Crafted in California - guaranteed to last at least one year or your money back!

by Angela Sartain |

JS Dental Lab Product Buying Guide

 

If you’ve stumbled upon this article, chances are you have some concerns about the current state of your teeth. Maybe you’ve been interested in some quality at-home whitening systems or you’re looking to replace the $700 night guard you got from your dentist that your puppy decided would make a good chew toy. Either way, there can be a lot of information available on the different types of dental devices. The choices are endless and range in pricing. And who wants to sort through hours of research just to find the right bang for your buck? 

At JS Dental Lab, we offer a variety of customized dental products to help you improve the overall quality of your smile and wellbeing. We thought it might be a bit easier to have a handy reference guide so we’ve broken down all of our current products, their descriptions, and general information in this article. From night guards to retainers, this reference guide will help you get a better idea of which JS Dental Lab products are right for you. 

 

Night guards

If you’ve been told by your dentist that you need a night guard, you may not be quite clear on what a night guard is. 

The term ‘night guard’ is one given to a number of dental appliances that are most commonly used at night, or during sleeping hours. Their design and function can differ dramatically depending on the style or type of appliance and its intention. 

The night guards fabricated by JS Dental Lab are designed primarily to help reduce or potentially eliminate the damage to your teeth as a result of clenching and/or grinding behaviors. 

Many times, we get emails from our customers regarding the types of materials and differences between the styles of night guards that we offer. We pride ourselves on using only dental grade, FDA cleared materials in a range of types to suit your bruxism needs. 

 

Guard Materials General Information

Our guards are gluten, BPA, Phthalate, Latex, Sodium Laurel/Laureth Sulfate and MMA free.    

We import and buy domestically from top-notch dental manufacturers and vendors. We don't outsource anything, and we make each one of our night guards in our Hayward, CA lab. 

The materials are Polyethylene terephthalate or commonly known as PETG, PET, and Ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA). We don’t use acrylic unless specifically requested, as it’s much harder than our PET material. All materials that we use in our guards are biocompatible and pose no health risks.     

We almost never use Methyl Methacrylate, which is a type of acrylic material used for making night guards. It is used only sometimes for special cases because acrylic is too hard. Methyl Methacrylate can be liquefied to bond with PETG. Although our night guard materials don’t contain it, there are cases where we can bond Methyl Methacrylate on top of our material to build extra thickness.

 

How do I know what type of guard to get?

Another common question our customers ask is what type of guard is the right type of guard based on individual needs. Choosing a guard can be difficult, especially if you aren’t sure if you are a clencher, a grinder, both, or if you aren’t quite sure of the intensity of your clenching and/or grinding behaviors. 

 

Clenching is an action of the jaw where the upper and lower jaw is pressed together, or clenched. The term “clenching one’s teeth” is a reference to the action of jaw clenching. If you wake up feeling like you’ve been gritting your teeth throughout the night, chances are you’re a clencher. If you’ve noticed cracking or breaking off of the teeth, or if your dentist has told you that you’ve got such damage, your clenching is probably more on the intense side. 

 

Grinding is an action where the upper and lower jaw move across each other in a back and forth motion while the jaw is closed. If you’ve noticed your teeth seeming a little flatter, or if your partner has told you you sound like you're trying to chew on sandpaper at night, there’s a high probability that you are a grinder. Grinding damage to the teeth can cause them to appear as if they are being ground down. 

There are five standard night guard types available, each designed to address specific needs or issues.

 

Extra Durable

If you’re a pretty heavy grinder, you’ll want a strong guard that can stand up to the back and forth motion exhibited by your grinding. Your dentist may have also recommended a strong, hard guard for grinding. 

The Extra Durable guard is a 3 mm thick, all-hard night guard, made from PETG. It is rigid with no cushion or flexibility. It is a clear guard. 

This guard is recommended for our more intense grinders as the rigidity of the material is more difficult to grind through than softer, more cushiony materials. 

 

Durable

If you’re not really a grinder, but find yourself in the more intense clenching category, you’ll want a guard that has a little bit of give to it so you aren’t breaking your teeth (or your guard). 

The Durable guard is a 2.5 mm thick, semi-hard, semi-soft guard. It has more flexibility than the Extra Durable guard. It is made from ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) material. 

The Durable guard is recommended most often for our more extreme clenchers. The flexibility of the Durable guard accommodates the pressure exerted by the jaw from intense clenching. The semi-soft material also helps provide the teeth with protection without creating additional pain like a harder, less flexible material would. 

 

Hybrid

Maybe you fall somewhere in the middle. You might have some mild clenching or grinding, but you’re really concerned about what the guard will feel like against the teeth. You might have more sensitive teeth, but you want a guard that will give you some guaranteed protection. You might want to consider the Hybrid guard. 

The Hybrid guard is a 3 mm thick, dual-layered guard. The inner layer is a soft, TPU material (the same material that Invisalign started with) and the exterior layer is made from the hard PETG material.

The Hybrid guard is a great choice for a wide variety of individuals. If you prefer a softer material against your teeth, but don’t want to or can’t compromise needing something hard to protect your teeth, the Hybrid is a great choice. It’s also a good option for individuals who have only mild clenching and/or mild grinding.    

 

Soft Guard

If you’ve tried hard guards in the past and know they aren’t comfortable for you to wear, you may be interested in our Soft guard. 

The Soft guard is a 2.5mm thick guard made from the Ethylene-vinyl acetate material. It is a very flexible and forgiving material.

The Soft guard is typically only recommended for children or when you know that a hard night guard is not right for you. If you are a grinder, we do not recommend selecting the Soft guard. The chewy feel of the soft material can stimulate the chewing motion often associated with grinding, leaving the jaw sore and painful the following day. 

Our Soft guard material is also the type recommended most for our child guards as it offers flexibility that will not interfere with your child’s natural teeth development. 

If you believe you may need a Soft guard but have issues with grinding, we recommend discussing it with your dentist prior to placing your order. 

 

3D Guards and a note about TMJ

Many times, we are asked what is the difference between our standard guards and our 3D Premium guards. We currently manufacture the 3D guard in either the Hybrid or Extra Durable materials. The 3D guard requires both the upper and lower impressions, unlike our standard guards which only use the upper OR the lower impression based on your preference for the position of your night guard. 

By using the upper and lower impressions, our lab can get an idea of how the teeth meet in their natural bite. This can allow them additional options for customization of the guard, ensuring the most quality fit. 

Because the 3D guard uses both impressions, it provides a clearer picture of your individual bite and alignment. This is why it is recommended for our customers who have been diagnosed with or suffer the effects of TMJ Disorders. 

Our 3D night guards are not meant to be a treatment for TMJ disorders. Additionally, they are not designed to stop or reduce the experience of clenching or grinding associated with TMJ disorders. The purpose and function of the 3D guard is to act as a barrier between the teeth, to protect them from the damage caused by the clenching and grinding associated with TMJ. 

In addition to using a night guard, if you are someone who has issues with TMJ disorders, we highly encourage you to seek out the guidance of a TMJ specialist. Not all dentists are specifically trained in that subject and much like a fingerprint, your individual circumstance and experience with TMJ disorders can vary greatly. 

 

Retainers

Yes, you read that right! JS Dental Lab does offer retainers, though you won’t find them listed on our website just yet. Across the years, we’ve had a lot of customers who have needed to purchase a retainer following the removal of braces or an alignment treatment. We listened to their request and are happy to provide quality retainers.

Our retainers are made from the same material that Invisalign originally started with. The retainer thickness is 0.76 mm thick, making it our thinnest, and lowest profile dental device. If you are interested in purchasing a retainer or two, please send our customer service team an email and they’ll get you headed in the right direction. 

Now that you’ve read a little bit about the differences between the guards, you may be curious about the other products we offer. 

 

Night Guard Spray

Keeping your night guard clean and smelling nice is not only desirable but can also extend the lifespan of your guard. 

We currently offer a 1 OZ night guard spray in a spearmint flavor. The night guard spray is a great way to help keep your night guard smelling fresh and clean! A few sprays can help keep your guard clean and lasting!

 

Insurance

Some night guard companies have opted to create complicated subscription plans where you receive a new night guard every 3 or 6 months. It sounds like a good idea, right? A brand new shiny night guard every three or six months? 

Well, here at JS Dental Lab, we believe in our product and know that with proper maintenance and care, your night guard should last you 12 months or longer. It’s why we have a 365-day guarantee. We guarantee your night guard should fit you well and last for 365 days of wear! If you find the fit isn’t quite right, the guard is showing more than your average amount of wear and tear, or if it’s just not the right material, we’ll exchange your guard, adjust it, or remake it until we get it right!

So why do we offer insurance for your guard? Just like a car, sometimes things happen. One of the most common emails we receive from our customers is the unfortunate situation where their dog has playfully chewed up their beloved night guard. We’ve also seen cases where a night guard has been left behind in a hotel room or melted after being kept in a hot car on a blazing summer day! For all the accidents and losses that can occur, our insurance plan offers you a one-time replacement guard in 12 months. 

This insurance is also a great option for customers who may have some upcoming dental work scheduled but need a guard now. Any kind of dental work or procedure can alter the shape of your bite. Even just the smallest margin of difference can have a huge impact on how your night guard feels when wearing it. While dental work falls outside the scope of our 365-day guarantee program, it is covered under our insurance. 

 

Whitening Trays

Did you know that the best way to whiten your teeth at home is to do so using customized trays? That’s right! We now also offer a customized whitening system for our customers looking to improve the shade of their teeth. 

Using the same impression process, our lab will manufacture special trays to fit your teeth to be used with a whitening gel. This whitening gel is very similar to the type of whitening processes that are offered at your dentist's office and in many of the over-the-counter whitening products found in major retailers. The customized tray helps to ensure even application of the whitening gel, helping to achieve your desired brightness.

 

At JS Dental Lab, we strive to provide you with a high-quality product and experience. If you’ve got any additional questions, concerns, or comments, we’re always just a click away!