With the start of the new school year comes fall sports. If you're a parent of a student athlete with orthodontic braces, you may wonder if your child will face any limitations playing a sport. During orthodontic treatment, a patient can continue to play sports, but must be mindful about protecting the lips, teeth and braces. Using an orthodontic mouth guard is the best way to keep teeth safe while engaging in athletic activities.
An orthodontic mouth guard is significantly different from a typical sports mouth guard that you may have seen at athletic stores. The non-orthodontic variety is usually made of plastic that one heats before wearing to create imprints of the teeth. This presents a few problems for those currently undergoing orthodontic treatment:
- The brackets will fit too well. If someone does take a strong blow to the mouth, the brackets will most likely be knocked off.
- As teeth begin to align, the mouth guard will counteract this movement.
- The teeth will eventually move so much that the mouth guard will not fit properly.
An orthodontic mouth guard is made of medical-grade silicone that can mold to the teeth while it is being worn, but will bounce back into its original shape when not being used. This variety also fits underneath the lips to keep them from being pushed into brackets. An orthodontic mouth guard should be worn during all contact sports, and events in which the teeth have the possibility of being damaged, like baseball.
If you're interested in learning more about how braces can affect everyday activities, contact a New York City orthodontist. Dr. Tanya Vaysman and the staff at Upper Eastside Orthodontists would be happy to answer any questions that you may have.