Can I Still Play Sports With Braces?

Engaging in sports is a vital part of staying healthy and active for all ages, but when braces enter the picture, athletes often wonder how their orthodontic treatment will fit with their active lifestyle. At White Oak Dental & Orthodontics, we understand the importance of balancing the demands of orthodontic care with the love for sports. Whether you’re dealing with traditional metal braces or our clear braces, staying informed can help you maintain your orthodontic health without missing a beat of your athletic pursuits. Keep reading to discover how you can play sports with braces.

Is There A Risk When Playing Sports With Braces?

Engaging in sports while wearing braces does come with certain risks. The most common concern is the potential for injury to the mouth or gums, which can be more severe for those with braces. A sudden impact to the face during sports can lead to cuts inside the mouth caused by the braces’ brackets or wires, such as damaged teeth or bleeding.

The braces themselves are also at risk of being damaged. A blow to the mouth can break brackets, bend wires, and even dislodge them, leading to unexpected visits to board-certified Dr. Lai for repairs. 

These incidents can cause discomfort and prolong your orthodontic treatment’s duration. Therefore, taking preventive measures to protect your braces and mouth from injury during sports activities is crucial.

How Can You Protect Your Braces While Playing Sports?

Taking proactive steps to protect their mouth and orthodontic appliances is essential for athletes with braces. The most effective and recommended protective measure is wearing a mouthguard. Mouthguards cushion any impact, distributing the force over a larger area and significantly reducing the risk of injury to your teeth, gums, and braces. There are several types of mouthguards available:

  • Pre-made Mouthguards: These are ready-to-wear, and you can buy them at most sporting goods stores or corner drug stores like Walgreens. While they offer immediate protection, their fit might not be perfect, especially for those with braces.
  • Boil-and-Bite Mouthguards: A step up in terms of fit, these mouthguards are softened in boiling water and then molded to your teeth and braces by biting down. They offer a better fit than pre-made mouthguards and are popular among athletes with braces. Make sure to follow your mouthguard’s instructions to get the best fit possible.
  • Custom-Made Mouthguards: White Oak Dental & Orthodontics is happy to offer orthodontic mouthguards that provide the best protection and comfort because they are tailored to your mouth. Although they are a tad more expensive than their store-bought counterparts, their precision fit and superior comfort make them an excellent investment for athletes with braces.

In addition to wearing a mouthguard, athletes should also wear other protective gear for the face, such as a helmet or face shield. This gear can further shield the face and mouth from direct impacts, especially in sports with a high risk of facial injury.

By choosing the right mouthguard and additional protective gear, athletes with braces can significantly reduce their risk of oral injuries and damage to their braces, ensuring their orthodontic treatment smoothly progresses while they continue to enjoy their favorite sports.

Can I Still Play Sports With Braces?

What If A Rare, Uncommon Accident Happens?

For athletes with braces, maintaining your orthodontic equipment is crucial to ensure your sports performance and orthodontic treatment proceed smoothly. Braces can increase your risk of oral injury while playing sports, and broken braces can cause bleeding and mouth sores. 

In the event of an emergency, such as a protruding wire or broken bracket, immediate action can prevent further damage and discomfort. If a bracket becomes loose, avoid touching or trying to fix it yourself. Cover it with orthodontic wax to prevent irritation. This temporary solution will protect your mouth until you visit our board-certified orthodontist for a permanent fix. Contact our office immediately as soon as possible for professional advice and repair.

Do NOT try to fix your braces yourself. You will more than likely cause further damage. Please leave it to the pros at White Oak Dental & Orthodontics. 

Get Your Custom Mouthguard Today!

Playing sports with braces is entirely possible with the right precautions. By wearing a mouthguard for braces, handling emergencies wisely, and maintaining your braces properly, you can achieve your athletic ambitions without compromising your smile’s transformation. 

Contact the White Oak Dental & Orthodontics team in Avenel, New Jersey, to begin your orthodontic journey with a free consultation or to schedule an appointment to make your custom mouthguard.