Although night guards and retainers look quite similar they are meant for different dental functions. But how can you decide which one is right for you? Should you wear a night guard or a retainer? Learning about the differences between night guard vs. retainer will help you answer these questions.
Retainers for Teeth Alignment
The function of a retainer is to maintain the position of the teeth after orthodontic treatment. One of the differences between a retainer and a night guards is that a retainer plays a part in orthodontics, while the night guards do not. The main purpose of a retainer is to halt the movement of bones and teeth after orthodontic treatment.
Night Guards for Bruxism
On the other hand, night guards are used for patients with teeth grinding (bruxism). They protect the teeth while you sleep. Your dentist may prescribe you to wear a night guard if you have any of the following issues linked to teeth grinding:
· Broken teeth
· Damage to the underlying bone
· Sore jaw muscles
You can purchase the night guards over-the-counter, or it can be custom made by your dentist. The night guards are made of soft or hard plastic and are worn over the top or bottom teeth. The way you wear a night guard and a retainer bring out another difference between them. While you can wear a retainer during the day or get it fixed permanently, night guards are only worn at night during the sleep.
Now that you know some of the differences between night guard vs. retainer, you can ask your dentist, which is the right for you. Your dental team can recommend the best treatment for you, depending on your oral health and personal preferences. To book an appointment, call Bayside Dental and Orthodontics at 979-330-4113.