Anyone who plays sports puts their teeth at risk every time they step on the field, court, rink, or pitch. Athletes who have braces are facing even bigger threats to their oral health. A customized mouthguard protects both teeth and their orthodontic hardware in any sport for children, teens, or adults. At Mariana Orthodontics in Monroe, WA, we want to help patients keep their teeth safe while working toward a straight smile.
Dangers for Athletes Who Don’t Wear Mouthguards
There is no need for anyone to stop playing sports because they have braces. It is important, however, to be aware of the dangers that exist on the field when you have brackets and wires on your teeth. One wrong hit, a collision, or a piece of equipment to the face could lead to:
- Broken brackets and wires
- Torn lips and other soft tissues
- Brackets pushed into the gums
- Broken or chipped teeth
- Knocked out or dislodged teeth
A mouthguard is protective gear. Without it, athletes with braces are in danger of orthodontic emergencies and regular dental emergencies. Damage and injury to your orthodontics and oral health can be prevent or at least minimized with the presence of a customized appliance placed over the brackets and wires.
Invest in a Customized Mouthguard
Playing hard is the only option for athletes, and it can feel like braces will hold you back from charging ahead and making the plays and saves you want to make. With a customized mouthguard in place, though, you can play the game your way.
Though some patients want to grab a boil-and-bite, over-the-counter mouthguard for convenience and cost savings, this device is not going to cut it for an athlete with braces. Here’s why:
- Materials: Typical mouthguards are molded and do not change. This unyielding nature is a must-have – for someone without braces. People undergoing orthodontic treatment have a bite and teeth that move all the time and need a customized guard made of high-grade protective silicone that accommodates a changing mouth.
- Fit: The right customized mouthguard should not only fit over your teeth and orthodontics but under the top lip. This positioning lets the appliance act as a cushion and stops cheeks and lips from being snagged by the brackets. The fit around the braces protects teeth, brackets, and wires at the same time.
- Size: While DIY mouthguards are often quite streamlined and attractive to athletes who don’t want to draw attention to their mouths, a customized mouthguard is usually a little bigger. This side effect delivers both safety and comfort that make all the difference when you’re playing a game.
Mouthguards Let Athletes Enjoy Sports Even with Braces
There are differences between conventional mouthguards and orthodontic mouthguards. No matter what sport you play, if you have braces, it’s important to protect yourself from pain, damage, and costly repairs should you suffer a blow to the mouth. The right appliance protects your orthodontics but also teeth, jaw, tongue, and other soft tissues.
Getting braces doesn’t mean you have to give up the game you love. Customized mouthguards can be made to protect:
- Metal or ceramic braces
- Any other orthodontic hardware
Make sure a customized mouthguard is part of your equipment – it’s as important as cleats, helmets, uniforms, and other safety gear. Even if the athlete wears a helmet in their sport, it isn’t enough to protect their teeth and braces. If they don’t wear a helmet, the risks are even greater.