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Braces and Sports

If you or someone you love is new to sports or to braces this winter, there are a few things you should keep in mind before getting active. Just like your naked teeth, your braces-wearing mouth needs protection while playing many common sports. From football to hockey, basketball, wrestling and roller derby, it is essential that you properly protect your teeth and your braces if you participate in sports. But before you reach for that trusty old boil-and-bite mouth guard, make sure you read this guide to choosing the right guard for braces.


Your Old Mouth Guard

Your old mouth guard might have been great for your teeth last time you wore it, but if you’ve recently gotten braces, it may not cut it anymore. That’s because most mouth guards weren’t designed to wear with braces. In fact, many tight-fitting and boil-and-bite guards can actually damage your braces and slow the progress of your treatment. That’s because the pressure they put on your teeth could bend the wires in your braces, knocking them out of alignment and causing their positioning to shift in the wrong direction. 

If you would like to reuse your old mouth guard, bring it with you to the dentist or orthodontist once your new braces are on, and see if it can be re-fitted. If so, your dentist or orthodontist can help you reshape it without damaging your oral appliances in the process.

Braces Mouth Guards

Special mouth guards are available at most sporting goods stores for people who wear braces, but whether or not these guards will work for your specific mouth is really up to your orthodontist. If you play sports, let your orthodontist know so he or she can recommend a brand of mouth guard that will work best with your particular mouth. Your practitioner will most likely want you to bring the guard in to your next appointment to make sure it fits properly before giving you the go-ahead to wear it.

Custom Mouth Guards

Custom-fit mouth guards are only available through your dentist or orthodontist. These mouth guards are more expensive than the varieties available at the store, but for good reason. They are of a higher quality, so they are more durable, and because they are made to fit your mouth, they are usually more comfortable, too.

Be Flexible

If you do require a mouth guard for sports purposes, make sure whatever kind you buy can be changed as needed. That’s because as your teeth and braces wires change position, your mouth guard will need to as well. In fact, depending on your treatment, you could end up needing to change the shape of your mouth guard several times a month!

If you have any questions or concerns about mouth guards, or how to protect your braces during sports and other activities, give Dr. Simpson’s office a call at (910) 550-3959.

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