Wearing a Braces Mouthguard When Playing Sports
Wearing a brace mouthguard is a worthwhile piece of equipment that protects your teeth whilst they are constantly moving. They make it easier to play your favourite contact sports without the worry of damaging your teeth.
They have proven to be popular amongst athletes in different sports. Not only do dentists and orthodontists advocate wearing them, but also sports coaches and organisations such as The British Orthodontic Society (BOS). This is due to the fact that several contact sports come with a high risk of causing dental-related injuries.
With a variety of specialist designed mouthguards available to purchase in this day and age, there’s plenty to choose from, depending on what your preferences are and your budget.
What are Brace Mouthguards?
Brace mouthguards are devices used to protect athletes in contact sports such as football, boxing, rugby, wrestling, martial arts, basketball, netball and hockey. They can cushion harsh blows to the face, where athletes are in close physical contact with other players or being around moving equipment.
Brace mouthguards provide extra space to cover your top and bottom teeth and gums as they grow during your orthodontic treatment, allowing them to fit comfortably and not restrict breathing.
Mouthguards are typically made of a few main materials. These materials make mouthguards durable to wear yet snug as your teeth continue to transition. This is a particularly important feature for adolescents, as their teeth are still developing.
When looking for brace mouthguards, the most common materials to look out for are:
- Silicone. Wearing a 100% medical-grade silicone brace mouthguard is recommended, due to its ability to be remoulded several times. Although, you can find brace mouthguards that do not require moulding or boiling.
- Ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA). This is an odourless, absorbing, non-toxic material that prevents abrasion and has extreme durability, allowing you to play your favourite sports over time with no hassle.
What are The Benefits of Wearing a Braces Mouthguard in Sports?
Wearing a brace mouthguard is highly beneficial in reducing the risk of tooth injuries and ultimately preventing athletes from having to pay expensive treatment to repair their braces.
They help avoid injuries such as:
- Brace brackets breaking
- Broken jaws
- Bleeding gums
- Tooth loss
- Chipped teeth
- Teeth misalignment
- Cut lips
What Types of Brace Mouthguards are There?
There are three main types of mouthguards that you can purchase from expert retailers and orthodontists. They are:
- Stock Mouthguards. Most stock mouthguards are ready to wear and come in a standard shape. They are an inexpensive mouthguard, perfect for those on a budget and can be found in most pharmacists. However, they provide minimal protection to your teeth and braces as they aren’t adjusted to the structure of your teeth and jaws. They may be suitable for some athletes, although they are not the best choice.
- Boil and Bite Mouthguards. Boil and bite mouthguards tend to be more expensive than stock mouthguards.However, a boil and bite mouthguard are worth the investment, especially as your teeth are expected to shift.These mouthguards are a great option for athletes with braces as they are made from 100% medical-grade silicone. This means they can be heated and remodelled frequently as your braces adjust to your teeth’s shape over time, whilst also allocating enough room for your brace brackets and wire.
- Custom Mouthguards by your Orthodontist. By visiting an orthodontist, they can take a look at your teeth and assist you with creating a suitable mouthguard that is well-fitted for your braces. They are designed to enable ample room for both your top and bottom sets of teeth as they transition and become more aligned.
How to Look After Brace Mouthguards?
Taking care of both your brace mouthguard and your teeth are equally important. Ensuring that your mouthguard is kept clean, helps its durability and minimizes the risk of bacteria infecting your teeth and gums.
Here are some tips to help you take care of your brace mouthguard:
- Brushing your teeth and mouthguard. On top of brushing your teeth twice a day, you should also clean your mouthguard itself to help prevent a build-up of bacterial plaque. Brushing your mouthguard with a soft toothbrush and nonabrasive toothpaste, or rinsing them before and after using your mouthguard with cold water and anti-microbial solution are both effective ways to avoid infections and bad breath.
- Storing your mouthguard in a secure container. Placing your mouthguard in a resistant container, when you’re not wearing them, prevents damage whilst they are being transported.
- Avoiding exposure to high temperatures. Keeping your mouthguard out of sunlight and hot temperature prevents the heat from distorting the shape of your mouthguard.
- Changing your mouthguard regularly. Whilst wearing braces during your treatment, your mouthguard will ideally need to be replaced every six months, which is around the time of your dental check-up. Replacing your mouthguard is imperative as it will need to adjust to your teeth’s structure whilst they grow.
How We Can Help
When looking for brace mouthguards you’ll want to ensure that you find the perfect mouthguard that offers a high level of protection whilst participating in sporting activities.
If you’re having difficulty deciding which mouthguard to wear, why not get in touch with our team of orthodontic experts and book a free consultation with us today. Or alternatively, call us on 020 3733 4187.