What is the Difference Between a Mouthguard and a Night Guard?

Difference Between

Mouthguards and night guards are two types of dental appliances that serve different purposes. While they may look similar, it is important to understand the difference between them in order to choose the right one for your needs. In this article, we will explore the differences between a mouthguard and a night guard, their uses, and how to care for them.


A mouthguard, also known as a sports guard or an athletic appliance, is a protective device usually worn over the teeth during physical activities. It is designed to protect the teeth, gums, and jaw from injury or trauma caused by contact sports such as boxing, football, or hockey.

Mouthguards are made of a flexible material that conforms to the shape of your teeth and mouth. They are usually worn on the upper teeth and can be custom-made by a dentist for a better fit. Hence, seeking help from a reputed dentist for a dental mouthguard in Oakville can help you get the right fit and choose the most suitable type of mouthguard for your specific needs.

Night Guard

A night guard, on the other hand, is a dental appliance that is worn while sleeping. It is used to treat conditions such as bruxism (teeth grinding) and temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). Bruxism can cause tooth wear, jaw pain, headaches, and disturbed sleep patterns. A night guard acts as a protective barrier between the upper and lower teeth, preventing them from grinding against each other and reducing the symptoms of bruxism.

A night guard is usually made of a harder material than a mouthguard, such as acrylic or laminate resin. It is custom-made by a dentist to fit your teeth and bite for maximum effectiveness. However, there are also over-the-counter options available that can be boiled and molded to fit your teeth.

Differences Between Mouthguards and Night Guards

  • Function: The main purpose of a mouthguard is to protect the teeth during physical activities, while a night guard is used to treat dental conditions such as bruxism or TMJ.
  • Material: Mouthguards are made of a soft and flexible material, while night guards are made of a harder material.
  • Fit: Mouthguards can be custom-made for a better fit, while night guards are also available in over-the-counter options that can be molded to fit your teeth.
  • Position: Mouthguards are worn on the upper teeth, while night guards cover both upper and lower teeth.


Mouthguards and nightguards may look similar, but they serve different purposes. Mouthguards protect teeth during physical activities, while nightguards are worn while sleeping to treat bruxism and TMJ. It is important to seek a dentist office in Oakville for professional guidance on choosing the right type of dental appliance for your specific needs. So, whether you’re an athlete or suffer from bruxism, make sure to use the appropriate dental appliance to protect your teeth and maintain good oral health.


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