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Brace yourself: sports mouthguard for your teeth

May 26 / 2017

So, you’re a natural born athlete who doesn’t want to stop playing sports just because you have braces? We get it and we’re here for you.

The good news is you don’t have to give up your sports team. You’re just going to have to sport a mouthguard for protection.

Protecting your Smile

Using a mouthguard while playing sports is highly recommended. This goes for children and adults with braces.

While playing sports, hard, forceful objects can come into contact with your mouth. This could cause cracked teeth, fractured roots and tooth intrusion. Approximately 80% of all dental injuries affect at least one of the front teeth.

To protect your pearly whites from possible damage you’re going to have to chomp down on a mouthguard.

What mouthguard should you use?

At Align Ortho, Dr. Scramstad recommends using the inexpensive boil-and-bite mouthguard. He believes they’re the best option because the patient will have to reform the mouthguard a couple of times as the teeth move.

The boil-and-bite mouthguard works exactly how you would think it would, but follow the manufacturer’s instructions for forming it on the packaging.

This type of mouthguard has a clear, spongy internal layer. Once warmed, it forms a guard around your braces to protect your teeth.

Use your fingers, tongue and cheeks to form your mouthguard. You can also bite down softly to help hold the fit in place.

If the fit isn’t snug, simply place the mouthguard back into the hot water and try forming it again.

These mouthguards can be picked up online or at local sporting goods stores.

While Dr. Scramstad recommends the boil-and-bite mouthguards, he does not recommend the blue plastic guards. In his experience, he has found that they have locked onto braces in the past.

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Key factors to consider when shopping for a mouthguard

We don’t want it to be overwhelming for you to pick the right mouthguard. You’re going to want to consider these three things:

  • It should be comfortable, well-fitting and not prone to dislodging on impact.
  • When biting down on the mouthguard, large areas of its biting surface should be in contact with teeth in the opposing jaw.
  • It should provide an adequate thickness of plastic around your teeth. The optimal thickness is around 4mm. Any thicker creates a bad user experience.

Replacing your mouthguard

A mouthguard should be replaced as soon as it becomes distorted or develops sharp, jagged edges. If you develop any type of oral lesion (mouth sore) it’s recommended that the current mouthguard is replaced.

You’re going to want to sanitize your guard daily, as well. Mouth guards can become a breeding ground for bacteria, fungi and mold and no one wants that in their mouth.

Rinsing with water is not enough. The American Dental Association suggests cleaning the mouthguard by brushing it with a toothbrush and toothpaste regularly and then rinsing it with soapy water.

Remember that your teeth are moving with the braces on. You will want to re-form the mouthguard about once per month. It will need to be replaced after a couple months.

You’re also going to want to store it in its protective case. Make sure the case has ventilation so the guard can dry and remember to wash the case regularly too.

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What if an injury happens?

Even with a mouthguard on, accidents can happen. If a bracket breaks while playing any sport, you should stop playing immediately to prevent any further damage.

If anything breaks, make sure to call Align Ortho to determine if you should make a sooner appointment or it’s it's okay to wait until your next scheduled appointment.

Contact Align for more information

If you have any further questions about mouthguard and braces, Align Ortho is here to answer your questions. Contact the office at any time during office hours and we’d be happy help.


  

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