Use the new night guard every night when you sleep to help curb teeth clenching and grinding habits.


Reheated and remold your night guard if it does not fit the first time.


A home-made night guard may not provide the same degree of reliability or snugness as a guard provided by a dental professional.