No matter what sport you play, you run the risk of falling, getting hit, colliding with others, and more. Factor in teeth and braces and any injuries you suffer could be painful and costly. Take heart: Braces do not mean the end of sports. Braces do, however, mean you must wear an orthodontic mouthguard while practicing and playing games.
Choosing the Right Orthodontic Mouthguard
Mouthguards are the best friend of anyone who wears braces and plays sports. Sports guards protect teeth, jaw, and tongue from damage – and protect your orthodontics. But there’s a difference between regular mouthguards and orthodontic mouthguards.
Regular mouthguards are made of thermoplastic. These are purchased over the counter, heated up, and molded to the teeth and brackets. However, the mold doesn’t shift once it has been set. And the thing that braces do is move your teeth, which means your brackets must move too. A thermoplastic mouthguard can impede the effectiveness of braces and, should you take a hit to the mouth, it could dislodge or break the braces.
No braces-wearer wants to endure more orthodontic appointments than necessary. The simple fitting and wearing of a customized mouthguard saves braces-wearers from injury.
Orthodontic Mouthguards for Teen Athletes
An orthodontic mouthguard is made especially for someone who wears braces. Typically made of high-grade silicone, this appliance is fitted under the top lip, serving as a cushion and preventing the lips or cheeks from being pushed into the brackets or snagged by them. The injury itself is painful enough, as is dislodging a pinched bracket.
The silicone also protects the hardware on your teeth from any sports-related impact. While orthodontic mouthguards are usually a little bigger than conventional mouthguards, they are comfortable to wear and safeguard your orthodontics and mouth from damage. Even if you don’t play contact sports, an orthodontic mouthguard keeps you safer than you would be without a mouthguard.
Sports, Adults, and Protecting Your Teeth
Teens aren’t the only people who wear braces and play sports. Adults who wear braces, clear or otherwise, get on the court, the field, the rink, and beyond to get their exercise and enjoy their favorite sports. Just because you’re older and wiser, however, does not mean you’re immune to sports-related mouth injuries.
It’s necessary to be extra cautious while wearing braces. You may not be able to play with the same kind of abandon and aggression you once did, but wearing an orthodontic mouthguard can help you maintain your edge in the game without hurting your teeth and braces in the process.
Invisalign and Sports
For wearers of Invisalign or Invisalign Teen, it’s important to know that the clear aligners are not enough to safeguard against dental damage. The best way to protect your teeth and aligners from damage during play is to remove the aligners and put in a sports mouthguard.
However, you should be wearing your Invisalign aligners 20 to 22 hours a day for the treatment to be effective. That complicates matters. It’s important to have a conversation with your Woodinville orthodontist about whether Invisalign is the right orthodontic method for you based on your lifestyle – and that includes playing sports.
Learn more about orthodontic mouthguards and playing sports with braces from orthodontist Dr. Soleil Roberts. Schedule your consultation with Soleil Orthodontics in Woodinville, Washington.