Let’s Talk about Mouthguards and Braces
With fall sports back in full swing, now is the perfect time to re-emphasize the importance of wearing a mouthguard when playing sports, especially when you have braces. A mouthguard is a cushioning appliance made from flexible material that helps to prevent teeth and mouth injuries. Just as with some sports it’s important to wear a helmet to protect your head, a mouthguard is like a helmet for your teeth. Mouthguards are also known to reduce the risk of jaw injuries and contusions as well. A proper mouthguard fits snugly in between the top and bottom teeth.
Wearing Mouthguards with Braces
When playing any sport or doing any activity that typically requires you to wear a mouthguard, you should also wear one with your braces. Mouthguards help prevent injury not only to your mouth but to the braces themselves. Mouthguards ensure your braces and your teeth stay in place if you get hit in the face.
When participating in any high-contact sport it is important to wear a mouthguard, regardless of if you are wearing braces or not. Receiving a blow to the mouth can result in chipped or cracked teeth or facial trauma, which can cause teeth to become misaligned or even affect the jaw. While braces can keep your teeth in line during blunt face trauma, they could also cause damage to the inside of cheeks or lips, resulting in a painful mouth injury.
Different Types of Mouthguards
There are primarily two types of mouthguards available: custom-fitted or “boil and bite.” Custom-fitted is where a dentist or orthodontist makes a mold of the teeth for the mouthguard. Molded mouthguards are typically a little more durable than the boil and bite variety. Since braces cause teeth to shift into new positions, a new impression and guard will have to be made every so often to accommodate the movement.
The other type of mouthguard is boil and bite, which can be purchased from most pharmacies or athletic retail stores. The mouthguard is heated and softened in boiling water, then you bite down on it to mold it to your teeth. This is typically a more inexpensive option, especially if you braces and your bite is changing fairly frequently.
While you are gearing up to hit the field for whatever sport you play, regardless of the season, it is important to speak to your orthodontist about finding a mouthguard that works best for you. Your team at Milnor Orthodontics will be able to work with you during your orthodontic journey to find you the best appliance to protect you and your braces. Contact us at 970-484-3214 to schedule an orthodontic consultation or if you have any questions regarding teeth-related sports injuries.
At Milnor Orthodontics, our experts are here to help you achieve a priceless smile. Call our office at (970) 230-3187 or visit milnororthodontics.com to learn more. We're located at 1103 S. Shields St. in Fort Collins, Colorado.