The question, “Do you need a mouthguard for braces?” is a great one because it’s important to ensure that your braces are protected from damage and your mouth is protected from injury. Read on to discover what you need to know about when to wear a mouthguard while undergoing orthodontic treatment and what types work best with your orthodontic appliances.
What is a Mouthguard?
Before we answer the question, “Do you need a mouthguard for braces?” it’s important to understand what a mouthguard is. Mouthguards, sometimes called sports guards, are made of thin, flexible plastic and are designed to fit over your teeth and braces to provide cushion and protection if your mouth gets jarred or hit while playing sports.
When is a Mouthguard Needed?
So, when do you need a mouthguard for braces? In general, it’s recommended that you wear a mouthguard anytime you are playing a sport or participating in an activity that involves the risk of contact with other participants, getting struck by a ball or racket, or falling.
These guidelines actually apply whether you have braces or not because mouthguards are also important for the protection of your teeth from getting chipped, broken, or knocked out. However, if you have braces, the protection a mouthguard offers extends to protecting your cheeks and lips from cuts and injuries that can occur from the brackets of your braces during impact or trauma.
What Type of Mouthguard is Best?
If you’re shopping for a mouthguard when you have braces, make sure to get one that is specifically designed for people with braces. This will help to ensure that it fits comfortably over your braces and covers all orthodontic appliances that it needs to protect.
When searching for one, it can be helpful to talk with your orthodontist about what features to look for that will work best for your specific needs. Your orthodontist might want to check to make sure the mouthguard fits properly before use. If necessary, you can also order a custom-fitted mouthguard that is designed to fit your mouth from your orthodontist or dentist to help ensure optimum comfort and protection.
What if a Mouthguard isn’t Required?
Many sports don’t require mouthguards, despite requiring other protective gear such as helmets, face guards, and other protective padding. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t wear one, though! If in doubt, always ask your orthodontist whether you should wear a mouthguard for a particular activity to ensure that you’re wearing the correct protective gear for your safety instead of just the bare minimum.
Call our Tempe, AZ, dental office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.