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How to Protect Your Braces as an Athlete

As an athlete or the parent of an athlete, you might be concerned about how braces will affect your athletic performance or your success. Naturally, you got braces in order to correct your bite and improve your oral health. However, your investment in braces cost are also vulnerable to damage, especially during sports. Your orthodontist will likely give you a number of suggestions on tips for getting braces while you play sports. If you can’t wait for those, here are some tips about braces protection for athletes.

One of the easiest things you can do as an athlete to protect your braces is to wear a mouthguard. A mouthguard is the most crucial protective gear you can wear as an athlete. This tip about braces will help to protect your teeth, gums and lips from injury in the event of a fall or collision. 

Injuries happen when you play sports, even if you aren’t wearing braces. When braces are added to the mix, there is an increased risk of mouth injury. The braces are mounted to your teeth, usually with metal or ceramic brackets, and held together with wire. Imagine getting hit in the mouth with a ball or the ground. Brackets or wires can cut the inside of your mouth. Wires can get bent and make teeth ache. Ouch!

Consider a Custom-Fitted Mouthguard

A custom-fitted mouthguard can help reduce injury to your mouth or damage to your braces. Make sure your mouthguard is custom-fitted to your mouth by a dentist or orthodontist. Be aware of your surroundings while you are active. When you’re playing sports, this will help you to avoid collisions with other players or objects. If you see a potential collision coming, try to move out of the way or protect your face with your arms.

Contact sports add an additional layer of risk. Use caution when participating in contact sports. Contact sports such as football, basketball and soccer are more likely to result in injuries to your braces. If you participate in these sports, wear a mouthguard and take extra precautions to protect your braces.

If you can’t afford or don’t know where to get a custom mouthguard, ask your orthodontist for other options. Sometimes, a basic over-the-counter mouthguard will do the job. If you play sports regularly, a custom-fitted mouthguard is the best option. It is molded to your braces and is more comfortable for long-term wear than an over-the-counter version.  

Eat the Right Kinds of Food

Another tip for getting braces is to take care of them both on and off the court. One way to take care of your investment is to eat the right kinds of food. Avoid hard foods and drinks. Hard foods such as nuts, ice and candy can damage your braces by bending wires or loosening brackets. It’s also best to avoid sugary drinks and desserts, like ice cream, as they can cause tooth decay. Of course, all things are OK in moderation. Having braces doesn’t mean you have to turn down every sweet treat that comes your way.

Use Good Oral Hygiene

Traditional braces and Invisalign require a monetary investment. It is important to protect that investment by practicing good oral hygiene. With the Invisalign cost, you want to be sure you’re protecting your investment in your smile. Brush and floss your teeth regularly. It’s important to brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day — and even more often if you’re playing sports. This will help to remove plaque and bacteria from your teeth and prevent cavities.

Attend Your Regular Orthodontist Appointments

See your orthodontist regularly. Your orthodontist will be able to check your braces for any signs of damage and make sure they are properly aligned. They will also be able to give you additional tips on protecting your braces.

Following these tips will help you to keep your braces safe and healthy while you’re playing sports. So, get out there and have fun — just be sure to take care of your braces so you can continue to enjoy your favorite activities.

Additional Tips and Suggestions

Here are some additional tips for protecting your braces when playing sports:

If you do experience a problem with your braces, such as a wire poking out, be sure to call the orthodontist right away. We will be able to fix the problem and prevent further damage.

If possible, wear a helmet with a facemask when you play sports. Sports like lacrosse, softball and even football have this option. The facemask will provide additional protection for your face and teeth during games and practice.

Be sure to listen to your body and take breaks when you need them. If you’re feeling pain, stop playing and rest. Pushing yourself too hard could lead to further injury, including damage to your braces.

Contact Us Today To Keep Your Teeth Clean and Strong

At Starling Orthodontics, we are always just one phone call or appointment away. With a little care and attention, you can safely enjoy sports while wearing braces. Just be sure to follow these tips and listen to your body, and you’ll be good to go. If you are traveling and sustain an injury to your mouth or braces, call our office. We will either help you search for “an orthodontist near me,” or make you an appointment for when you return. We care about you and your smile. 

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