Retainer vs Mouthguard

Retainer vs mouthguard: What are they and why would you choose one over the other?

Dental Retainer

essix retainer

A retainer is commonly used after orthodontic treatment. Your teeth will want to return to their original position after treatment, and the retainer ensures your smile stays they way you want it. Wear your retainer as directed by your dentist. It can take 12 months for soft tissue to fully heal after treatment.


A dental mouthguard worn overnight, a night guard, is thicker than a dental retainer. The thicker (1.5mm) design is more durable to provide longer-lasting protection from the effects of grinding and clenching. The thickness also changes the relationship between the upper and lower jaws, which can relieve temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain.

dental mouthguard

Metatooth offers custom night guards in a hard acrylic material. Other styles may be soft and flexible, made from ethylene vinyl acetate. There are also hybrid designs, that make use of both materials.

Mouthguards made from a hard material will also act as a dental retainer.

Retainer vs mouthguard, which one did you choose? Tell us about it in the comments!


Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMD, TMJ). WebMD., n.p., Accessed 08 March 2020.

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