It’s summer, and you know what that means: time to go outside and play your favorite sport! What is your favorite sport to play? Football, basketball, baseball? Or maybe you like to nothing more than to spend your days in the pool! Whatever the activity is, making sure your braces are on the right track is our goal. Protecting yourself during contact sports is pretty important. After all, you want to be able to get back into the game without any injuries. We don’t want you to don’t to miss out on any of the fun on or off the field, and having braces shouldn’t stop you from enjoying any of your favorite sports. Sometimes, you can have a few minor accidents, but our goal is to reduce those best as possible, so there are some precautions that you should take in order to protect you and your smile. After all, braces will help make your smile the best version of itself and is a top priority for Mateer Orthodontics!
Having braces does limit the food that you can enjoy, but it doesn’t have to limit the sports you can play. That being said, you should take every precaution to protect your teeth, especially if the sport involves head contact of any sort. We want you to still enjoy your active life, but also to keep your future smile in mind. Protecting those braces is of the utmost importance if you want to keep up with your treatment plan. Mateer Orthodontics is here to help you explore what choices you have for protecting your braces and what you should do if there is an accident.
Full Head Protection
If you are involved in any contact sports that have the potential of strikes or hits to the head, we recommend wearing full head protection. For the most part, if there is any potential for head injuries in a sport, the coach or administration will already be employing head protection. This doesn’t mean you need to wear a helmet if you’re just walking out of the house; that may be a bit too overprotective, but you should still remain aware of your surroundings and cautious.
Most contact sports usually require you to wear a mouthguard just as a precaution. But if you are wearing braces and want to stay on track with your orthodontic treatment, these are a must. There are a few options that you can pick from: stock mouth protectors, boil and bite protectors and custom fit protectors.
Stock mouth protectors are inexpensive mouthguards that you can buy from most sports stores. They can offer immediate protection, but they may not be the most comfortable. Depending on how they fit, they could potentially cause more damage to your braces if you receive a blow to the face.
Boil and Bite protectors are mouthguards that you can buy at most sports stores. These mouthguards mold to your teeth after being boiled in water, left to cool, and bit down on. These are more comfortable than the stock mouthguards and can also offer more protection as they can mold around the brackets and wires protecting them.
Custom Mouth Protectors are going to offer you the most protection along with the comfort that most desire out of a mouthguard. These you can get made by your orthodontist, and they protect not only your braces but the front of your mouth as well. With traditional mouthguards, they may not fit over the braces. The boil and bite may fit, but your teeth will be moving around during your orthodontic treatment, so they end up pushing back on your more aligned teeth! Having custom made orthodontic mouthguards is the best option for protecting your braces. They will be able to protect and fit your teeth and braces because they are designed to fit comfortably over both.
Cleaning your custom mouthguard is also important as well: just use a toothbrush and hot water and lightly scrub around. This should get any of the grit or grime out of it and will make sure that you don’t have any unnecessary bacteria accumulating in your mouth.
After you have selected how you want to protect your teeth, there are a few other precautions that you can take just in case there is an accident. Communicate to your coach that you have braces and are wearing a mouth guard. This will help keep them aware of any situations that could lead to an accident. If you want to have that beautiful smile you’ve been waiting for, you must stay on track with your orthodontic treatment, and if you have an accident, that could lengthen the time you have to wear them.
You should also keep the wax that is given to you by your orthodontist on hand just in case a wire pops-out or breaks and you need to stop it from poking you. If your braces require rubber bands, make sure you have an extra few of those as well. Also, you should have the emergency contact information for the orthodontist. If you break a bracket or snap a wire, you should call your orthodontist immediately and schedule an appointment. If there is an accident or any problems with your braces it could cause damage to the teeth and increase the time needed for the orthodontic treatment.
We want everyone to have a wonderful summer enjoying your favorite sports or activities. Having braces shouldn’t deter you from participating in all the summer festivities. Just take these precautions, and you should have a fun filled holiday. However, if you do have an accident in Commack, NY or the surrounding area, please don’t hesitate to call us at (631) 462-1970 or schedule an appointment online. Mateer Orthodontics is here to keep you on track with your orthodontic treatment to create that beautiful smile you’ve always wanted!