Here at Hamer & Glassick Orthodontics, a number of our patients are active in sports. Whether they play for their school or in their community, a question on their mind when they begin treatment is if braces will sideline them for the season. If you’re an athlete, you may be worried about playing sports with braces and how they will affect your performance, or even keep you from playing.
While this is a very common concern, it is thankfully an unfounded one. You can continue playing any sport you like while undergoing orthodontic treatment, but you do need to take precautions to keep your braces and mouth safe. Our main concerns are protecting your braces from damage and making sure you don’t injure your teeth or gums. To learn more about how you can protect your braces and your mouth while playing sports, keep reading below.
Wearing a mouthguard
When it comes to protecting your teeth when you’re in the game, mouthguards are the single best way to do so. They’re simple to use and do a great job of protecting your teeth, even when participating in high-contact sports like football and hockey. We recommend wearing them for low-impact sports, too, since even a small amount of pressure on your braces can irritate your mouth, causing small cuts or abrasions to your gums and the inside of your cheeks.
Shock Doctor is a well-known brand and commonly considered to produce some of the best 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 regularly participate in sports, 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. However, they have a more generalized designed and aren’t 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 from playing sports in braces
Even if you’re wearing a mouthguard, a direct hit to your mouth while you’re in wearing braces and playing a sport deserves attention. If this happens, get in touch with our office as soon as possible. We’re always available if you have an orthodontic emergency! Once we know what’s going on with you and your braces, Dr. Hamer or Dr. Glassick will be able to determine if we need to schedule you for an emergency appointment or not. Keep in mind that the single best way to protect your teeth, mouth, and braces while playing sports is by always wearing a mouthguard! An orthodontic model is preferable, but even a basic mouthguard will help prevent hits that could lead to bleeding gums, broken brackets, or even fractured teeth.
Protect your perfect smile with Hamer & Glassick Orthodontics
Mouthguards are an excellent investment in your oral health, shielding your teeth while they move into their new permanent positions. They also protect the straightening process itself! We encourage all of our patients to wear any kind of mouthguard over not wearing one at all when participating in sports or other physical activity.
Whether you’re a current patient or have an appointment to get your braces on soon, we understand being nervous about the impact they’ll have on your ability to play sports. We’d be happy to set your mind at ease! Our team is always here to answer any questions you may have or to talk through any concerns you have. With mouthguard protection and our skilled staff behind you, you’ll have everything you need to keep your smile looking and feeling great!