Although night guards and retainers may look alike, they are not the same thing, and each type of mouth guard serves its own purpose. Retainers hold the teeth together in one place while night guards protect them. People who clench or grind their teeth (bruxism) need to wear night guards during their sleep as a preventive measure. Keep reading to find the differences between the two.
Retainer vs. Night Guard
Retainer and Its Uses?
The job of retainers is to keep your teeth properly aligned. Usually, people have retainers after having braces or other orthodontic work that has shifted their teeth into perfect alignment. A retainer is usually made out of metal or plastic. It keeps the teeth in their new location. When newly moved teeth are moved to a new location in your mouth, they’re likely to move back to their original position, so a retainer prevents that from happening.
Night Guard and Its Uses?
Night guards are dental appliances you place on your upper or lower teeth while sleeping to help protect your teeth and jaw from teeth grinding or clenching. Your night guard will be made of a softer rubber or a harder plastic depending on the level of teeth grinding. While the night guard and plastic retainer look very similar, their protective function is completely different vs. a retainer.
Wearing a Night Guard as a Retainer
If you wear a retainer and find out you need a night guard too, you’ll be glad to know that because custom night guards perfectly fit your teeth, you can use them as an overnight retainer to keep your teeth in place.
To know more about the differences and similarities between the two appliances, call Brenham Family Dental and Orthodontics at 979-421-9685. We will be glad to hear from you!