Night Guard vs Retainer: Which is Best for You?

17 November 2023

Clear night guard and retainer for teeth

Do you ever find yourself grinding or clenching your teeth while you sleep? Has anyone suggested you use a night guard or a retainer? It’s important to understand the distinctions between these two and what they’re meant for. Let’s dive into what they are, how they tackle teeth grinding, and figure out which one might be the best fit for your needs.

What are Night Guards?

Night guards are protective devices worn during sleep to prevent teeth from grinding against each other. They offer several benefits, including safeguarding dental health, enhancing sleep quality, reducing jaw pain, and being cost-effective. Dental professionals frequently suggest night guards as a solution for sleep bruxism due to their customized fit, ease of use, durability, and versatility. Just remember, they won’t cure teeth grinding, but they’ll help manage the symptoms and ensure you get a healthier, more peaceful night’s rest.

How are Retainers any different?

Even though they may look similar to the untrained eye, night guards and retainers serve different purposes.


Retainers are crafted to maintain the correct alignment of your teeth. They’re custom-made oral devices typically made from metal or plastic. Retainers are often used after orthodontic treatment, like braces or aligners. Their job is to prevent your teeth from shifting back to their previous positions in your mouth, helping them settle into their new location and stay in place.

Ideal solution for bruxism: Zenyum Invisible braces

A young girl smiling while holding Invisible braces

When you grind your teeth while you’re awake, it’s often due to stress, anxiety, or other medical factors. Zenyum Invisible Braces are created to align your teeth correctly, improving your bite and lessening the effects of bruxism. They’re made to straighten your teeth, fix your bite, and even help with teeth grinding. 


What’s neat is that they’re custom-made to fit perfectly, so they’re super comfy and help reduce teeth grinding. Plus, when you wear them while you sleep, they act like a shield between your upper and lower teeth, which can cut down on teeth grinding, especially at night.

Which is better? Night guard or retainers?

Before deciding, it’s crucial to understand the differences and assess your specific needs.


Night Guards



Protects against teeth grinding (bruxism), jaw pain, and headaches.

Maintains teeth alignment after dental treatment.


Suitable for bruxism and related problems.

Necessary to maintain dental treatment results.

Comfort and Fit

Should be comfortable for sleep and fit securely.

It must fit snugly to preserve tooth alignment.


Comes in various price ranges.

Costs vary but are generally affordable.


Requires regular cleaning and care.

Requires proper cleaning to prevent bacterial growth.

Consulting with a dental professional is crucial for personalised oral care. They will evaluate your oral health, taking into account your dental history, issues, and lifestyle to recommend the best solution, such as night guards, retainers, or a combination. Trusting their expertise is essential for maintaining healthy teeth and the comfort of your oral devices. The result? A lasting, radiant smile you can confidently show off.

Effective ways to stop teeth grinding

When you are using retainers to combat teeth grinding is effective, you can improve the results by adding some extra strategies. Try making a few changes in your daily life, like cutting down on caffeine and alcohol, and aim for a regular sleep schedule to reduce the chances of grinding your teeth. 


Keep up with your oral hygiene, steer clear of any non-food chewing habits, and soothe your jaw with a warm compress if it’s bothering you. And, of course, remember to schedule regular dental check-ups to track your progress and receive expert advice on managing teeth grinding.

Improve your bite with our cutting-edge aligners

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