Braces are a common orthodontic treatment that helps align teeth and create a beautiful smile. However, if you or your teen are an athlete, you may have concerns about participating in sports while wearing braces. Football, wrestling, baseball, and soccer do pose risks of injury. But that does not mean you cannot play sports with braces. However, it is vital to take extra precautions on game day. Here are a few tips you should follow to keep your smile safe.
Playing Sports with Braces
The most common risk you face when playing sports with braces is the potential for injury to your lips, gums, and cheeks due to direct contact with the braces, especially in contact sports like football, basketball, or hockey. The impact of a ball, stick, or another player can cause damage to the braces or surrounding oral tissues.
In addition to pain or injury, damage to your braces can prolong your treatment schedule or negatively impact the progress you have made thus far. A split second can lead to months of additional treatment.
Protecting Your Braces
To ensure the safety of your braces and to maintain good oral health while playing sports, there are a few measures you can take:
- Wear a mouthguard: Mouthguards act as a cushion, protecting your lips, gums, and teeth from potential injuries. They are available in various types, including those specifically designed for use with braces, known as orthodontic mouthguards.
- Avoid sticky or hard foods: When you are in the dugout with your team or cheering them on from the sidelines, steer clear of sunflower seeds, gum, ice, hard candy, or other sticky and hard foods that can damage your braces. Chewing on ice, hard candy, or sticky snacks can lead to broken brackets or wires. Stick to a braces-friendly diet to minimize the risk of damage.
- Regularly check your braces: Before and after playing sports, take a moment to examine your braces for any loose or broken parts. If you notice anything unusual, contact your orthodontist immediately.
Having braces should not hinder you or your teen from playing sports you love. By being cautious and following simple guidelines, athletes can reduce the risks of injury. Remember, at Exeter Orthodontics, we offer affordable braces, inclusive of emergency visits if your braces break.
If you are considering braces and want to learn more about our services, visit Exeter Orthodontics today. Our team will provide you with expert guidance on sports with braces, ensuring you receive the necessary care and support for a confident smile and successful orthodontic journey.
Don’t let your braces hold you back. Game on!