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How athletes can effectively avoid sports injuries with braces
Metal braces and clear aligners commonly resolve dental issues arising from abnormal teeth spacing, bad bite, or misalignment. Most orthodontic patients are young adolescents and teenagers who participate in sports regularly. Mouth and jaw injuries are common in athletes, and the presence of braces can cause extra damage. Certain precautions should be taken to protect oneself from sports injuries and other adventurous activities while wearing braces. In this article, let’s explore common mouth injuries that can occur with braces and how to avoid them.
Common Sports Injuries with Braces
- Soccer, basketball, baseball, and cricket are examples of some sports that are played using a ball. Getting hit by a ball can damage the mouth and jaws in a collision. Rock climbing, mountain biking, skiing, gymnastics, and similar athletic activities involving forceful contact or collision with a hard surface can also result in injuries with braces.
Due to forceful impact, patients experience painful mouth injuries ranging from mild to great severity. The sharp edges of metal brackets can cause cuts and bruises, or the metal braces may dislodge the lips, cheeks, or tongue, causing damage. Collision with braces can result in bent wires that may poke and cut into the gums, loss of metal brackets, and tongue bites.
Common consequences of orthodontic injuries include
- Broken or chipped teeth.
- Soft tissue lacerations.
- Root fractures.
- Dislocation of the temporal-mandibular joint (TMJ).
Metal Braces vs. Invisalign
- If we compare the intensity of sports injuries between metal braces and clear aligners, the latter is found to have less severe damaging effects than metal braces. Invisalign clear aligners are not directly in contact with teeth, so the impact from a collision is pretty low. Unlike braces, parts of aligners don’t get lodged in the gums, lips, and teeth.
Wear Orthodontic Mouthguards for Protection
- Wearing a mouth guard is one of the best ways to protect your buccal cavity against sports-related injuries. Orthodontic mouth guards, or occlusal dental guards, are specifically designed for braces. They are usually bigger than ordinary mouthguards, completely covering the braces, teeth, and gums. They have high-grade silicone cushions for the lips, providing a cushioning effect from metal brackets and teeth in case of any impact-related damage.
Orthodontists design custom-made mouthguards for their patients by taking their teeth’ impressions. These occlusal guards are a comfortable fit and don’t cause any hindrance in breathing or vision. Sports injuries with braces can damage several teeth at one time because the brackets and wires are attached, so make it a habit to wear the mouth guard during sports for protection.
- Mouth guards are inexpensive tools that can save your teeth and braces from damage, whereas the cost of treating any mouth injury or replacing metal braces or clear aligners is quite high. Mouthguards also save you from pain and trauma caused by an injury.
Mouthguards offer solid protection; however, athletes may still injure their mouth even with the mouthguard on. In the case of a traumatic injury, consult your orthodontist to minimize the damage and get fast treatment.
Contact Icon Dental Orthodontics today to schedule an appointment with the best orthodontists in Seattle or Everett. Our expert dentists are dedicated to providing the best orthodontic treatment, from prevention and diagnosis to treatment and beyond. Trust us to help you achieve a healthier, more beautiful smile. For consultations or bookings, call us at (206) 225-2882 for Seattle and (425) 337-2400 for Everett appointments.