Orthodontists often recommend amending bite problems and straightening teeth during adolescence. Millions of high-school students also play sports. Young patients with braces know that an impact to the mouth that may occur when engaging in sports could mean serious damage to their brackets and wires. This could set back their treatment and require costly repairs to their braces.
But orthodontic treatment does not mean teens cannot participate in athletics. With proper preparation and precaution, they can engage in the sports they love without risk to their orthodontia. Read on to learn how you can keep your braces safe from harm when playing sports.
Wear a Mouthguard
Traditional braces are fixed orthodontic appliances that feature brackets attached to the outer surface of the teeth with wires connected to each of them. Gradually, braces will shift the position of the teeth to make them straighter and properly aligned. Your orthodontist will provide you with aftercare guidelines to avoid harming this dental work during your teeth straightening treatment.
But if you play a high-contact sport, you might run the risk of suffering an accidental blow to the face. Impact trauma may hurt the brackets and wires of braces. But you can keep these appliances safe if this occurs by wearing a mouthguard.
You can purchase a store-bought, one-size-fits-all guard from your local shop. This will cushion the impact of a sports injury. But because of its imperfect fit, a hard hit could jostle the mouthguard enough to knock the brackets and cause dental damage.
Consider a specialized orthodontic mouthguard that is designed to fit around braces. They can both cushion the appliances and avoid bumping brackets and wires on the teeth. Ask your orthodontist about this at your next appointment.
Take Care of Oral Appliances
A mouthguard will work best at keeping your smile and your oral appliances safe when it is maintained properly. You should take care of your mouthguard to ensure it continues to fit and function well.
Rinse the mouthguard with soap and warm water after usage to remove plaque and harmful residues that could hurt your smile. Do not use hot water that could warp the plastic of this appliance. To avoid misplacing the mouthguard, consider buying a strap attached to sporting equipment or a carrying case.
Seek Urgent Repairs for Orthodontic Damage
When you play sports, you understand that accidents might happen. If you do sustain impact trauma to the mouth while participating in athletics, pay attention to your smile. If you feel pain, loose wires or brackets, or anything ill-fitting, contact your orthodontist as soon as you can.
The orthodontist will likely ask you to come to their office for an emergency evaluation. They will check your smile and your braces for signs of damage. Then they can make repairs and replacements as needed.
If you delay this urgent orthodontic care, you might risk disrupting or impeding the teeth straightening treatment. Prompt action in the event of this impact trauma is crucial to preserving your smile.