Can I Still Play Sports With Braces?

When you play sports, you’re thinking about how to score, who to block, or when to swing. But can you focus on these if your smile has braces? Can you even still play sports with braces? The short answer: Yes! You can play sports with braces, but there are a few things to know before you go out to the big game. At Hamer & Glassick Orthodontics, we empower all of our athletes with the knowledge to play their favorite sports and protect their smiles. 

Playing Sports With Braces

Your braces are a big investment in bringing out your dream smile, so taking care of them is important. As you go about your day, you may not be thinking about how your braces can break. But if you play sports, that risk becomes a much bigger deal. 

So, what are some of the risks that can happen if you play sports with braces?

  • Bent wires
  • Dislodged brackets
  • Damaged orthodontic bands
  • Broken brackets and wires that can cause cuts
  • Or, at worst, knock out your tooth!.


Mouthguards are your new smile guardian when you play sports. With many different options, mouthguards provide a safe barrier between impact and your braces. Mouthguards protect your braces, protect your mouth, and protect your teeth.

There are a few categories that your mouthguard can fall under. These include orthodontic, custom-fitted, boil-and-bite, and stock mouthguards. Let’s look into what makes these different.

Orthodontic Mouthguards: We design these mouthguards for those with braces, making them from high-grade silicone and in larger sizes to fit over your braces comfortably. They can also adapt to the movement of your teeth as your braces adjust your alignment. 

Custom-Made Mouthguards: Dentists and orthodontists can make custom-made mouthguards to the exact mold of your teeth. If you wear braces, you can also mold these around your braces to protect your treatment effectively. Although custom-made mouthguards are slightly more expensive, they provide some of the best fit and protection for your smile.

Boil-and-Bite Mouthguards: These are the middle ground between stock mouthguards and custom-made mouthguards. Made from a thermoplastic material, you soften them in boiling water and then place them in your mouth to shape around your teeth and braces. While they’re a better fit than stock mouthguards, their ability to adapt to braces is more limited than orthodontic or custom-made ones. However, they’re lower in cost and easier to acquire, making them a popular choice.

Stock Mouthguards: They are pre-formed and ready to wear, making them the least expensive and most accessible option. But, with their generic design, they offer the least protection and comfort, especially if you have braces. These mouthguards don’t adjust to your smile, meaning they can come out easier during sports, potentially causing injury to your braces.

While some protection is better than no protection for your braces, we’ll work with you at Hamer & Glassick Orthodontics to find a solution to protecting your smile while you play.

Can I Still Play Sports With Braces?

Other Ways To Protect Your Braces

Athletes who wear braces may need to take extra precautions to prevent potential injuries associated with their orthodontic appliances. While mouthguards are one of the best ways to protect your smile, there are a few other strategies to help keep your smile journey on track.

Wearing Protective Gear

Beyond mouthguards, wearing additional protective gear for your sport can help reduce the risk of injury. Depending on the sport you play, this can include helmets, face guards, and protective eyewear that can help add an extra layer of protection to any face or head injuries.

Regular Check-Ups

Coming to your scheduled check-ups at Hamer & Glassick Orthodontics allows us to look at your braces and make any adjustments needed to minimize your risk of injury. Let us know if you’re playing sports so Dr. Hamer and Dr. Glassick can give you expert advice on wearing braces while on the field.

Immediate Attention to Emergencies

In the event of an injury, immediate action for any damage to your braces or teeth is crucial. Athletes, coaches, and even parents should know what steps to take in case of emergency. This can include knowing how to temporarily address any issues and the importance of immediate professional attention.

Knowing Your Game

Learning your sport’s rules and techniques is always the first step to safely playing it. While some injuries are a part of the game, many injuries often occur due to illegal moves or improper form. Talk to your coach or trainer for any questions about protecting your smile and still being on your A-game.

Can I Still Play Sports With Braces?

Swing For The Fences At Hamer & Glassick Orthodontics

Achieving your dream smile shouldn’t stop you from playing your sports. At Hamer & Glassick Orthodontics, we’ll work with you to find the right protection that goes with your treatment. Have any further questions about protecting your smile on the pitch? Give us a call! We’re here to help all of our athletes in and around Charlottesville, Crozet, and Waynesboro!