Protecting teeth during sports is always important, but the risk of injury is even greater for a patient with braces. At Dr. Cynthia Wong’s orthodontic practice in Orland Park, we want our patients to understand how to work with their care team to protect themselves.
A mouth injury to a person with braces could cause the brackets to become dislodged and the wires to gouge the patient’s lips, cheek, or tongue. Many sports require players with braces to wear mouthguards, and wrestlers are required to wear ones on their upper and lower teeth. Typically, dentists advise patients to get mouthguards that are custom-fitted. These are the most durable and offer the most protection.
However, braces present an additional complication in that the teeth are shifting position. A custom-fitted mouthguard will not still fit the teeth months later. Therefore, it is necessary for the mouthguard to be updated continuously throughout the patient’s treatment. While this can get expensive, new products are always being developed that provide patients with more affordable options. There may still be phases of orthodontic work when fitting a mouthguard is impossible, but orthodontists generally are willing to cooperate. Patients with braces should not attempt to fit their own mouthguards, or the guard may get caught on their brackets.