Protecting Your Teeth During Sports

We’ve all heard horror stories of sports injuries, even worse witnessed one ourselves. After getting braces, you may be wondering ‘Can I play sports with braces?’ The best way to protect your mouth from a painful fate is to invest in a mouthguard before taking to the court. Mouthguards protect not only your teeth but the soft tissue of your mouth from injury as you play.  Getting braces doesn’t mean giving up the sports you love! Luckily, braces will not keep you from any sport or physical activity. However, the price you pay for a beautiful smile is taking a little extra care of your mouth while in treatment. Keep reading to uncover the significant role that mouthguards play in protecting your oral health and overall well-being from Orthodontists Dr. Amir Davoody, Dr. Rana Mehr, Dr. Thomais Ioannou, and Dr. Panagiotis Kyteas at Greater Houston Orthodontics.

 

In This Post, We’ll Cover:

  • Why should I wear a mouthguard?
  • Do Braces put you at risk for a sports injury?
  • What type of mouth guard should I buy?

Why Should I Wear a Mouthguard?

Anyone participating in a sport should wear a mouthguard to protect their teeth. The American Dental Association estimates the risk of serious sports injury to the mouth is almost doubled when you don’t wear a mouthguard (www.ada.org). 

 

Do Braces Put You at Risk for a Sports Injury?

Wearing a mouthguard is even more imperative when one is in orthodontic treatment. Braces and wires can lacerate the mouth if you receive a ball to the face. Even worse, your teeth could be cracked, chipped, or even knocked loose. Braces increase the severity of injury risk when playing sports. Wearing a mouthguard with braces is essential!

 

What Type of Mouthguard Should I Buy?

Many people ask whether it is necessary to invest in a custom-fit mouthguard or will an over-the-counter one work just as well? Below is some information about each mouthguard to help you make the best decision for your situation. However, if you are wearing a mouthguard, whether it’s custom or not, you are doing your teeth a favor!

Over-the-Counter Mouthguards:

These mouthguards are the more affordable option and can be purchased at a local sports store.

They are fitted using the “boil and bite” method, which includes you boiling water at home and then biting into the warm mouthguard so that the plastic can mold to the shape of your teeth.

In general, these mouthguards will cost you anywhere from $15 to $35.

  • The pros of these mouthguards are:
    • Affordable
    • Easy to buy
    • Relatively quick fit
  • The cons of these mouthguards are:
    • Do not last very long
    • Less able to withstand forces during sports
    • Can be ill-fitting

Custom Mouthguards: 

These mouth guards are prescribed and created by a dental professional from thermoplastic material. They are based on a detailed mold taken from your mouth. These mouthguards are highly personalized and can have many modifications based on what you would like. They are fitted by your dentist by taking an impression of your teeth and then sending the impression to a lab where the mouthguard is created. In general, these mouthguards can cost anywhere from $100 to $700.

  • The pros of these mouthguards are:
    • Provide the best protection available
    • Extremely durable
  • Some cons of these mouthguards are:
    • Can be expensive
    • Require a dentist appointment

Finding the right mouthguard for you depends on evaluating what your preferences and needs are with regard to comfort/protection level, price range, and materials. If you are unsure what option is best for you, don’t hesitate to discuss it with your dentist or orthodontist!

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