Night guards and ortho retainers have unique functions to play. For example, retainers are used to keep the teeth in place, whereas night guards protect teeth. Let us look at each in turn.
What is a Retainer and Why Is it Used?
Retainers are used in keeping the teeth perfectly aligned. Sometimes people need retainers after wearing braces. And during any orthodontic treatment, the teeth are shifted from their initial position to a desired one. When teeth are moved to a new location, they usually want to incline back to their initial position. The retainers help to keep teeth in the desired position that it is in and make the teeth comfortable in their new place.
What are Night Guards and Why Is it Used?
People wear night guards to protect their teeth during the night. It protects the teeth from the clenching of the jaws, known as bruxism. Depending on the level of grinding, the night guards will be made from soft materials. It can be either hard plastic or soft rubber-like material. Also, the night guards look very similar to retainers.
Can You Wear Night Guards as Retainers?
The night guards serve a completely different purpose and you can’t use them as retainers. Besides, the night guard is worn on the upper or ground teeth only. If you need the retainers on the top and bottom, you will still need the retainers. The dentists will ask you to wear the retainers during the day and night guards at night if you need to wear both. It would help if you talked to a dentist first to know how to balance wearing both.
How Long Should You Wear Night Guards or Retainers?
You can stop wearing retainers once the surrounding tissues and bones stabilize the teeth. If you stop wearing retainers prematurely, the teeth could move back to their initial position. Further, if you are wearing retainers as night guards, ask your dentist if you can open them at night or not. Finally, if you are wearing braces for over a year, you should stop wearing retainers now.
On the other hand, you have to continue wearing night guards as long as the bruxism continues. It helps to protect teeth and improve oral health. If the bruxism is caused by stress, perform activities like yoga.
Retainers help to save costs if done correctly. Want to get a perfect set of retainers? Call us at Inspire Smile Dental, Dublin, CA at (925) 833-9500. You can also schedule an appointment online.