Playing Sports with Braces

Sometimes when athletes get braces, they become worried that their orthodontic situation may get in the way of the sport that they love. Braces may feel different, but with the right protection and caution, you should be able to play your sport like you did before.

Most orthodontics will recommend using a mouthguard to protect from injury. If the right mouthguard is used, any type of contact sport can still be played. Even if there is not as much contact involved, mouthguards are still a great way to take precaution against flying equipment or light injury.

Orthodontic Mouthguards

An orthodontic mouthguard is a special type of mouthguard that can be used for sports. The guard is made from silicone which is used to add cushion to your lips. This extra cushion prevents your lips from bumping up and scraping against your teeth. Orthodontic mouthguards normally come in larger sizes than your more common, non-orthodontic mouthguards. The extra size allows for the braces to fit more comfortably. There is a misconception that the larger size will create discomfort, but generally, the larger size feels the same. Some athletes even reported feeling more comfortable wearing their larger mouthguards.

Most Common Teeth Injuries

Three of the most common teeth injuries in sports are cracked teeth, fractured roots, and intrusion of the tooth. If a player does not wear a lifeguard they are 60 times more likely to suffer from a cracked tooth injury. Cracked tooth injuries should be avoided at all costs because they are likely to cause long-term damage later in an athlete’s career.If a tooth is hit from a certain angle, it can cause a fractured root. Fractured roots often involve infection within the mouth, and can also be a detriment to athletes, especially if this happens when they are in the middle of a game season. An intrusion occurs when a tooth is actually pushed back down into the jawbone. This tends to happen on a lesser scale and is actually more common with children who are in sports due to the development of their teeth.

Why is Injury Prevention Important?

If a tooth injury occurs while playing a sport, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. If tooth injuries go on for too long, this can end up causing long-term dental problems. The longer you wait to get an injury checked out by an orthodontic specialist, the longer you may be sitting out of the game season.