Orthodontics and Sports: Play Safe, Smile Bright

In sports, kids and adults get caught up in the excitement of competition. However, all levels of sports activity, from competitive leagues to friendly matches, pose potential risks to dental health, particularly for those wearing braces. Whether you’re a young soccer player or an adult in a rec league, taking steps to protect your teeth is important. 

Our team here at Hinsdale Orthodontist is here to help you protect your smile, on and off the field. Here are some tips of our tips to keep your teeth safe during sports.

Mouthguards: A Must-Have for All Ages

No matter your age or experience level, a quality mouthguard is your first line of defense when playing sports. They aren’t just for looks; they’re a game-changer in protecting your teeth, metal braces, and invisible aligners when playing sports.

These custom-fitted shields absorb impact, preventing teeth from grinding together and reducing the risk of chipping, cracking, or even tooth loss. A well-fitted mouthguard also cushions the soft tissues of the lips and cheeks, minimizing the likelihood of lacerations or abrasions.

Everyone needs a mouthguard that fits like a glove. Get a custom-fitted mouthguard from your orthodontist for the best fit and protection. 

Choosing the Right Mouthguard for Kids

For young athletes with braces, custom-fitted mouthguards are the gold standard. These mouthguards are designed to fit snugly around the brackets and wires, ensuring maximum protection. Our Orthodontists can provide expert guidance on selecting and fitting custom-made mouthguards for kids, ensuring a comfortable and secure fit. 

While over-the-counter mouthguards may seem like a convenient option, they often offer less protection and comfort. The generic design may not fit perfectly around braces, leaving gaps that can compromise safety. Additionally, over-the-counter mouthguards may be bulkier and less comfortable to wear, potentially discouraging kids from using them consistently.

Hydration Habits

When it’s game time, it’s tempting to reach for sports drinks. Despite their widespread use, for most exercise, water is a more healthy choice – especially for your teeth. Kids and adults alike, make it a habit to stay hydrated with the clear stuff. Water not only fuels your body but also washes away the stuff that leads to cavities and tooth trouble. 

Mind Your Gear, Mind Your Teeth

Whether you’re sporting braces or aligners, taking care of your orthodontic appliances is crucial, especially on the sports field. Be mindful when hydrating: avoid biting down hard on your water bottle’s spout or the lid of an energy gel. Chewing gum and biting on your mouthguard are also best avoided. For those wearing aligners, it’s wise to remove them before engaging in contact sports to prevent potential damage. 

Protect Your Smile While Playing

Braces vs Aligners? A young girl showing the difference

Orthodontic treatment doesn’t mean putting your life on hold! At Hinsdale Orthodontist, we’re committed to guiding and supporting you every step of the way, both on and off the field. If you’re considering orthodontic treatment, get in touch with us for a free consultation and if you’re already up and running with braces, call us if you have any questions. Let’s work together towards your beautiful and healthy smile!