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The difference between mouthguards, aligners and retainers

When it comes to dental appliances, what exactly are the differences between Mouthguards, Aligners and Retainers.


Mouthguards are devices used to protect your teeth from grinding or clenching, often while you sleep or from injuries while you play sports like rugby. Mouthguards can also help to reduce snoring and relieve obstructive sleep apnea.

However, not all mouthguards are the same. There are three main types, depending on your needs.  There are general stock mouthguards, boil-and- bite mouthguards and custom-made mouthguards from your dentist. Mouthguards may be used to treat TMJ and bruxism.


Aligners are dental appliances typically associated with Invisalign, ClearCorrect and direct to consumer brands like DIY invisible braces companies Smile Direct Club and Candid. Aligners are designed to be clear, making treatment extremely discrete for the wearer. During treatment, a series of different aligners are worn to gently shift teeth into a more desirable position creating a beautiful smile.


Following orthodontic treatment, custom made removable or fixed retainers are used to ensure that teeth maintain their new position. Note that neglecting to wear a retainer after orthodontic treatment can result in the teeth shifting back to their old position.

If you have any questions about these appliances or orthodontic treatment please get in touch for an appointment or free video consultation with Shine Dental here in Twyford.

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