StressGard ® NightGuard – Full Review
The TotalGard Corporation develops and creates the StressGard NightGuard, first designed by Dr. James Bancroft, to help adults with teeth grinding and clenching at night and during the day. This grinding and clenching can chip teeth and destroy enamel, so the StressGard NightGuard acts as a cushion between the teeth to stop pain and damage.
The company offers two versions of the StressGard NightGuard, designated as I and II, which address different types of grinding. Since the guards support either side-teeth grinding or front-teeth grinding, you may want to consult a dentist to determine the exact nature of how you grind your teeth before investing in one of the guards.
The guards use a patented shock-absorbing and flexible groove that relieves tension on the jaw. Because of their design, the company says both versions of the StressGard NightGuard are able to relieve some of the pain suffered by TMJ disorder patients. Users also say the slick design of the guard prevents their teeth from clenching on the guard – it’s sloped to help teeth slide against it instead – easing some of the muscle stress that occurs during a night of clenching or grinding.
TotalGard offers two different StressGard NightGuards, the Original StressGard NightGuard (sometimes labeled as the “I”) and the StressGard II NightGuard. The difference between the two, and what should make your decision for picking the I or II, is that the original device is designed for people who grind their molars. The StressGard II has a fuller bite plate because it is designed for patients who grind both their front teeth and their molars.
The one-size-fits-all guards all come with a carrying case and instructions to fit them to your mouth.
Unlike many other devices, you don’t need to heat and mold the StressGard NightGuard. It is designed to have a loose feeling and fit in order to make the guard
more comfortable. For some users this has been very nice while others have had a hard time keeping the StressGard NightGuard in their mouth during the night.
You can also choose to wear it on the top or bottom teeth. The company also notes that its StressGard products are all BPA and Phthalate free.
To fit the guard to your mouth, simply remove it from the packaging. Place your StressGard NightGuard between your upper teeth and lip; make sure the bite tabs are between your upper and lower teeth. The guard isn’t designed to fit around your teeth or mold to your bite, simply rest in between your upper and lower teeth.
TotalGard says that the StressGard NightGuards provide many benefits, including:
- Convenient and cost-effective;
- Designed by an orthodontist;
- Eases aching in neck and shoulders;
- Eliminates discomfort during sleep;
- Helps protect teeth grinding when you sleep at night;
- Helps reduce headaches;
- One size for all mouths;
- Protects teeth from clenching and grinding;
- Ready to use, no boiling or molding; and
- Reduces tension on jaw muscles.
All of the guards come with a 30 day money-back guarantee, less shipping and handling. Customers can simply return it within 30 days following the day they purchase the product for a full refund. You’ll often need a receipt of purchase for the refund. The company suggests you contact its customer service department by phone or email for help with the return process.
Existing customers say the return process has been straightforward and the company was very responsive. Some have said that the products were replaced and they were happy that way, with the company following up to make sure the replacement had arrived.
The guards seem to be a “love it” or “hate it” kind of product. Users who are happy tend to rate it very highly while users who are unhappy with the product have multiple complaints. It seems to be good for average to large-sized mouths while users with small mouths are very disappointed. Some customers praise its quality while others see it as a stiff piece of plastic.
- How does it work without boiling?
The StressGard NightGuard works by resting between your teeth to prevent you from locking them together when you clench or grind. The goal is to prevent you from locking and using the facial and jaw muscles associated with the activities – this reduces overall pain in multiple sources. The surface of the guard is smooth to prevent you from being able to clench and hold on to the guard.
- Is there a guarantee??
The company offers a 30-day guarantee based on the date of your purchase. This is for any cost you paid except for shipping and handling. Customers have reported the company is pretty good in terms of customer service.
- How long can I wear it each day?
Like all mouth guards, you shouldn’t wear the StressGard NightGuard for more than 12 hours in any single day. The company does suggest you wear it for an hour or two each day while awake for the first week; this helps you get used to the guard.
- How long does it last?
Customers report the guards last for between 9 months and one year; the heavier your grind the shorter its life.
- Will it fall out of my mouth?
For most people the guard stays put all night, however some report that it does slip or fall out during the night. Heavy sleep movers seem to report better success when using the guard on their lower teeth.
- Is it safe for children?
Mouth guards should be used very carefully for children and the company says it does not suggest any use for someone under the age of 10. For children over the age of 10, consult a dentist before using the StressGard NightGuard. Dentists should closely monitor any night guard use by children.
- How do I clean it?
The company suggests you clean your StressGard NightGuard with soap and water after you wear it. They also suggest wearing it for a few hours each night for the first week or so to get used to it. This will help you create less saliva and help you take better care of it during the long run.
Designed by an orthodontist and protects teeth from light to moderate clenching and grinding.
No boiling or molding, so prep is very minimal.
Curved design to help prevent clenching during the night.
One-size-fits all so you don’t have to worry about buying the wrong size (also has a negative aspect to it).
Easy to trim down to size.
Helps with TMJ disorder symptoms as well.
The case is sturdy and nice. Even users who don’t like the guard have commented on how nice the case is.
Some users say the device falls out of their mouth easily.
The single-size may be too large or small for some.
The delivery process has been slow for some customers.
The plastic is too rigid for some and hurts their mouths.
The edges have cut and stung some users’ mouths.
For people with breathing problems – such as sinusitis or a cold – the guard can exacerbate the issues.
About the Maker
TotalGard was founded in 1997 and makes oral care products under the direction of orthodontists and dental lab technicians. The company focuses on two products, its TotalGard Athletic Mouth guard and the Stress Gard Nighttime Dental Guard. The company services 70% of the American Association of Orthodontists members. The guards were designed by Dr. James Bancroft.
The company is relatively quiet online and has few reviews of the company itself outside of its own website. It has gained some small acclaim and a few obscure awards but seems to typically service AAO members with a recent branch into customer-facing services such as the mouth guards.
The mixed nature of reviews for the StressGard NightGuards make them a tentative recommendation. They seem to do well for larger mouths and people whose gums are not sensitive. However, if you have a small mouth or your gums and lips are sensitive to being rubbed or prodded, this isn’t the guard for you. The one-size-fits all approach is a smart business decision for a company that wants to offer a mouth guard but not operate the lap to create custom guards. This decision doesn’t always turn out well for the end customer.
The guards are relatively cheap and come with a nice case so they may be a good place to turn if you haven’t found others to be too bulky but want to try something new. When trimming this guard, or any other, be sure to always round off the edges so you’re not creating something that will cut your mouth.
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