Protecting your smile while playing sports is essential when you have braces. Mouthguards can help protect your teeth and gums from injury.
If you participate in basketball, boxing, hockey, football, gymnastics, lacrosse, martial arts, racquetball, rugby, track and field, skateboarding, skiing and snowboarding, skydiving, soccer, surfing, volleyball, water polo, weightlifting, wrestling, or any other contact sport, it is recommended by the American Association of Orthodontists that you wear a mouthguard.
Types of mouthguards
Choosing the right mouthguard is important. There are three basic types of mouthguards: the pre-made mouthguard, the “boil-and-bite” fitted mouthguard, and a custom-made mouthguard from an orthodontist. When you choose a mouthguard, be sure to pick one that is tear-resistant, comfortable and well fitted for your mouth, easy to keep clean, and does not prevent you from breathing properly.
Pre-made mouthguards and boil-and-bite mouthguards can be purchased at most sporting goods stores, while custom-made mouthguards are specially designed by our office to provide optimal protection against mouth injuries.
If you wear braces or a retainer, it is imperative for you to wear a mouthguard during contact sports. Our office will be happy to provide you a pre-made “Orthodontic Friendly” mouthguard while you are in treatment.
Once your smile is complete, we can make you a complimentary, custom-fit sports mouthguard to help protect your precious investment.
Taking care of your mouthguard
Similar to a retainer, braces, or any other special dental appliance, it is vital to take care of your mouthguard by storing it properly and keeping it clean, as well as knowing when to replace your old mouthguard with a new one. Here are a few simple ways to keep your mouthguard clean and working correctly:
- Gently scrub your mouthguard after each use with a toothbrush and toothpaste.
- Store it in a protective case away from pets.
- Do not leave your mouthguard in the sun or in hot water, because it may melt or become deformed.
- Replace your mouthguard at the beginning of every new sports season. You should also replace it if you notice it has become worn and no longer fits properly.
- Do not wear a retainer with your mouthguard. If you wear braces, we will help design a mouthguard to protect your teeth and your braces.
- Do not chew on or cut off pieces of your mouthguard. They come in varying shapes and sizes; ask Dr. Smith which is best for you.
- Bring your mouthguard to each checkup, so we can check to make sure it”s still in good shape!
Sports-related injuries to the mouth and jaw are among the most common injuries suffered by athletes. Our goal is to help minimize your chances of a sports-related injury to your smile.
Dr. Smith has been providing complimentary custom-fit mouthguards to sports teams for years. Be sure to ask us about mouthguards for you and your team at your next appointment — GO TEAM!