A Comparison Guide between Mouth Guards Vs. Retainers

A Comparison Guide between Mouth Guards Vs. Retainers

Jan 01, 2023

You might think mouthguards and retainers are similar because they resemble each other. However, differences exist between these two dental appliances created by dentists for different purposes.

What Are Mouth Guards and Retainers?

While mouthguards may appear similar to retainers made from plastic, their functionality protects your teeth from damage impacts on your mouth from accidents, sporting activity, teeth grinding if affected by bruxism, et cetera. In contrast, retainers are created to help your newly shifted teeth in their new positions after undergoing orthodontic treatment. Which appliance best suits your needs depends on your unique circumstances besides the advice provided by your dentist.

Bruxism Explained

Teeth grinding, medically termed bruxism, is a chronic grinding of the teeth consciously or subconsciously. Bruxism generally occurs when sleeping but can also affect some when awake. Mild cases of bruxism might not require intervention. However, severe conditions can result in an unpleasant situation for your teeth and start interfering with daily activities. Bruxism is not identical to TMJ disorders, but the conditions are comparable.

You might be affected by bruxism for various reasons, including anxiety, but the potential of damaging your teeth by bruxism remains the same.

How do Mouthguards work?

Mouthguards are custom-created devices used to wear over your upper or lower teeth to prevent your jaw from clenching and grinding your teeth. Soft and flexible rubber or acrylic helps make mouthguards depending on your unique requirements and the severity of bruxism affecting you. Mouthguards are recommended for people involved in sporting activities for protection against impacts on the mouth and affected by bruxism to prevent damage to the teeth when sleeping as a preventive measure.

How Do Retainers Work?

Retainers help retain your teeth in their new positions following orthodontic treatment. Although, after orthodontic treatment, your teeth have shifted to their appropriate positions, your gums and bone need some time to acclimate to the new places. Therefore, retainers are essential and in line with the suggestion of the dentist in Houston to find success with your orthodontic treatment. Retainers are an integral part of orthodontic treatment requiring you to wear them indefinitely unless advised by your orthodontist to start wearing them only when sleeping.

Retainers are custom created to fit your teeth explicitly. You can find removable retainers made from transparent plastic with wires placed by the dentist near me before delivering them to you. Retainers are created to hold your teeth in place and prevent them from moving back to their original positions. Although you might find these appliances uncomfortable when you begin wearing them, the sensation subsides in a few weeks after your teeth settle.

If you wear a retainer at night to maintain the positioning of your teeth, you might be tempted to use the appliance to relieve bruxism. However, the retainer is not created for this purpose and might not be sufficient if you have moderate bruxism. In addition, mouthguards and retainers differ from each other. Therefore you must resist wearing retainers for bruxism because it might damage the appliance and necessitate expensive repairs to a device created for another purpose and even reverse your orthodontic treatment.

Which Is Best Mouth Guard or a Retainer?

Instead of determining which oral appliance is best between a mouthguard or retainer without professional advice, you find it beneficial to visit mouthguards and retainers in Houston, TX, for guidance to assess which appliance suits your requirements the best.

The professionals from the practice will inform you that whether you have a customized mouthguard or purchase one over-the-counter, the appliance will not function as a retainer.

Mouthguards require placement either on your upper or lower teeth. However, if you need a retainer for your top or bottom teeth, you will also require an appliance for the teeth without the mouthguard.

If you recently completed orthodontic treatment and were recommended to use a retainer but also need a mouthguard, the practitioner might suggest you wear your retainer during the day and evenings. You might also have the flexibility of alternating the mouthguards and wearing retainers at night. However, because every user has unique needs for mouthguards and retainers, you must consult your dentist or orthodontist to determine the optimal balancing of mouthguard and retainer use.

Oasis Modern Dentistry & Orthodontics — Implanted Dentistry & Periodontics provide mouthguards and retainers in Houston; suggest discussing with your dentist to determine which option best suits your needs. You can also request this practice to provide comprehensive advice on keeping your teeth healthy and appearing beautiful.

Call Now Book Now
Font Resize
Click to listen highlighted text!