If you are playing sports with braces, especially any kind of contact sport, it is very important that you are protecting your mouth. One of the best ways to do this is by wearing a mouthguard. Hamer & Hamer Orthodontics recommends that all student athletes wear a mouthguard to protect their teeth, and especially those who wear braces. People generally have questions when it comes to sports, braces, and mouthguards, and it is important that patients understand why mouthguards are so important.
Why Are Mouthguards Important To Wear With Braces?
While a mouthguard is always an important part of an athlete’s uniform, it is extra important to wear one if you have braces. This is due to the fact that the soft tissue in your mouth is more susceptible to damage if someone hits you in the face. The metal braces and brackets can shred your gums and perhaps even break through your lip. This is incredibly painful and could potentially cause some permanent scarring. The best way to avoid this from happening is to simply cover your braces with a mouthguard. The mouthguard is made out of a durable plastic that creates a solid barrier between your braces and your gums.
How Do I Choose The Best Mouthguard?
In order for your mouthguard to work the way that it should, it is important that you choose one with care. There are three questions that you should ask yourself when choosing the right mouthguard to wear with braces:
- Does the mouthguard feel comfortable in your mouth?
- Is the mouthguard too bulky?
- How much room does the mouthguard give for your teeth to move?
If your mouthguard does not feel comfortable in your mouth, then you likely aren’t going to wear it. It is distracting when trying to play sports, and could even cause you some pain. A lot of the over-the-counter mouthguards that you can purchase are made more generically. Because of this, there is a good possibility that the mouthguard will not fit over your braces and teeth properly. In order to get a mouthguard that is custom fit to your mouth, you should have it made by an orthodontist. Dr. Hamer will custom create a mouthguard using a mold from your mouth which ensures that the mouthguard feels comfortable while you play, and is a protection instead of a distraction.
Some mouthguards that are made specifically for people with braces are extra bulky. This is due to the fact that the mouthguard is made larger to encompass the braces as well as the teeth. However, if the mouthguard is too bulky for the wearer’s mouth, this entirely defeats the purpose because the mouthguard will likely not fit inside. It is important to purchase a mouthguard that is labelled “for orthodontics.” This label means that the mouthguard is designed to be worn with traditional braces and will fit more comfortably around the braces and inside your mouth.
When you are in braces, your teeth are constantly moving. Because of this, a mold that was taken two month previously may not currently fit comfortably on your teeth. This means that you may constantly be purchasing new mouthguards to fit your moving teeth. A better approach to this would be to have your orthodontist make you a mouthguard that accounts for some of this teeth movement. This will allow you to wear the mouthguard for longer, and will make it a smarter investment for you.
Mouthguards are very important for protecting your teeth and gums when you have braces, but if they don’t fit how they should, then they aren’t doing their job. Going to your orthodontist to get your mouthguard created is an excellent way to ensure that it is comfortable, it isn’t too bulky, and it gives your teeth room to move.
Hamer & Hamer Orthodontics molds custom mouthguards in our office. If you’re an athlete and have need of a mouthguard for the upcoming season, make an appointment with Dr Hamer at (434) 296-0188 to have your custom mouthguard made. We can’t wait to see you!