Here at Brace-Asaurus, many of our patients are active in sports, both in their schools and communities. One common question we hear when they begin their orthodontic treatment is if braces will put them out of the game for the season. If you’re an athlete who is looking to pursue braces treatment, you may also be worried about how they’ll affect your performance or if they could even prevent you from playing sports at all.
This is a very common concern, but thankfully, it’s also an unfounded one! You can continue to play any sport you like during the course of your orthodontic treatment. However, there are a few extra precautions you’ll need to take in order to protect your mouth and your braces. Our top priority is your smile and your health, so we want to do everything we can to prevent damage to your teeth, gums, and orthodontic appliances. To find out how you can protect your braces and your mouth while playing sports, keep reading below!
Wearing a mouthguard
When it comes to keeping your teeth and braces safe while you’re in action on the field or court, mouthguards are the best solution! They’re extremely easy to use and have proven to be highly effective, even when playing contact sports, such as football, soccer, basketball and hockey. We encourage all of our patients to wear a mouthguard, even if you’re playing low-contact sports, since even a small amount of pressure to your gums and braces can cause irritation, leading to cuts on the inside of your cheeks.
Here at Brace-Asaurus, we believe in the power of a great orthodontic mouthguard. Because of this, we provide one for every single patient in need! While regular mouthguards do provide some protection, they’re typically made from thermoplastic, which heats up in your mouth and forms to your teeth. This prevents the mouthguard from adapting to your teeth as they shift into their new positions, which can interfere with the straightening process and lead to longer treatment times.
In addition to that, regular mouthguards that have molded to snugly around the brackets could end up causing them to shift, or even knock them off completely if you sustain a hard enough hit. This could lead to additional office visits and a longer time wearing your braces.
Orthodontic mouthguards, on the other hand, are made from a high-grade silicone that provides extra cushion for your lips and keeps them from bumping against your teeth and braces. This helps protect the brackets from any impact-related damage, and can prevent painful scenarios like your lip getting caught in your braces (yes, it’s as bad as it sounds!) Orthodontic mouthguards tend to be slightly bigger than standard models, but they’re just as comfortable.
The benefits of orthodontic mouthguards can’t be denied! Their unique, specialized design helps protect your braces and your teeth, whether you’re playing tennis or football. Listed below are some additional orthodontic mouthguard brands, so you can know the different options available to meet your specific needs.
Over-the-counter mouthguards if you prefer to get your own!
Shock Doctor is a well-known brand and commonly considered to produce some of the highest quality orthodontic mouthguards on the market. Because they are made of 100% medical grade silicone and designed to conform to the upper brackets, they are very comfortable, and help reduce or eliminate cuts and scrapes. Shock Doctor mouthguards adjust to the movement of your teeth during treatment and are affordably priced in both strapped and unstrapped styles.
For patients in braces who are active in sports or other physical activities, mouthguards with a lip guard are a huge plus. Lip guards will keep you from accidentally biting yourself, but do not hinder your ability to speak clearly. Vettex mouthguards contain lip guards, and while this makes them a little bulkier, they are still an inexpensive, lightweight option. Just remember, however, that they have a more generalized design, and are not made specifically for athletes in braces.
Tapout mouthguards are a newer, more diverse style with a distinct design promoting airflow. The comfortable fit makes them easy to talk with, and they will re-mold to your teeth multiple times as they change. Because they are meant to adjust based on your current bite, they can be used by athletes undergoing orthodontic treatment, as well as those without any orthodontic appliances.
Injuries that can occur while playing sports in braces
Even if you’re wearing a mouthguard, a direct hit to your mouth during the course of your orthodontic treatment warrants attention. If this happens, we recommend contacting the team at Brace-Asaurus as soon as possible. We’re always available in case of an emergency, so don’t hesitate to reach out! Once we know what happened, Dr. Desai will be able to determine what your next steps should be. Keep in mind that wearing a mouthguard is the single best way to protect your teeth and braces while playing sports! An orthodontic model is definitely preferred, but even a basic mouthguard will help protect your teeth, mouth, and braces in the case of a substantial hit.
Protect your perfect smile with Dr. Desai and the team at Brace-Asaurus
Mouthguards are an excellent investment in your oral health, protecting your teeth as they move into their new permanent positions. They also protect the straightening process itself! We highly recommend all of our patients to wear any kind of mouthguard over not wearing one at all when participating in sports and other physical activities.
Whether you’re a current patient or are just starting your braces journey, we understand being nervous about the impact they’ll have on your ability to play sports. We’re here to give you peace of mind and answer any questions you may have, and talk through any concerns related to your treatment. With mouthguard protection and our skilled staff behind you, you’ll have everything you need to keep your smile look and feeling great!