Having braces doesn't need to hold you back from doing all of the things you love, including playing sports. Still, it's important to protect your teeth and braces while you play. Your local Las Vegas dentist at Nevada Dentistry & Braces recommends using a mouthguard when practicing or playing because braces can actually increase the risk of damage to your mouth and teeth if you get hurt. Here's what you should know about protecting your mouth while playing sports.
Why It's Important to Protect Your Braces
Wearing a mouthguard while playing sports may not be fun but it's the best way to protect your teeth and mouth from injuries. Even without braces, contact sports can result in broken teeth and fractured tooth roots. These risks are even greater when you have braces. If you don't use a mouthguard, even a moderate blow to your mouth or jaw can cause serious issues like damage to your gums, broken brackets, or possibly fractured teeth.
Regular Mouthguards Aren't Enough
A regular over-the-counter mouthguard does help to protect your teeth when you play sports but it doesn't offer the level of protection you need when you have braces. Regular sports mouthguards are made from a hard plastic and an impact can transfer from the plastic and to your braces. Even thermoplastic mouthguards that are designed to be heated and molded to your teeth aren't enough. These molds won't move with your shifting teeth and can work against your treatment. They can also be molded too well to your teeth and braces, making it even easier for the force of an impact to transfer to your braces.
Invest in an Orthodontic Mouthguard
The best form of protection during sports is an orthodontic mouthguard. These mouthguards are made from softer high-grade silicone that cushions your lips and keeps your lips from rubbing against your teeth. It also softens any blow to your mouth that can damage the brackets on your teeth or your tooth roots. Orthodontic mouthguards are designed to be slightly larger than normal mouthguards to accommodate your braces.
Tips for Adjusting to a Mouthguard
We understand that wearing a mouthguard takes some getting used to. The good news is mouthguards can be customized to make them more fun to wear. Consider getting your team colors or logo added to your mouthguard or look for a flavored mouthguard. Your orthodontic mouthguard is also easy to care for. Simply rinse with warm water and soap after every use and store in a case. We recommend getting a case with a strap that can be attached to a gym bag or helmet.
If you have ever been hit in the mouth with braces, you know that it doesn't feel very good to have your lips mashed against the metal of your braces. Imagine the pain and horror of getting knocked in the face during sports and experiencing not only trauma to your lips and gums but potentially damage to your teeth and the braces themselves.
Your Las Vegas dentist can provide a specially made orthodontic mouthguard that keeps sports fun and safe to protect your mouth and ensure your orthodontic treatment isn't delayed.