Playing Sports with Braces

DF3 Blog Post

Athletic sports are a great way to exercise and burn energy. Dr. Stock, your Iowa City orthodontist, recommends always wearing a mouthguard while playing sports to protect your teeth and your braces. Mouthguards are important for both children and adults. Our orthodontic team wants to ensure you are protected from any type of trauma in and around the mouth and jaw.

Playing Sports with BracesThe Most Important Sports Equipment: The Mouthguard

At our Iowa City orthodontics office, we cannot stress this enough: wear a mouthguard when playing sports. Most people believe a mouthguard is only needed in sports like football, boxing, and hockey, because they are high impact. Unfortunately, this is simply not the case. You should wear a mouthguard when playing most sports including soccer, field hockey, basketball, lacrosse, softball, baseball, and while skateboarding. Although these sports may not be defined as contact sports, they certainly can have high impact situations that can lead to dental trauma. As your orthodontist in Iowa City, we want to prevent dental problems like chipped teeth, jaw dislocation, broken braces, and concussions.

Types of Mouthguards

Not all mouthguards are made the same. The three main types of mouthguards include:

  • Off the shelf: These mouthguards can be purchased in many places like your average sporting goods store. The mouthguards come in various shapes and sizes to best fit your mouth. Unfortunately, although they have different sizes, it does not mean that the mouthguard will “fit” your mouth and teeth. Often, they need to be kept in place with your teeth clenched, which can be uncomfortable and difficult for an entire sports activity.
  • Boil & Bite: These mouthguards are a step up from the off the shelf mouthguard. Again, they can be found in most sporting goods stores and are inexpensive. The technique with these mouthguards is to boil them for a short period of time, then place them in your mouth with your teeth clenched. The softened plastic will fit around your teeth and mouth like a custom fit. The boil & bite mouthguards give more comfortability to the wearer.
  • Mouthguards which are “special for braces”Dr. Stock does not recommend these mouthguards. They are typically both bulky and expensive with no ability to create a custom fit. For a less expensive option with some customizability, look for a Boil & Bite mouthguard instead!

Contact Your Iowa City Orthodontics Office for a Mouthguard Today!

For more information about mouthguards and orthodontic treatment, contact Dr. Stock and our orthodontic team. Schedule your next appointment for braces or Invisalign in Iowa City. We look forward to seeing you again soon!