Orthodontics is an important investment in your child’s oral health and wellbeing. While it takes some time to adjust to braces, there is nothing wrong with your child playing sports and living a physically active lifestyle during treatment. In fact, your dentist will likely encourage your child to continue playing sports because physical activity is great for his or her health, and team sports contribute to healthy social development.
When it comes to activities like contact sports, horseback riding, biking, or skateboarding, it is important to take some precautions. You should wear all recommended safety gear like helmets and chin straps. You should also invest in a mouthguard – preferably a custom one that accommodates orthodontic appliances.
Custom mouthguards are made specifically for a patient. Even though sporting goods stores sell “boil-and-bite” mouthguards, it’s better to receive a custom-made piece from your dentist. Custom mouthguards will fit comfortably, which increases the likelihood of your child wearing it often. They will also provide the best protection for teeth and gums if your child experiences facial trauma.
What happens if my child doesn’t wear a mouthguard?
Children, teens, and adults with or without braces should wear protective gear including mouthguards when recommended. Without mouthguards, you can incur serious and sometimes permanent damage to teeth and gums.
Wearing braces increases the risks for painful lacerations to soft oral tissue because there are appliances with sharp edges (brackets and wires) over teeth. These appliances can cut deeply into the tissue of the lips, gums, and insides of cheeks when worn. Braces can also hurt other children if contact is made during sports when mouthguards aren’t worn.
Facial trauma from blunt force is a common way that teeth become broken and knocked out. Mouthguards will help protect the placement of teeth and prevent the need for oral surgeries to correct facial trauma.
If you have questions about orthodontics, call the office of Dr. John Morris to reserve a consultation.