My months-long tooth pain has finally let up, and it was a night guard that saved the day.
On and off throughout most of last year, I had a terrible ache in the left side of my mouth near my molars. I couldn’t really identify its source. It didn’t feel like it was coming from my tooth, although I did have sensitivity when I chewed. After reaching a point where the ache was becoming more painful, I finally caved and went and saw a dentist—well, two. Nobody could say for certain what the problem was, but both recommended that I try a night guard to see if the issue might be caused by grinding when I was asleep.
Here’s the problem though: Getting a new night guard was going to cost me potentially hundreds of dollars for something custom-fit through my dentist—which, no thanks! Both dentists I saw mentioned that I could try an over-the-counter option from my local drugstore but cautioned that anything super soft may be bit through over time, which doesn’t exactly do me any favors either. It was at this particular crossroads that decided to try out Remi, one of several subscription-based startups that specialize in creating custom night guards.
With Remi, you’re looking at about $150 for the night guard (both top and bottom), its case, and the impressions, so it’s definitely more costly than just going the drug store night guard route. But that price is also hundreds of dollars less than you’d pay to have a custom night guard made through your dentist. And you don’t even have to hoof it to their office during a pandemic—a bonus!
The thing that I’ll say about Remi was that my experience was extremely simple, and the company’s customer service was fantastic. My initial Remi package arrived with an impressions kit with two options for size (I ended up using the smaller one). I then had to create the impressions mix for my bite, which was made from combined white and blue putty. You’ll need to take both out and smash them together in your hands until they become one, lighter shade of blue, at which time the mixture is ready to be stuck on either side of the mouthpiece you picked based on fit. Bite down, create your impression, and then stick the whole thing in the included envelope to send back to Remi.
That’s it! That’s all there is to it. Your night guard will show up on your doorstep a couple of weeks thereafter. I found this entire process start to finish—save literally walking across the street to drop my envelope in the mail—took about 15 minutes. I ordered mine during the holidays amid absolutely bananas shipping delays but found that it still showed up fairly quickly.
The impressions process is a breeze, clearly. But what about the night guard itself? Frankly, reader, this thing has been a lifesaver. I at one point had an actual night guard that I’d gotten through the dentist and I hated the way it cut into my gums. That was not an issue with the one I got from Remi. It was slightly flexible, didn’t have any sharp edges, and fit exactly as it should. Remi says it uses dental-grade BPA-free materials, and the night guard itself is about 1 mm thick.
Remi does offer some additional options as well. Its subscription service for getting a new night guard every six months, for example, costs $100 up front and $50 for each replacement night guard thereafter. It also offers a whitening gel system with its own subscription option, though I didn’t bother with that service.
As someone who does not especially enjoy having to wear a night guard, there was definitely a period of getting used to having to use one again. (My previous night guard would sometimes wind up across the room after I’d evidently taken it out and thrown it in my sleep.) But my initial aversion to the Remi wore off pretty quickly. I wear it most nights now without issue. But above all else, the pain in my jaw from grinding my teeth let up pretty much immediately, and I haven’t had any issues since I started wearing a night guard to bed again. And I mercifully did not have to return to the dentist’s office during a pandemic to hand over my firstborn child in exchange for a pricey night guard, which was great.
- A custom-fitted night guard service with at-home impressions and a wildly simple process.
- Fits great, costs less than a custom night guard you’ll get through a dentist, which can run you hundreds of dollars.
- Comes with a case for the night guard, and the company supports a recurring subscription to send you a new one every six months if you’d like.
- It’s more expensive than over-the-counter night guards, but those do not always perform their jobs well.