How to keep your kid’s smile safe while playing sports

Did you know that one in five kids will suffer an orthodontic emergency while playing sports? If they have braces or clear aligners, it can cause severe oral injury without the proper precautions. Still, we would never tell your kids to stop playing sports! The solution? Staying informed, taking preventative measures, and knowing what to do in the case of an emergency. Our experts at Orthodontics Exclusively will share everything you need to know about orthodontic sports injuries and how to keep your kid’s smile safe while playing sports.

Oral injuries & orthodontic emergencies

Sports can result in painful injuries, whether you have braces or not. However, children with braces need to take extra precautions. Those metal wires and brackets can do severe damage if they come into contact with soft tissue. The Journal of American Dentists Association reports that 13-39% of all dental injuries are sports-related. Common orthodontic emergencies include:

  • Losing a tooth: This is the most severe type of orthodontic emergency. If a tooth is knocked out, it’s crucial to find it and bring it to the dentist. There is a chance the tooth can be re-implanted if it’s brought within 30 minutes.
  • Damaged braces: If the braces are damaged, it can cause cuts or sores in the mouth. This damage should be repaired as soon as possible to avoid further injury.
  • Cuts or sores in the mouth: These can be caused by braces rubbing against the inside of the mouth. If you notice any cuts or sores, rinse them with warm water and apply a sterile bandage.

Preventative measures: mouth guards

While you can’t always prevent an orthodontic emergency, there are some measures you can take to decrease the risk. Athletes with braces must take extra precautions—sports injuries can cause much more damage when metal orthodontic appliances are involved. When picking a mouthguard, you have a few options:

  • Athletic mouthguards: These off-the-shelf mouthguards are generic in form and can be found at most sporting goods stores. These generally offer the least protection and can be challenging to keep in place.
  • Boil-and-bite mouthguards: This is a drug store model made of a thermoplastic material that molds to your teeth when heated in water and then inserted into the mouth. While they fit better than athletic mouthguards, they still don’t offer the best protection.
  • Orthodontic mouthguards: Unlike over-the-counter mouthguards, orthodontic mouthguards are made with softer materials designed to fit snugly over braces. This helps to prevent the wires and brackets from bruising or cutting the inside of the mouth. The orthodontists at Orthodontics Exclusively make customized mouthguards designed with cutting-edge technology that gives you peace of mind while your little ones are out on the field.

Protect your young athlete’s braces with Orthodontics Exclusively

At Orthodontics Exclusively, we understand the importance of protecting your child’s smile—that’s why we offer custom-made orthodontic mouthguards. We use the latest technology and materials to create a comfortable, effective mouthguard that will give you peace of mind while your child is playing sports. To learn more about our orthodontic mouthguards or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!