Patients who are getting braces often have concerns about having their routines disrupted, including any sports that they may play. Fortunately, orthodontics don’t have to keep you off the field, court or ice if you take the proper precautions.
Orthodontics involve a significant investment of time and energy, so you want to do everything possible to protect that investment. For maximum protection, athletes should consider a custom-designed mouthguard provided by their orthodontist. Orthodontic mouth guards have a slightly different design that standard ones in order to make room for the appliances. They are just as comfortable as standard mouth guards, though, if not more so.
Getting a mouth guard from your orthodontist will reduce your risk of damaging the appliances, as well as safeguarding your soft tissue from injuries that may be caused by the sharp edges of the brackets or wires. Mouth guards are generally a good idea for anyone playing a sport, but especially for patients who are wearing braces.
Even sports with a lower risk of contact, such as cycling, track and field or volleyball, require some protection, as you can still sustain oral injuries as a result of these activities. Speak with your orthodontist about a possibility of getting a mouth guard regardless of which sport you play.
You might be tempted to get a standard boil-and-bite model mouth guard in your local sporting goods store, but we strongly discourage you from choosing that option. These mouth guards are less effective in general, and particularly so when orthodontics is involved. As the teeth shift as a result of the orthodontic treatment, the fit of a boil-and-bite mouth guard will decline significantly, giving the patient much less protection than a specialized orthodontic mouthguard.
Athletes may also want to consider Invisalign braces, which straighten the teeth using clear plastic removable trays rather than brackets and wires to reduce their risk of injury.
Getting braces doesn’t mean giving up your favorite sport, but you do need to be responsible about protecting your smile in order to stay in the game. Ask our provider what you can do to keep your smile as healthy as possible while undergoing orthodontic treatment. Call our caring team!