For kids who play sports, mouthguards are an absolutely essential piece of equipment for their safety and future oral health. Kids who don’t wear mouthguards are 60 times more likely to undergo tooth damage while playing sports, per the American Dental Association, and this risk may rise even further for kids who are wearing braces while they play.
At Damage Control Mouthguards, we can help you choose the perfect custom mouthguard for your child if they are currently wearing braces. Here are a few basic facts and areas to prioritize while you’re making this selection to ensure the best possible protection and comfort for your child.
Why Custom Fit Matters
There are several varieties of mouthguard out there, including our custom options but also including many preset choices as well. Some of these premade options are fairly cheap, loose and don’t offer a ton when it comes to protection – in fact, some may actually physically damage your child’s braces by forcing them into a position they shouldn’t be in.
A fully custom mouthguard, on the other hand, protects both the braces and the teeth below them. It contours to the specific mouth shape, including the braces, leaving the proper amounts of space available.
Don’t Go Too Tight
One tip we can offer as you and your child work with our pros to customize your mouthguard: Don’t go too tight if they have braces. The purpose of braces is to slowly realign the teeth so they are even, and this means they need a big of wiggle room throughout the braces period to make these adjustments.
If you size the mouthguard too tightly, then, you risk not leaving enough space here. In particular, you want to avoid the mouthguard pressing up against the brackets and preventing the teeth from being able to move around properly.
Talking and Breathing
Down related lines, you want to ensure that your child will be comfortable while wearing the mouthguard – and perhaps more importantly, that they’ll be able to properly breathe and speak while playing their sport. One good tip: If your child can’t easily drink water with the mouthguard still in their mouth in between plays, you may want to consider a different fit.
In most cases, athletes – even children – only wear a top mouthguard while competing. This is because the vast majority of dental issues due to sport-related trauma take place on the upper teeth. But for kids with braces, particularly those who play contact sports and may be hit in the face, it could be advisable to also consider a bottom mouthguard for fuller protection – both from traumatic damage and from any cutting or scraping when lips or gums come into contact with sharper brackets.
For more on finding the right mouthguard for your child with braces, or to learn about any of our mouthguard services, speak to the staff at Damage Control Mouthguards today.