A mouth guard is an essential piece of equipment for any young athlete, but especially important for those who are wearing braces. A mouth injury could be made worse on the field if it affects the braces, potentially hindering the progress of treatment. At Edinburg Family Dentistry, we look out for the oral health of our patients. Here are a few tips for how to keep braces safe while playing sports.
Wear a mouth guard
Mouth guards can be made to fit easily over braces and other orthodontic equipment. They are effective for protecting against injuries such as a knocked-out tooth, a tooth fracture, a tooth pushed into the gums, and damage to the braces themselves.
Pick the right type of mouth guard
There are three types of mouth guards: boil-and-bite, pre-molded, and custom-fitted. A pre-molded mouth guard is the cheapest option, but generally will not fit very well, especially over braces. Boil-and-bite mouth guards offer a little more customization, but the most comfortable – and effective – choice is a custom-made mouth guard provided by your dentist.
Make wearing a mouth guard fun
Because they’re not the most comfortable thing to wear, it can be a challenge to get your child to wear their mouth guard consistently. Help make it more enjoyable by getting it in fun colors or with their team logo put on it. Some companies even offer flavored mouth guards, such as bubblegum and strawberry. Once they are in the practice of wearing a mouth guard, it’ll be easy for them to remember to put it on during practices and games.
Know how to take care of a mouth guard properly
Mouth guards need to be cleaned after each use. Simple rinsing with soap and warm water is enough. If you’re worried about losing it, look for ones that come with a strap that allow it to be attached to a helmet. Carrying cases are useful for storage in a gym bag.
Know when to go to the emergency room
If your child has, unfortunately, suffered an oral injury, it may not actually require a trip to the emergency room. Examine the injury. If you can get the bleeding to stop, and it looks like the braces have not been damaged, there is no gaping wound, and your child is not in an inordinate amount of pain, you can probably skip the emergency room. Dislocated or repositioned teeth will require a visit to an oral surgeon and if the braces have been damaged, you will need to schedule an appointment with your orthodontist.
By taking care of the braces, you can ensure that your child’s orthodontic treatment will progress as it should. The professionals at Edinburg Family Dentistry are here to assist you.