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Do you wake up in the morning with a stiff jaw, a headache, and a vague feeling that you went a few rounds with a prize fighter in your sleep — and lost? If so, you just might be a perfect candidate for a bite plate ($119.99, Amazon).
For those who grind their teeth at night (a condition known as bruxism), these common symptoms may have your dentist recommending a night guard to protect your pearly whites from self-inflicted damage and ward off any potential issues with your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) — the sliding hinge that connects your jawbone to your skull that can cause pain, stiffness, and cracking when in disarray.
The problem? Dentists’ offices can charge anywhere from $600 to $900 for a custom bite plate — a price point that might have you clenching your teeth even harder at night!
Luckily, there’s a far more affordable solution. This night guard from J&S Dental is custom-made by a lab, just like the one your dentist would use.
Here’s how it works: After you place your order, watch your mailbox. You’ll receive a kit that allows you to make your own dental impressions, which you’ll then mail back to the lab using an enclosed, prepaid label (watch the video below to see how it’s done). You’ll also include a filled-out form that lets them know what material and thickness you prefer for your plate, be it soft, hard, or hybrid. The team will then build your custom piece at no extra charge.
Not sure what material to choose or how sturdy your guard needs to be? No worries! The customer service folks at J&S Dental Lab, located in California, will be ready to help. Simply send them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and they’ll be in touch to answer any questions you might have.
Between two and seven days after the lab receives your impressions, your bite plate will be delivered — in its own cute little case, no less!
There’s a one-year free replacement policy in the event of a mishap, and unlimited free sizing adjustments.
Multiple satisfied Amazon reviewers claim there’s no discernible difference in quality between this guard and others that cost hundreds of dollars more.
“I dropped and broke my $800-plus dentist-made night guard,” wrote one happy customer. “Rather than spend another $800, I went to Amazon to [explore] my options. … after reading the reviews of J&S Dental Lab, I decided to proceed with them, which was a great decision. [The bite plate] fits perfectly, and it’s sturdy enough that if I drop it, it won’t break.”
Wrote another nighttime-grinder, “I actually enjoy sleeping with this thing … my jaw is noticeably less sore throughout the night.”
Though it’s slightly pricier than less expensive versions found at the drugstores, reviewers say it’s worth the investment, as non-custom versions can actually damage your jaw and teeth further over time — yikes! “I bought a cheap mouthguard from the drugstore (the one rated the best from reviews online) … It was torture!” warned one unfortunate soul.
Hey, if popping this bite plate in before we hit the hay allows us to sleep free from grinding and clenching, we’ll gladly pay a little extra!
Where to buy: $119.99, Amazon