A Comprehensive Sports Mouthguard and Braces Guide for Athletes
In the world of orthodontics, advancements in technology have brought about an extensive array of devices designed to help people achieve the perfect smile. Burke & Redford Orthodontists, with offices in Temecula and Lake Elsinore, California, offer a broad spectrum of these treatment options.
Dr. Ryan Redford and Dr. Michael Burke offer the most advanced self-ligating ceramic, metal, and Damon braces. Patients who are good candidates for clear aligners might also consider Invisalign and Invisalign for Teenagers.
However, for anyone involved in sports, especially extreme and contact sports, a crucial question often arises, “How do I manage braces while engaging in these activities?” Let us go over the methods used to ensure your orthodontic process aligns seamlessly with your athletic pursuits.
Athletes participating in extreme and contact sports are more prone to accidents that could result in injury to their mouths or teeth, a risk that becomes even more significant when braces are part of the equation. Without proper protection, a hit to the face can damage braces and cause trauma to the lips, gums, and cheeks. Therefore, it’s of paramount importance for athletes with braces to take additional precautions when participating in these sports.
The key to protecting your mouth and orthodontic appliances while engaged in sports lies in one critical piece of equipment: the mouthguard. While a typical mouthguard offers adequate protection for most athletes, those with braces will need an orthodontic sports mouthguard. These mouthguards are made of high-grade silicone and are designed to provide a cushion against blows that can damage the braces and injure the mouth.
Protecting your teeth while engaging in sports is a crucial consideration, regardless of whether you wear braces or not.
Here are the top 10 types of sports that require a mouthguard due to their high-risk nature:
- Football: The high-impact nature of this sport, with its constant tackles and collisions, makes wearing a mouthguard an absolute necessity. Mouthguards used for tackle football come with a strap that attaches to the facemask.
- Boxing: In boxing, a mouthguard is crucial to protect the teeth, lips, and tongue from powerful punches.
- Hockey: Ice hockey and field hockey both involve swift movement, hard objects, and physical contact, requiring solid oral protection.
- Lacrosse: This game involves high-speed balls and potential stick-to-face contact, making a mouthguard vital.
- Rugby: Known for its physical intensity and the absence of helmets, rugby requires strong mouth protection due to the high risk of oral injury.
- Basketball: Despite not being categorized as a contact sport, the speed and intensity of basketball can lead to accidental impacts that may harm the mouth.
- Martial Arts: Disciplines like karate, judo, taekwondo, or Brazilian jiu-jitsu involve hand-to-hand combat that can pose significant risks to the mouth and teeth.
- Skateboarding, Skiing or Snowboarding: Falls during these sports are common, and a mouthguard can protect teeth from severe injuries.
- Motocross and BMX: Accidents while riding can result in hard impacts with the ground or equipment, potentially harming the mouth.
- Soccer: Although soccer might seem less direct in its physicality, accidental hits from the ball, headers, or collisions with other players can still cause dental injuries.
Remember, while this list above comprises sports where mouthguards are most used, they are beneficial in any activity where there’s a risk of mouth or facial injury. Even non-contact sports and recreational activities can pose a risk of accidental falls or collisions.
Therefore, a mouthguard should be a part of your essential sports gear, especially if you have braces or other orthodontic appliances. Protection is key to maintaining a healthy and beautiful smile.
The orthodontic sports mouthguards offered by Burke & Redford Orthodontists are designed to fit comfortably over braces and other orthodontic appliances, providing an essential buffer between the braces and your cheeks or lips, which helps to prevent cuts and bruises.
Furthermore, these mouthguards adapt to changes in mouth structure as teeth adjust throughout orthodontic treatment, ensuring continued comfort and protection.
Different Types of Braces
Different types of braces may also present their unique challenges when dealing with sports. Let’s dive into some popular choices at Burke & Redford Orthodontists and how athletes can manage them in the context of sports.
- Self-Ligating Ceramic Braces, Metal Braces, and Damon Braces: These braces are characterized by a door mechanism that secures the wire to the brackets. Some self-ligating braces have a low-profile design compared to others, which decreases their outward protrusion and (potentially) negative interaction with the lips and cheeks. Nevertheless, wearing an orthodontic mouthguard is still crucial when participating in contact sports.
- Invisalign and Invisalign for Teenagers: These clear aligners are a popular choice among athletes due to their flexibility and convenience. They can be removed during the game and replaced with a standard sports mouthguard for protection. However, it’s essential to remember to put the aligners back in immediately after the activity to keep up with the treatment plan.
Regardless of the type of braces, diligent care and regular check-ups are vital, especially for athletes. If an accident occurs and the braces are damaged, prompt attention is necessary to prevent any further complications.
While the prospect of participating in contact sports while having braces might seem daunting, it doesn’t have to be. With the proper knowledge and precautions, athletes can continue their orthodontic treatment process without compromising their passion for sports.
Utilizing protective gear like orthodontic sports mouthguards, making informed decisions about the type of braces that suit your lifestyle, and staying consistent with your orthodontic care regimen are all strategies to ensure that your smile remains on track, even as you tackle extreme sports.
Dr. Ryan Redford and Dr. Michael Burke are committed to providing their patients with comprehensive care that meets their unique needs. Whether you’re a contact sport enthusiast or simply enjoying a casual game now and then, their team is dedicated to helping you find the right balance between your orthodontic treatment and your love for sports.
Sports Mouthguards FAQ’s
- What is the difference between a regular mouthguard and an orthodontic mouthguard?
Regular mouthguards are typically made of a thermoplastic material that you heat and mold to your teeth. In contrast, orthodontic mouthguards are crafted from high-grade silicone to accommodate braces. They are also designed to adjust to the shifting positions of your teeth throughout treatment.
- Can I use a regular mouthguard if I have braces?
No. While a regular mouthguard can provide some level of protection, it is not designed to accommodate braces. A “boil and bite” mouthguard may get stuck to the braces and break brackets or prevent treatment progress. An orthodontic mouthguard is designed to cover the brackets properly and prevent them from causing injury during contact.
- Should I wear a mouthguard for non-contact sports, too?
Yes, wearing a mouthguard is recommended even for non-contact sports. Accidental falls or flying equipment can cause unexpected damage to your braces and mouth.
- How should I clean and care for my mouthguard?
After every use, rinse your mouthguard with water and clean it with a toothbrush and mouth wash. Regularly inspect it for wear and tear and replace it if it becomes damaged or does not fit well. Always store it in a sturdy, ventilated container to keep it clean and safe.
- What if my mouthguard no longer fits due to shifting teeth?
An orthodontic sports mouthguard is designed to adjust as your teeth shift during treatment. However, if the mouthguard becomes uncomfortable or doesn’t fit correctly, consult with your orthodontist. You might need a replacement.
- Can I wear my Invisalign aligners instead of a mouthguard when playing sports?
Invisalign aligners are not designed to protect your teeth during sports. When participating in sports activities, it is recommended to remove your aligners and wear a proper sports mouthguard for protection.
Engaging in extreme or contact sports while undergoing orthodontic treatment is entirely possible with the right care and protection. Orthodontic mouthguards are an essential piece of equipment that helps safeguard your braces and mouth from potential sports-related injuries.
Protect Your Smile and Investment with Our Expert Orthodontists for 30 Years
At Burke & Redford Orthodontists, your dental health and well-being are our top priorities. We are here to ensure that you can confidently pursue your sporting passions without sacrificing the orthodontic care you need.
Remember that each person’s orthodontic treatment journey is unique, and what works for one person might not work for another. Consult with Dr. Ryan Redford at our office before making decisions regarding your oral health and sports participation. With our orthodontist’s expert guidance and wide range of orthodontic appliances, we can help you maintain an active lifestyle while working towards that perfect smile!