As a parent, you may feel as if you are bending over backwards to keep your child happy. You want them to be proud of their appearance and have invested in braces to correct their dentition. You also want them to feel as if they are integrated within their society and therefore support their sporting efforts in school. Yet, while it is certainly possible for children to play contact sports while wearing braces, particular care needs to be exercised to avoid injuries or damage. What should you be considering, so that your children can enjoy the best of all worlds?
What Is the Requirement?
In many cases, an orthodontist will recommend that braces are worn as long as possible during the daytime and this will include the hours allocated to sports in school. Many organisations will recommend that mouth guards are used in these situations, but often this is not mandatory. This doesn't mean that you, as a parent, should not insist that your kids wear such a mouthguard when they are taking part in contact sports, so that they can protect their teeth and braces.
What Is the Risk?
If the child sustains a knock to the face, the braces could move upon impact and this could result in cuts to the gums or mouth. In some circumstances, it could also mean some teeth become dislodged. Not only will this be painful of course, but you will have to fork out for repairs to the brace and accompanying costs at the dentist's office. A well-designed mouthguard will protect against those problems.
Look for mouth guards that are made from materials designed for impact absorption and that are marked as non-toxic. The best ones will last for a full year of competition.
Which Is Best?
You do need to be very selective, however, and realise that some types of mouthguard are simply not suitable to be worn with braces. Some off-the-shelf items are large enough to cater for braces, or could be remoulded as needed to fit, but it may be better for you to get custom-made examples. These can take into account the movement of the teeth as treatment continues.
Once you have made your selection, ensure that you look after the mouthguard carefully so that it remains effective. Store it within its container so that it doesn't sustain any damage and clean it by using a regular toothbrush and mouthwash.
Have a word with your orthodontist to see what product they recommend in your particular case.