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Teenagers and adults who wear braces often think they need to sacrifice their favourite sports for straight teeth and an attractive smile, but orthodontics doesn’t always bench you from a season of play. A braces mouth guard protects braces as well as the teeth, gums and jaw, and options are available to suit most needs and budgets. With advice from the coach and your dentist, you can find the best solution for you or your child.

Mouth Guards

Mouth guards are mandatory to play football, boxing and other contact sports in an organized program, but you assume a certain risk of dental and orthodontic injury in low-contact sports as well. Broken or chipped teeth, fractured tooth roots, damage to dental appliances and similar mouth injuries can all take place when you play a competitive sport. Even when players contact one another with balls, rackets, bats and other equipment, the risk is just as high as it is when falling on a hard surface.

If the player is wearing braces, an incident may require expensive treatment to repair the braces and fix any damage they may have done to the teeth. Luckily, you can lower the chances of damage almost twofold by wearing the right mouth guard, according to the American Dental Association (ADA).

How This Item Differs

Braces mouth guards usually provide a little more room than regular mouth guards, but they offer the same level of protection. Their extra width allows you to cover the braces as well as the teeth and gums, though the mouth guard should still fit comfortably and not impede your breathing.

Although over-the-counter (OTC) mouth guards are available, dentists offer custom products as well. Your everyday OTC braces mouth guard cannot be altered. At the dentist’s office, however, the dentist asks you to bite on a mold, and a dental appliance manufacturer creates a mouth guard to fit the impression you’ve made exactly.

Caring for Mouth Guards

Keep in mind bacteria and fungi can gradually colonize used mouth guards, so it’s important to clean them after taking them out. Brushing with a toothbrush along with a thorough toothpaste cleans mouth guards effectively, or you can rinse them with an anti-microbial solution.

Popping in a mouth guard before playing sports is the most effective way of protecting braces while enjoying healthy exercise. Choosing the best from the range of options available ensures peace of mind and, over the long term, an attractive smile.