According to the American Dental Association, teeth grinding (bruxism) affects up to 15 percent of adults. Bruxism can be detrimental to your teeth as well as your overall health. Dental mouth guards, or night guards, are put over the teeth to preventing grinding or clenching. The guard acts as a barrier between the top and bottom teeth. At Smilese4OC in Costa Mesa, we have experience diagnosing bruxism and treating it with the help of custom fit night guards.

Closeup of a mouth guard inserted into the mouth

Night guards are very effective at eliminating grinding and clenching. Grinding refers to moving the jaw back and forth, while clenching is when you bite down with pressure for an extended period. Grinding and clenching often occur at night during sleep, when the person is unaware of what is happening.

Grinding and clenching can negatively impact the health of your teeth. When done repeatedly it will remove the protective outer layer of enamel, which can leave teeth more susceptible to decay.
While it may take some time to get used to a new night guard it will not hurt. Most people adjust within a week, while some may take several weeks or months to get used to the appliance. We recommend wearing the guard for a few hours while you are awake to get used to how it feels.

If a night guard causes you pain, it’s because it does not fit properly.


When looking at night guards, patients have two options. The first is an over the counter guard that can be bought at almost any pharmacy. The guard is boiled and then bit into while still warm to create a fairly comfortable, semi-custom fit.

We recommend professional mouth guards from a dental lab. Custom fit night guards make sure that the jaw is properly aligned and will not fall out or cause pain. Custom mouth guards are also long lasting with proper care.

To learn more about custom night guards, call (714) 557-0700 today.

Doctors Bio Image-Dr.Thomas
Doctors Bio Image-Dr.Christina
Doctors Bio Image-Dr.Cary
Doctors Bio Image-Dr.Tim
Having earned his undergraduate degree in biology from Loyola Marymount University, and his Doctor of Dental Surgery from Georgetown University, Dr. Thomas Rolfes has been providing dental care from his Costa Mesa location since 1984. He holds a Fellowship from Academy of General Dentistry among memberships from many prestigious organizations.Dr. Christina Do specializing in laser dentistry, Dr. Cary Dunne, the aesthetic dentistry specialist, and Dr. Timothy Rolfes whose passion is community dentistry comprise the team which also includes skilled hygienists, dental assistants and administrative staff who are dedicated to helping the people of the area fulfill their dental needs.