Whilst undergoing orthodontic treatment, it may be worrying to think how much of an impact having braces fitted will have on doing the things you love. If you play sports, for example, you may think it’s unlikely you will be able to carry on whilst your braces are fitted. That’s where you would be wrong.
Having braces fitted doesn’t mean that your life must entirely revolve around your treatment, it is still possible to take part in the things you love, including sports, with a little more care and attention than you would have done previously. In this article, you will learn just how possible it is to carry on with the things you love, whilst taking the necessary precautions.
Risks Involved with Wearing Braces and Playing Sports
Regardless of whether you have braces fitted or not, playing sports poses a considerable risk of injuring some part of your body, including your mouth. In fact, up to 39% of all dental injuries are sports related. All contact sports present a potential threat to your teeth.
Braces can increase the risk of dental injury during contact sports, this is because the teeth are not quite as stable as they were before having braces fitted. Impact, collisions, or even a minor accident on the pitch can lead to damage, discomfort, or misalignment of the braces. For this reason, it’s of great importance that proactive measures to ensure the safety and effectiveness of your braces should be taken whenever sports are played.
How to Protect Your Teeth During Sports Activities
While it is important not to let your orthodontic treatment put you off taking part in the sports you love, it is important to take the necessary precautions and wear protective equipment where possible. The British Orthodontic Society (BOS) advises that a mouthguard be worn when taking part in contact sports such as football, rugby, basketball, and hockey.
Wearing a mouthguard over your braces can provide protection to your braces, teeth, and mouth and if fitted properly, should feel comfortable and secure, and reduce the risk of dental injury significantly. Ortho-guard or custom-made mouthguards that fit over your braces provide the most amount of protection during sports and can even be remoulded to accommodate any movements your teeth make.
Your mouthguard should be of adequate thickness to absorb any shocks or knocks to the mouth and should cover all vulnerable areas. If at any point your mouthguard becomes damaged or uncomfortable, speak to your orthodontist as soon as possible to get it replaced.
What are the Consequences of Neglecting to Protect Your Teeth?
Neglecting dental protection during sports can pose significant risks to your teeth, mouth, and braces. A sudden blow to the face can not only damage the braces but also harm the teeth. Broken brackets, wires, or even dislodged braces can disrupt your treatment and may mean additional dental interventions are required. Understanding the potential risks is the first step toward gaining adequate protection.
Looking After Your Mouthguard and Maintaining Oral Hygiene
As we’re sure you understand, your oral hygiene is paramount when you have braces fitted, even more so when you undertake contact sports and introduce other equipment into your mouth, such as a mouthguard.
Physical activity can also increase plaque build-up, so regular brushing and flossing is required to keep this to a minimum, otherwise, you risk dental issues such as gum disease, cavities and even tooth loss. Regular check-ups are also required to ensure that your braces aren’t compromising the overall health of your teeth and gums.
It is also important that your mouthguard is looked after well. Rinsing it in cold water before and after use, regular washing in cool, soapy water, and ensuring it is stored in a firm, perforated container, and protected from high temperatures and direct sunlight are all measures to take to ensure it remains in top working condition.
Consult Your Orthodontist for Advice
It is vitally important that you consult with your orthodontist if you are taking part in, or thinking about taking part in, contact sports. Your orthodontist is the perfect person to give you advice and guide you ensuring your teeth, gums, and mouth are as protected as they can be. Your orthodontist will understand your specific needs when it comes to protection and ensure that your treatment is not compromised.
Taking proactive steps, such as investing in proper protective gear, maintaining optimal oral hygiene, and consulting with your orthodontist, can go a long way in ensuring that your journey to a perfect smile isn’t hindered by sports-related injuries.
Darwen Orthodontics: Your Expert Orthodontist in Darwen is Here to Help
Here at Darwen Orthodontics, we provide the expert care and advice you need to ensure your orthodontic treatment is not only unhindered by your sports activities but that it is properly maintained and provides you with the smile you’ve always dreamed of.
We are a specialist-led orthodontist in Darwen, made up of a team of passionate, friendly, and enthusiastic professionals who work hard to provide you with the very best in orthodontic care. If you would like to speak to our expert orthodontist in Darwen, contact us today to book your FREE consultation.