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Night Guards vs Retainers [A Complete Overview]


Did You Know...

The American Sleep Association reports a staggering 30-40 million people in the United States alone who suffer from sleep disorders. If you're one of them, you might wonder how to protect your teeth and improve your oral health. Night guards and retainers are two dental appliances that can help prevent dental problems and maintain oral health. While they serve different purposes, they offer unique benefits that can significantly impact your holistic well-being.
In this blog post, we'll explore the differences between night guards and retainers. We will review all of their benefits, risks associated with not using them, and the advantages of using a night guard retainer combo.

Understanding the Differences Between Night Guards and Retainers

Night guards and retainers are both dental appliances designed to protect your teeth. These devices work to keep the top or bottom teeth from grinding, clenching, or shifting. A night guard is a type of dental device that's worn to prevent teeth from grinding and clenching. These devices, are also known as dental guards, mouth guards and night time bite guards.

Some custom made night guards are softer and more malleable to prevent lighter teeth grinding habits. These guards are tailored to fit your teeth comfortably so that you can get restful nights without any disruption. Furthermore, thanks to their soft texture they're perfect for anyone with sensitive teeth who wants added comfort while sleeping!
On the other hand, a retainer is a dental appliance that keeps your teeth from shifting after orthodontic treatment. There are different types of retainers, including removable retainers, fixed retainers, traditional wire retainers, clear retainers, and permanent retainers. Each retainer has their own unique benefits and uses. Removable retainers are similar to night guards in that you can take them out of your mouth. However, they are not designed to protect your teeth from grinding or clenching.

Benefits of Wearing a Night Guard

  1. Protection Against Bruxism- Custom night guards are an effective way to protect against teeth grinding and clenching. Night guards reduce the pressure and force that damages your teeth, gums, and jaw.
  2. Protection Against Tooth Wear and Damage- Bruxism can cause considerable damage to teeth over time. It can cause chipping, cracking or even breakage. In order to preserve your teeth structure and function, night guards act as a barrier.
  3. Sleep Quality- Grinding and clenching can cause frequent awakenings and prevent you from entering deeper stages of sleep. This leads to daytime fatigue and other uncomfortable symptoms. A night guard helps in reducing the frequency and intensity of grinding and clenching, allowing for more restful and rejuvenating sleep.

Benefits of Wearing Retainers

 Maintain Post- Orthodontic Treatment- It's essential to wear a retainer after braces or other orthodontic treatments. Retainers help to prevent teeth from shifting back to their original position. This can help maintain the treatment results and prevent the need for additional orthodontic work in the future.

  1. Maintain Your Oral Health- Retainers are an effective way of keeping teeth in their proper alignment and making it easier to maintain good oral hygiene. If you have teeth that are crowded or misaligned, brushing and flossing are significantly more difficult. This increases the risk of developing: gum disease, tooth decay, and other oral health issues. Wearing a retainer helps reduce the likelihood of these ailments by keeping your teeth in their correct position.
  2. Protecting Your Investment- Orthodontic treatment is a significant investment, both in terms of time and money. Wearing a retainer is an essential step in protecting that investment. It helps ensure that the results of your orthodontic treatment are maintained, preventing the need for further orthodontic work.

What Happens When You Don't Use a Night Guard or Retainer?

If you choose not to wear night guards or retainers, the risks of damaging your oral health and quality of life become reality. Without a doubt, the pain and discomfort that come with oral issues can have far-reaching consequences on both personal wellness and lifestyle.

  • Not using a night guard can lead to severe wear and tear on your upper and lower teeth, which could causing tooth sensitivity, cracks, and even tooth loss due to night time teeth grinding habits.
  • Failing to wear a retainer after completing orthodontic treatment can completely reverse the progress made on your orthodontic treatments. Causing your teeth to shift and leading to overcrowding and misalignment.
  • Neglecting the use of a night guard or retainer can result in extremely expensive dental procedures in the future. This is because a dentist may need to correct damage and misalignments caused by teeth grinding, clenching, or shifting.

Advantages To A Night Guard Retainer Combo

Using a night guard and retainer combo can provide additional protection for your teeth. This is because you will have the ability to simply switch between your night guard and your retainer. The best steps to take are to simply wear your normal retainer at the times you don't experience bruxism/ teeth grinding. However, at the time you do grind or clench your teeth you can just switch from wearing your retainer to wearing your custom fitted night guard. While the two dental devices provide different forms of protection, using a night guard retainer combo can help protect against teeth grinding & clenching while also preventing them from shifting.

Night Guards and Retainers

If you suffer from tooth grinding or clenching it's essential to wear a night guard in order to protect your teeth and maintain your oral health. However, if you've undergone orthodontic treatment, wearing a retainer can help prevent your teeth from shifting and maintain the progress made during treatment. Using a combo of the night guard and retainer provides additional protection for your teeth!

ClearClub's Custom-Made Night Guards

If you're wearing a retainer but need an added layer of protection, a custom made dental guard from ClearClub is the perfect solution for you! ClearClub night guards are capable of serving as an overnight retainer not only because of the superior fit and comfort, but their snugness prevents teeth from shifting during sleep.

ClearClub's Retainers Start At Only $95

ClearClub also offers affordable, high-quality, dental grade retainers. Aside from the fact that you won't need to worry about scheduling an appointment with your ortho, one huge benefit of purchasing a retainer from ClearClub is simply the affordability. ClearClub offers a cost-effective solution for those who have either broken, lost, or just want to replace their old retainer. While orthodontists typically charge between $300 to $500 for a retainer, you can simply purchase one online for less than $100!

Quality Retainers From ClearClub

ClearClub's retainers are made of FDA-approved, non-allergenic, latex-free, and BPA-free materials, ensuring that they are safe and comfortable to wear. They are made of hard material with a thickness of 1mm, providing the necessary support to keep teeth in place. ClearClub's retainers are manufactured and approved by USA dental professionals, ensuring the highest quality and precision in their production.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Can a Night Guard Be Used as a Retainer?

If you have a custom-fitting night guard (i.e. ClearClub Custom-Made Night Guards) you can alternate between wearing your retainer and night guard. While boil and bite mouthguards will not be effective in retaining your teeth alignment you can use a custom fitted night guard to keep your teeth from grinding at night even if you also need to wear a retainer.


Do I Need A Night Guard? Or A Retainer? Or Both?

If you're unsure what you need exactly and you don't want to visit a dentist or orthodontist, ClearClub offers a simple and easy quiz to assist you in finding the perfect dental protection. Simply click the button below to take the quiz now!