SmartGuard ® Dental Guard – Full Review
The SmartGuard Dental Guard is a packaged mouth guard that you mold to fit comfortably and provide relief from Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ) throughout the night.
The guard from Dr. David L. Spainhower can be purchased for over-the-counter use to:
- Protect against bruxism, night time teeth grinding.
- Reduce the damage to teeth.
- Decrease noise associated with grinding.
The SmartGuard Dental Guard differs from most other mouth guards on the market by its shape and design. Typical mouth guards cover the entire arch of your mouth, which Dr. Spainhower says can actually cause more grinding to occur during sleep.
This is because your body is set to automatically chew when it notices something between the back teeth – increasing the risk of damage from bruxism or TMJ.
The SmartGuard Dental Guard covers just the front teeth and allows the jaw muscles to relax. This can greatly reduce the pain and other symptoms caused by nighttime grinding and clenching. The design also prevents your back teeth from coming into contact with each other during your sleep, reducing the overall pressure from clenching by as much as 70%.
The two models from SmartGuard address different mouth sizes.
The SmartGuard Dental Guard has two models and a total of five different packaging options. The guards themselves are the SmartGuard Original and the SmartGuard Elite.
The over-the-counter guards both allow you to mold them to your teeth; the molding process can be repeated at any point that the guard gets loose.
The SmartGuard Original is the basic model featuring Dr. Spainhower’s patented front-of-mouth design. It addresses normal TMJ symptoms as well as bruxism. Dr. Spainhower says it will perform better than any similar device custom-made by a dentist. The company also says that 82% of customers report feeling better and having reduced symptoms after using the SmartGuard Original. The company recommends this model for people with very small mouths or with sensitive gag reflexes.
The newer model, the SmartGuard Elite, offers a slightly adjusted design that fits most mouths more comfortably. The shape can be better molded to individuals and is able to fit across a wider range of unique mouth shapes. The new design also features improved support to prevent locking and popping symptoms associated with lockjaw. The product was initially designed for use by dentists, but Dr. Spainhower has been allowed to sell it without a prescription.
Each model offers a 180-day money-back guarantee.
Beyond selling the units individually, there are also three combo packs offered by SmartGuard Dental Guard:
- SmartGuard Twin Pack: this contains two of the SmartGuard Original night guards and will save you roughly $20 compared to ordering two guards separately.
- SmartGuard Combo Pack: This contains one SmartGuard Original and one SmartGuard Elite. This allows you to test out both products to see which you like better and will save you more than $30 compared to buying each separately.
- SmartGuard Elite Twin Pack: This pack is two SmartGuard Elite night guards and is a savings of more than $50.
The ultimate goal of the SmartGuard night guards is to help retrain your brain not to clench and grind as the night goes on. This will relieve your pain and other symptoms over a longer period of time.
How to mold the Guard
To mold the guard, you’ll need to gather:
- A microwavable bowl,
- A glass of cold water,
- A metal fork,
- A watch or other timer,
- One mirror.
After you gathered the materials together, you can start to customize your guard:
- Push the fork into the groove in the hard part of the SmartGuard. Push until the fork fits snugly in the groove; this keeps it from coming off in the hot water.
- Fill your bowl three-fourths full with water and place it in your microwave. Heat the water to a boil.
- After the water begins to boil, take the bowl out of the microwave. Submerge the SmartGuard in water and keep it there for exactly 50 seconds. Don’t let it touch the sites of the bowl.
- About 10 seconds before you will remove the SmartGuard, take a big sip of cold water and swish it around your teeth and gums.
- Put your index finger and thumb in the cold water. This will help you better hold the hot SmartGuard.
- Remove the guard from the water and then use these fingers to remove it from the fork. You want to grab just the hard outer rim so you’re not squishing the guard gel in on itself.
- Insert the guard into your mouth and push it into place in line with your front teeth. The small notch should line up between your two front teeth. Use a mirror to check this.
- Bite down on the guard and close your lips to suck the moisture from the guard. Press the guard to your teeth and gums with your fingers and tongue.
- After 90 seconds, take the SmartGuard out of your mouth and put it in cold water for 15 seconds. Your guard is now ready for use.
- Who should use a SmartGuard?
People over the age of 18 are able to use the SmartGuard at their own discretion. If your child is older than 14 but under 18, they may be able to use a SmartGuard but should consult with a dentist prior to use and during use.
- How long does it take to get my guard?
Once an order is received, guards should arrive from the USPS within 3 business days. International orders will take longer.
- Are the materials safe?
All materials used to create the SmartGuard are FDA approved. SmartGuard guards are made of non-latex, BPA free materials and use approved thermoplastic materials.
- How often should I use or replace my guard?
The life expectancy of your guard depends on how much you grind your teeth. Each guard will last between six months to a year. You can increase the longevity of your guard by cleaning it regularly with denture cleaners and storing it in water when you’re not using it.
- Where is the SmartGuard made?
The SmartGuard is made here in the United States.
It is designed to prevent gagging and stay in place.
It creates a dramatic improvement for sufferers of TMJ-related headaches.
Helps to reduce pain and overall teeth grinding.
Users also report reduction in other symptoms such as ringing in ears and tension in their jaw.
The Elite seems to be a big improvement for many users because it comes into less contact with sensitive areas and prevents the upper and lower teeth from touching.
It dries out some users’ mouths, making it hard to use for long periods of time.
Some users report they were told not to use this product if they have been diagnosed with TMJ, despite its online marketing materials touting it as a way to relieve TMJ-related symptoms.
Some users report an increase in jaw soreness and pain even as other symptoms decreased. This was, they believed, due to the size and bulk of the guard.
The molding process is very complicated.
About the Maker
SmartGuard is based out of the dental practice of Dr. David L. Spainhower, sharing the same location as his dental office. The SmartGuard operation seems to be his main passion, with the company’s website featuring multiple videos, interviews and demonstrations by Dr. Spainhower. Patients of his dental practice speak highly of his ability, especially when it comes to bruxism and TMJ.
The price puts these in the mid-range of mouth guards in general and a little on the high-side of guards that you boil. That said, there are many positive reviews and chance to train your body not to grind or clench anymore is one that may be worth taking. The only big downside to the guard is that the molding process is complex and has thrown off many users. If you’ve got the patience for it, and perhaps for trying it a few times, this could be a great solution to your bruxism dilemma.
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