Few teenagers are thrilled at the initial idea of getting braces, but the payoff of a beautiful smile is often worth the wait. However, if your high school student is also an athlete, there is one important thing to keep in mind: a mouthguard.

Some sports require a mouthguard be worn by its young players, such as hockey, lacrosse or football. Other times, it might simply be advised by your New York City orthodontist. Even if your child does not play a high-contact sport, taking care of his teeth while he has braces cannot be overlooked.

For example, what if your son tries to head bump a soccer ball during a game, but miscalculates his positioning? If his mouth were to get hit, a chipped tooth or cut lip could hinder his orthodontic progress. Or, let's say that your daughter plays softball. One ground ball that bounces the wrong way could not only be painful, it could cause her braces to be on longer than originally planned.

Talking to your New York orthodontist can put you and your teenager's minds at ease. Mouthguards are often designed to cover the top row of teeth, but depending on various dental needs, or even the sport being played, your orthodontist might suggest protection for the lower teeth as well.

Broken teeth certainly won't speed along the length of time that your teenager has braces, which is why it is essential to take mouth protection seriously. It is also important to remember that mouthguards can wear out, so keep an eye out for holes or tears that can help indicate when they should be replaced. In order to ensure that your son or daughter's teeth are covered correctly, talk to your orthodontist to find out what kind of mouthguard is best.

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