In a few weeks, Houston kids head back to school and this means the start of fall sports. Did you know that sports-related injuries to the mouth and jaw are some of the most common injuries incurred by athletes? Protecting your smile while playing sport is essential when you have braces due to the increased risk of oral injuries, including mouth lacerations if you are unlucky enough to be hit by a ball or another player.
There is the potential for injury whether you have braces or not when playing sports like basketball, football, hockey, skateboarding, soccer, martial arts, wrestling, boxing and even track and field.
In fact, even non-contact sports or recreational activities can potentially have increased risk of laceration injury with braces on. For this reason, Houston orthodontist, Dr. Mizell recommends mouthguards for all patients who wear braces.
What is a Mouthguard?
A mouthguard is a shock absorbing appliance made of flexible material that fits over all the top teeth to help protect the teeth and lower jaw from breaking, and prevents you from accidentally biting your lips, tongue or cheeks. A strong blow to the face may otherwise result in an injury to the mouth and joints.
You can play any sport while you have braces on, however the risk of laceration injury increases. There are many types of mouthguards but only a few mouthguards that are recommended for those of you who have braces. The main difference is that an orthodontic mouthguard needs to fit well and be removable or flexible so that it can adjust or be adjusted to fit over the braces.
Braces can be a challenging time. Minimize your chances of mouth injuries while undergoing treatment with braces. Getting used to the appliances and how to care for them and clean them while undergoing orthodontic treatment can certainly take some getting used to. Be sure to ask us about mouthguards at your next visit.