April 2nd, 2021
Patients often ask if they can still play sports while in orthodontic treatment. The answer is YES! Many of our patients (children, teens, and adults) are active with sports.
Dr. Barden recommends that everyone always protect their smile with a properly fitted mouthguard when playing sports and there is the potential for injury to your mouth or jaw. This is true even if you are not in orthodontic treatment.
When should you wear a mouthguard?
- Mouthguards should be used when playing any contact sport such as football, hockey, baseball, softball, wrestling, field hockey, boxing, martial arts, rugby, soccer, basketball, and lacrosse.
- Mouth guards can also be helpful for non-contact sports such as gymnastics or skateboarding where falls and accidents can cause mouth and jaw injuries.
- Wear the mouthguard for practices as well as games.
- Mouthguards should have enough flex that they won’t break or tear.
- Mouthguards should fit properly and be comfortable.
- Mouthguards should not impair speech or breathing.
- Custom made mouthguards often work the best and are the most comfortable. See your dentist if you need a custom fit mouthguard.
- If you have braces you will need a mouthguard that fits with braces. See Dr. Barden if you need one.
- Don’t wear orthodontic appliances, such as retainers, when wearing a mouthguard.
- Rinse the mouthguard in cool, soapy water after each use.
- Store the mouthguard in a hard case and away from the sun or in the heat. Sun and heat may melt or distort mouthguards.
- Children and teens may need new mouthguards as they grow to ensure proper fit.
Sport-related dental injuries can be painful and expensive. A quality mouth guard is a good investment to protect your smile. Ask Dr. Barden if you have any questions about mouthguards and protecting your smile while in orthodontic treatment.