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What is the difference between a Retainer and a Night Guard?

What Is the Difference Between a Retainer and a Night Guard?

June 19th, 2020

Although they may look similar to the untrained eye, retainers and night guards are not the same thing, and each type of mouthguard serves an entirely different purpose. While both devices help promote your oral health, the question is, which oral appliance is right for you?

What Are Retainers and What Are Their Uses?

Removable retainers are typically made of a transparent, plastic-like material. Their primary function is to maintain the position of your teeth after you complete your orthodontic treatment. Teeth that have recently moved into alignment are inclined to move back to the original position. A retainer prevents that from happening and allows your teeth to become stable in their new location. This retention phase of orthodontics is critical to the long-term success of the treatment. You’ll likely need to wear your retainers for your lifetime, at least nightly, to maintain your straight smile.

What Are Night Guards and What Are Their Uses?

Night guards, also known as nocturnal bite plates or occlusal guards, are types of mouthguards that patients with bruxism (teeth grinding and clenching) wear during sleep to protect their teeth from damage or wear. Constant grinding and clenching can result in broken teeth, damage to the underlying bone, and a painful condition known as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder.

Night guards protect your teeth and restorations by distributing the bite forces, reducing stress, and preventing abnormal wear. When it comes to grinding, the night guard provides a protective barrier between the upper and lower teeth, cushioning them, and minimizing any damage.

Night guards are either made from hard or soft plastic and fit snugly over the top or bottom teeth. They are available for purchase over-the-counter in different forms, such as “stock” or “boil and bite”. However, for unparalleled comfort and the best protection, your trusted team at Avalon Dental Care will outfit you with night guards that are custom-made for you.

Quality Dental Care Near Me

Contact Avalon Dental Care in the El Segundo and Carson areas to learn more about our orthodontic treatments for beautiful smiles, and our custom-fitted night guards to protect your oral health. We look forward to helping you look, feel, and smile your best! Call us and schedule your appointment today.

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