If you've just gotten your braces, you might be looking for a sports mouth guard to wear over your orthodontic appliances. Our BC and Alberta orthodontists share the rationale for wearing a mouth guard with braces and list some tips.
No matter how old you are, having orthodontic treatment with braces can bring some big changes - taking care of your teeth and orthodontic appliances, getting used to talking and eating with braces and dealing with occasional discomfort after adjustments can take some time.
If you play sports, your orthodontist may also recommend you wear a mouthguard with your braces to protect your teeth from injury and trauma. In this article, we'll discuss what a mouth guard is, how wearing a mouth guard with braces works and other tips.
What is a mouth guard?
A mouth guard is a cushioning appliance that's crafted from flexible material that fits snugly over the teeth and acts as a barrier to help prevent injuries to the teeth, mouth, lips and cheeks. An effective orthodontic mouth guard also keeps the jaws from fully closing, reducing the risk of concussion and injuries to your jaw joint, as well as facial fractures.
Can you wear a mouth guard with braces?
Yes, and we recommend mouth guards for patients undergoing orthodontic treatment. Braces are made from metal and wires, which means their presence can cause significant damage to your mouth if you are hit in the face. Your orthodontic appliances themselves may also be damaged.
In addition, since your teeth will be a bit looser while you undergo orthodontic treatment, they can be more easily damaged by impact. A custom-made mouth guard can greatly reduce your chances of injury in these scenarios.
An orthodontic mouth guard should fit well and be reformable, so it can be reshaped to fit your teeth as the braces straighten and align your smile. That's why our orthodontist may recommend mouth guards for people with braces who are also active in sports.
How to Use a Mouth Guard with Braces
First, speak with your orthodontist about your options for using a mouth guard while wearing braces. Once the orthodontist has assessed your specific circumstances and designed your mouth guard, here are some steps to wear one safely:
- Once you receive your mouth guard, your orthodontist will fit it to your braces.
- Since the mouth guard will be re-moldable, your orthodontist can make adjustments where needed during your orthodontic appointments. This means it will fit comfortably in your mouth, even when your teeth are straightening during your orthodontic treatment.
- Before heading out to the rink, field or court, insert your custom-made mouth guard into your mouth.
- After playing sports or engaging in physical activity, always remove your mouth guard carefully from around your braces to avoid it getting caught in the metal or wires.
Orthodontic Mouth Guards at myORTHODONTIST
Many sports associations require players to use a mouth guard for football, field hockey, lacrosse, wrestling and hockey. The American Dental Association also recommends using a mouth guard for other contact sports such as martial arts , softball, basketball and extreme sports.
If you or your child play sports, our orthodontists at myORTHODONTIST can create a custom mouth guard for you or the athlete in your life, to help you stay active and play the sports you love while you undergo orthodontic treatment.