It’s that time of year again— Go Science Hill Hilltoppers! Football season is a little different for football players than it is for football watchers. If you’re relaxing on the couch watching your team on tv, you’re unlikely to experience a football hurtling toward your face… unless you’re using a virtual reality headset and things get too real.
If you’re a football player on the other hand, there is a significant chance that a high-speed football spirals toward your face, or maybe another player’s elbow collides with your mouth.
Either way, anything can happen in football and whether you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment or not, it’s essential that you wear a mouthguard to protect your mouth and other players!
Let’s dive into the importance of mouthguards – we’ll cover:
- Do I need to wear a mouthguard?
- Can you wear a mouthguard with braces or Invisalign®?
- How do you mold a mouthguard?
- Which mouthguard is best when you have braces or Invisalign®?
Do I need to wear a mouthguard?
According to the American Dental Association, sports players who wear mouthguards are about 82% to 93% less likely to suffer dentofacial (facial bone and jaw) injuries than sports players who don’t wear a mouthguard. That alone should be a good enough reason to wear a mouthguard.
You’ll never regret wearing a mouthguard, but you can certainly regret not wearing a mouthguard. Colliding with a football or another player or falling on the ground can leave you clutching your mouth, hoping all of your teeth are still intact.
Wearing an orthodontic mouthguard during football practices and games can prevent some serious damage. It also ensures that you keep your smile in its best shape, so you can experience beautiful, life-long results from your treatment. With all the hard work you’re dedicating to your smile, you’ll want to protect it.
So, can you wear a mouthguard with braces? Absolutely, and it’s essential that you do.
Which mouthguard is best for braces & Invisalign?
When you’re going through orthodontic treatment, the purpose of braces or Invisalign is to transform your smile by guiding your teeth into a new, desirable position. With fitted mouthguards, these ones are designed to fit the position of your teeth at the moment you take the mold.
Because orthodontic treatment serves to realign the teeth, a fitted (boil-and-bite) mouthguard will hold the teeth in their pre-treatment position. During ortho treatment, it’s best that you wear a stock mouthguard or one specifically made to fit around braces to prevent your mouthguard from interfering with your treatment process.
How do you mold a mouthguard?
There are different types of mouthguards, including stock mouthguards, boil-and-bite mouthguards, and custom-fitted mouthguards.
Stock mouthguards are one-size-fits-all mouthguards that are easy to put in place and take out, but these are relatively bulkier and are the least protective type of mouthguard. To wear a stock mouthguard, you simply pop it in place. No molding necessary!
A boil-and-bite mouthguard can be molded to fit your teeth. These mouthguards are made of thermoplastic material that softens when it’s warmed in boiling water. Soak your mouthguard in boiling water for about 30 seconds.
You can then lay the mouthguard on a towel to dry, then place it in your mouth and bite into it for about 20 seconds. Once it’s molded, place the mouthguard in ice water for about a minute or two. Voila! Your boil-and-bite mouthguard is molded to your smile. We recommend not to use this kind if you have braces or Invisalign!
Custom-fitted mouthguards are the most comfortable mouthguard, and the most expensive. These ones are custom-made to fit your exact smile. Custom mouthguards can be created in-store with some companies, with a dentist/orthodontist, or created through mail with your own smile impression kit with other companies.
Because your custom mouthguard is custom-designed for your smile, once it’s created, it’ll be a perfect fit. You don’t have to mold it further.
The Bottom Line
Wearing a mouthguard is not up for discussion! Protect your smile; protect your investment; and protect other players.
Whether it’s football practice or a national championship game, you’re better off safe than sorry when it comes to your smile!
Still have questions about wearing a mouthguard?
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We love to hear from you. We’re here to help you transform your smile with a safe and positive treatment process.