Your teeth, marvelous as they are, are not invincible. They can be chipped, damaged, and even knocked out if you’re not careful. All of these types of damage are aesthetically undesirable and can be quite costly to fix, so you’re going to want to do all you can to prevent them from occurring. In addition to your teeth being damaged, if you’re going through orthodontic treatment, the appliances can also be damaged while you’re playing sports.
The best method of protecting your mouth and smile while being active is through the use of an orthodontic mouthguard. You definitely don’t want to damage your teeth right when you’re on track to have them perfectly aligned. The mouth guard recommended by our team at Milnor Orthodontics is a boil-and-bite mouthguard.
How a Mouthguard Works
Molding a mouthguard is crucial in ensuring it provides you with adequate protection. The reason they’re so great is because they mold to fit the shape of your mouth, so they’re able to be comfortable and protective at the same time. You’re going to want to start by boiling enough water in a pot to fully submerge your mouthguard. Put the mouthguard in the water and follow the instructions on how long to leave it in to keep from damaging it.
After it sits in the water for the allotted amount of time, pull it out carefully (using tongs), dry it off, and wait for it to cool down just enough for you to put it in your mouth without burning yourself. Push the mouthguard against your front teeth and onto your molars, then bite down and suck the mouthguard to your front teeth. This molding process will take only a few seconds. Once you’re done, you can cool your mouthguard in water or just let it air dry.
When to Wear It
If you’re playing a contact sport, you should be wearing your mouth guard at all times – during practice, at games, warming up, etc. Injuries can happen in the simplest of ways and are certainly something you would want to avoid at all costs. For non-contact sports, it is still recommended that you wear a mouthguard as frequently as contact sports, although the risk is not as high if you do not do so.
If you have Invisalign, taking out your aligners and replacing them with a tight-fitting mouthguard will help protect your teeth, which may be a little looser because they are shifting into their correct positions. Be sure to put your aligners somewhere clean and safe (aka not on the bench in the locker room) and remember to put them back in as soon as you are done on the field.
Orthodontic mouthguards are the best way to ensure your teeth stay safe even if you’re participating in a sport that can potentially cause injury. However, if you do damage your braces or teeth, call our office as soon as you can and we’ll figure out the best way to get you fixed up!