Wondering how you can protect your teeth while wearing braces? Today, our BC and Alberta orthodontists discuss mouth guards for people with braces, and why they are important.
Should I wear a mouth guard with braces?
If you've got braces, orthodontic treatment has likely changed some aspects of your lifestyle. But if sports such as football, soccer, hockey or basketball are your first love, that doesn't have to change. Fortunately, you'll still be able to get your daily physical activity in and enjoy your time on the court or field. That said, our orthodontists strongly recommend sports mouth guards for people with braces that cover both the upper and lower teeth.
After all, you're working hard to straighten your teeth and improve your orthodontic and oral health. The last thing you'd want is for a hit to the mouth to put this in jeopardy or to need emergency dental treatment for a cut lip or gums as a result of a scratch from the metal or wires in your braces, or a knocked-out tooth.
A custom sports mouth guard protects your teeth and gums if you are struck in the face. Many sports actually require these dental appliances, which form a protective layer over the teeth to reduce your risk of injury. This protective layer distributes the force of the impact across your teeth (instead of it being concentrated on one tooth) if you are hit in the mouth while playing sports. It also prevents injuries to the soft tissues such as the lips and gums. This is true no matter your age.
At myORTHODONTIST, we're able to examine adults and fit them for a custom-made mouth guard, as well as offer mouth guards for kids with braces to protect their oral structures.
Whether you need a mouth guard for football while your orthodontic issues are being treated with braces, or you're playing another sport such as soccer or basketball, this dental appliance is your best bet for protecting your progress in orthodontic treatment, and your overall oral health.
Can a mouth guard help with grinding teeth if I have braces?
A mouth guard can prevent wear on your teeth if you grind them at night. We might recommend a mouth guard for nighttime if you have an issue with grinding teeth and are having orthodontic issues treated with braces. Teeth grinding while you sleep can cause numerous oral health problems and a negative impact on your long-term dental health, not to mention your orthodontic treatment. It can also indicate an issue with your temporomandibular joint (TMJ).
By wearing a mouth guard while you get your shut-eye, you'll avoid waking up with a sore jaw and wearing down your teeth, thanks to the barrier designed to prevent your teeth from coming into contact.
Why is it important to have a custom-made mouth guard?
Many people worry that a custom sports mouth guard will be uncomfortable or expensive. In fact, custom-fit sports mouth guards often provide a better fit than one-size-fits-all mouth guards you'll find on the rack at sporting goods stores since they are custom-made to fit your mouth. Off-the-rack mouth guards often fit either too tight or too loose.
Therefore, a custom sports mouth guard can provide better protection - and for significantly less cost and time investment than a visit to the dentist after a dental emergency or seeing your orthodontist for consultation after an injury. If you have braces, it's doubly important that your mouth guard fit properly, so it won't feel too tight and interfere with your braces - or be too loose and snag on the metal wires or brackets.
In addition, wearing a mouth guard during orthodontic treatment is important as it can also protect the appliances themselves from being damaged if you are hit in the mouth. Also, because teeth are a bit looser during orthodontic treatment, they can be damaged more easily during impact.
Ask our orthodontists about a custom sports mouth guard or night guard
Playing sports is a great way to stay physically active and healthy. However, no matter your age, a hit to the mouth can come when you least expect it - whether the impact is from an errant elbow while you're running for the ball or you're tackled on the field. While these incidents can happen in less than a second, they can have lasting negative impacts on your oral health and the trajectory of your orthodontic treatment.
Investing in a custom sports mouth guard can help you play your best game and not worry about dental injuries leaving you on the sideline. Likewise, a night mouth guard can be worn to address issues with teeth grinding while you sleep.
Our dentists can guide you through the process, fit you for a mouth guard and answer any questions you may have.