A dental retainer is a customised device use to prevent unwanted movement of teeth, usually after completion of orthodontic/braces treatment. The device can be use on teeth on each or both jaw in a patient.
A fixed retainer consist of a customised dental wire bonded to teeth using composite resin material. It is not removable by patient and requires meticulous care on hygiene to prevent gum disease. Regular checks by dentist is required to ensure it is not detached from the teeth.
Removable retainer can be either a clear thermoplastic tray or a acrylic resin plate with wire attachments. Care for the devices are advised and patients are advised not to consume food and drinks when the devices are being worn.
Clear thermoplastic tray retainer mat sometimes be prescribed with the fixed wire retainer on the teeth on the same jaw.
Different types of retainers may be prescribe on teeth at different jaw in the same patient although it is uncommon.
Mouth guard or Night guard is customised device worn during sleep to reduce the damage cause by involuntary night clenching and grinding of teeth. a condition known as bruxism.
A soft thermoplastic silicon material or a hard acrylic resin material may be prescribe on either or both the teeth of each jaw. The devices reduce both the clenching force that the teeth are subjected to and the wear and tear that are caused by bruxism. Nightly use of device is advised and replacement of the devices will be necessary when they are damaged over time of use.