Is a Night Guard the Same as a Retainer
The short answer is no. They have distinct differences that set them apart from one another.
Retainers aim to keep your teeth adequately aligned after orthodontic treatment, such as braces to correct your teeth.
Mouth guards are more commonly used to protect your teeth from harm, especially if you play contact sports or perform dangerous activities. Night guards are used more specifically to stop further damage to your teeth and stop you from grinding your teeth as you sleep.
Similarities and Differences: Night Guard vs. Retainer
To the casual observer, the night guard and the retainer look similar and can easily be confused. However, although they look similar and are both used in the mouth, this is where the similarities between the night guard and the retainer end.
The differences between a night guard or retainer are classified as follows:
- Retainers are designed to fit each of your individual teeth positions. In contrast, night guards are designed to fit the mold of your teeth by going on top of your teeth.
- Night guards are worn to help protect the teeth from getting worn out and broken if you grind your teeth in your sleep. Retainers are worn to keep your teeth aligned after treatment, like braces.
- Retainers should be worn for the duration it takes for your teeth to settle into their fixed positions. Night guards should be worn for as long as possible to lessen the bruxism you may be experiencing, as there is no cure for it.
- Night guards come in a variety of different materials and hardnesses to cater to the needs of your teeth. One of the most preferred materials is soft. However, night guards are also made of a rougher material than retainers as they are used to stop the teeth from gnashing and preserve your teeth in the long run.
Facts About Teeth Grinding
Teeth grinding is more commonly known as the condition of bruxism. Bruxism is the grinding and gnashing of teeth as you sleep and sometimes when awake. Bruxism can be caused by the following:
- Sleep apnea
- Lack of sleep
Teeth grinding can cause you to develop sensitive teeth, broken and worn out teeth, a swollen jaw and neck, and much more. In addition, if left unchecked, bruxism can cause you to develop severe disorders that affect the jaw and longevity of your teeth.
Teeth grinding has no cure, however, it can be alleviated and treated by doing the following:
- Engaging in relaxation methods. Using breathing exercises, listening to music, and exercising can help you relax and stop grinding your teeth.
- Have more regular check-ups with your dentist to ensure your teeth are in good condition.
- Getting adequate rest can help to alleviate the stress your body is experiencing.
Night Guard or Retainer, Which One Do I Need?
Now you can decide which choice is the best one for you! For example, a retainer may be for you if you need to keep your teeth in their new positions.
However, if you need something to help you handle the tension, pain, and grinding of your teeth as you sleep, then a night guard is what you need.
WatchYourMouth is here to help you get the night guard you deserve! Let us give you a custom mouth guard made from your chosen material. With over 25 years of experience customizing night guards for teeth grinding, you can receive your night guard in the comfort of your home and trust that you are receiving a product of superb quality.
The best part is that you can choose a pricing plan that suits you best. So forget spending hundreds of dollars at your dentist and skip the middle man entirely! Instead, use Watchmymouth.com to get a mouth guard that works for you, not the other way around.