According to the American Dental Association (ADA), an athlete is 60 times more likely to suffer damage to the teeth if they are not wearing a mouth guard. Braces or not, mouth guards are one of easiest ways to prevent dental injuries.
With every new sports season, parents are shopping around for a mouthguard that will keep their athlete safe and comfortable. Throw braces into the picture, and choosing a mouthguard becomes “mission impossible”. Every braces mouthguard should have the following:
Not all mouthguards are created equal. Most braces mouthguards are “one size fits all” – they are often loose fitting and offer little protection. Some can actually damage the brackets by forcing the teeth into one uniform size. This can put a lot of pressure on the brackets, causing them to snap off.
A custom fit mouthguard will provide the best protection for a player’s teeth and braces. A mouth guard that fits exactly to the shape of their teeth remains secure and provide protection to every corner and curve of the teeth that a one-size-fits-all just can’t get to. .
Most mouth guards intended for braces are bulky, rubbery and gag inducing. That being said, getting your athlete to actually wear one becomes a whole new challenge in itself. The sheer bulk can make talking and breathing pretty uncomfortable..
The American Dental Association recommends choosing a mouthguard that allows players to talk, breathe and drink with ease, while remaining in the mouth during the entire game or practice.
Room for Growth
Braces help slowly move teeth into a perfect smile. While the teeth are undergoing this treatment, they need room to freely move to the desired position. When it comes to mouthguards, an athlete needs a mouth guard that will not interfere with this movement. Mouthguards that fit too tight or press up against the brackets can hinder the progress of orthodontic treatment.
To allow the teeth room to grow you can opt in for a series of inexpensive boil and bite solutions, or consider a remoldable mouthguard.
Nearly 80% of all traumatic dental injuries occur to the top front teeth, which is why most athletes only wear mouthguards on their top teeth. However, with braces, it’s important to wear a mouthguard on the bottom teeth, too. In contact sports, such as wrestling and MMA, mouth guards worn on the bottom teeth will protect athletes’ lips and tongue from getting cut by the sharp brackets.
Cost vs. Investment
Braces, which cost upwards of $2,000, are a hefty investment and, therefore, warrant the best protection. When you have a mouthguard to protect your investment, players are able to play without worrying about breaking off a bracket or chipping a tooth.
SISU Mouthguards work great with braces. They are custom fitted (by you at home) and are remoldable to accommodate for shifting teeth. If you are going to wear a SISU Mouthguard with braces, please read our fitting page to learn how.