Does your child play sports? If so, you might be wondering, “Can you play sports with braces or Invisalign?” The team at The Brace Place is here to assure you that, yes, sports and orthodontics can go hand-in-hand. Here, your Tulsa and Claremore, OK, specialist in orthodontics, Dr. Patel, covers a few considerations for participating in sports while you have braces or Invisalign®.
Priority #1 – Protecting Your Mouth When Playing Sports with Braces
The American Association of Orthodontics conducted an independent survey about mouthguards and youth sports. While 99% of parents felt kids should wear a mouthguard when playing sports, 37% of respondents said their kids don’t ever wear one to protect their smiles.
With sports and braces, your first concern is for the safety of the mouth. Oral trauma while playing sports like a ball to the face or collision with another player, can damage braces as well as teeth. The metal parts of braces can get pushed against the inside of your lips or other areas of your mouth and cause cuts and pain.
A braces mouthguard goes a long way in protecting teeth and your appliance. But if you do sustain a mouth injury — even with a mouthguard — see us right away so Dr. Patel can assess the damage to your teeth and orthodontics.
Damage to Braces or Injury to Teeth Can Affect Orthodontic Progress
Damaged or broken braces, or injured teeth can delay your teeth straightening. How? Damaged braces need time for repair or replacement, while injured teeth need fixing and healing before resuming your orthodontics treatment. These delays can change the progress your teeth have made toward your final smile; your orthodontist might need to adjust your treatment plan so your teeth can get back on track. Damaged braces or injured teeth also require extra costs you might not have expected.
Orthodontic Mouthguards and Traditional Mouthguards are Different
Before your child had braces, did you use a typical sports mouthguard? If so, you’ll want to know that a standard sports mouthguard and an orthodontic mouthguard are different. A non-orthodontic mouthguard typically doesn’t have the extra room needed to cover braces comfortably.
In contrast, an orthodontic mouthguard made especially for braces-wearers has the extra clearance needed to fit over brackets and wires. Plus, orthodontic mouthguards are made of softer material like silicon instead of hard plastic. This more flexible material both absorbs impact better and protects braces. Since braces treatment is unique from person to person, Dr. Patel suggests a custom braces mouthguard that fits your teeth and your teeth only. According to the American Dental Association (ADA) you can lower your risk of oral injury by almost twofold if you wear the right mouthguard.
Playing Sports with Invisalign Might Affect Your Wearing Time
So we’ve talked about braces and wearing a sports mouthguard, but what if you or your child is using Invisalign? Do you still wear a sports mouthguard with Invisalign? Simply put, no. Both Invisalign trays and a sports mouthguard fit tight to teeth, so you can’t wear them at the same time. If you’re transforming your smile with Invisalign clear aligners, you’ll have to take them out during sports and wear a regular mouthguard.
However, one thing to keep in mind is that you need to wear your Invisalign clear aligners for 22 hours a day to stay on track with your treatment plan. If you add up the hours your Invisalign is out for eating, cleaning your teeth, and sports, it could total more than a couple of hours a day. If so, braces might be a better option.
You Might Need to Change Your Custom Braces Mouthguard Several Times as Your Teeth Shift
Dr. Patel and The Brace Place team are here to help you get the smile you’ve always wanted efficiently and as comfortably as possible. So as your teeth shift positions towards your final smile, you might need to get a new custom mouthguard every few months to fit the new positions of your teeth as they change.
At The Brace Place, we offer custom mouthguards to take you through your orthodontics journey while playing sports. Whether you’re straightening teeth with braces or Invisalign, a custom orthodontic mouthguard includes Dr. Patel taking an impression of your teeth with our painless and quick iTero® digital scanner, then designing a mouthguard to fit precisely.
Get Your Braces Mouthguard With Your Tulsa, OK Orthodontist
If you’ve got braces or Invisalign and a sports season is coming up, ensure you’re ready to protect that smile! Contact us for an appointment at our Tulsa or Claremore office about getting a custom-fit sports mouthguard.