If you’re new to the world of removable dental appliances, like many people, you may be wondering, is there a difference between mouth guards and retainers?

1. What is a retainer?

Retainers are designed to keep your teeth in position following orthodontic treatment. Once your teeth have been moved to their final position at the end of treatment, it will take time for the surrounding gum and bone to adjust to the new position. To be effective, retainers need to be worn in accordance with your dentist’s advice.

2. How does a retainer work?

Retainers are precision molded to fit the individual positions of your teeth. Like a tailor fits a suit, each retainer is made and fitted to you. They’re designed to keep your teeth from moving and hold them in place. They may feel a little uncomfortable or strange at first, but by wearing them regularly and following your dentist’s advice, this feeling should improve in a few weeks as your teeth settle.

3. Why should I use a retainer?

Retainers are a good way to protect your investment in your smile. Warn regularly, they keep your teeth in place. However, if you fall out of the habit of wearing them, your teeth may move. You may not notice these changes at first, and the first clue that your teeth have moved could be that your retainer feels a bit tight when you try wearing it again.

4. What is a mouth guard?

At first glance, a mouth guard might look like a retainer, but they are actually very different. Mouth guards are meant to fit over your teeth to help prevent issues related to bruxism teeth grinding. Night guards are custom fitted by your dental professional.

5. How does a mouth guard work?

If you grind your teeth at night or bruxism, to give it its medical name, you may have been recommended to wear a mouth guard. Their main purpose is to protect your teeth by providing a barrier between your upper and lower teeth. At their most basic level, they are guards that you place over your upper and or lower teeth when you go to sleep.

6. Why should I use a mouth guard?

While there are many reasons why people grind their teeth, such as anxiety, sleep disorders, the potential harm to your teeth is the same. You may not even be aware you’re doing it. But the constant grinding wears down your teeth, causing your enamel to wear down and potentially exposing more vulnerable parts of your teeth or weakening them.

Now that you know the difference between mouth guards and retainers. You can consult you’re your dentist to determine the right choice for you.

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