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Protect Your Braces While Playing Winter Sports: Use Mouthguards

Now that winter is in a full swing, the valleys and the creeks have become a paradise for winter sports lovers. You don’t have to stay on the bench just because you have braces. You can also enjoy popular winter sports, such as ice skating, skiing, snowboarding, and sledding, even if you are undergoing an orthodontic treatment, provided you remember to wear your mouthguard. The right type of mouthguard for braces protects your mouth from damage while playing.

Mouthguards Help

Winter sports present a potential risk to your teeth, especially if you wear braces. With no protection, your teeth and jaw are susceptible to injuries that are expensive to treat. Mouthguards serve as a protection towards the potential risk. Sports mouthguard for braces protects your teeth from fracture, breaking or chipping. They also protect your dental appliances.

Types of Mouthguards to Protect Your Braces and Your Mouth While Playing Winter Sports

  1. Full Facial Guards
    Full facial guards are football mouthguards used to protect the athlete’s face and mouth from most injuries. While facial guards are effective to prevent external injuries, your mouth may still suffer from injuries to the jaw and teeth, and damage to your braces due to the internal impact. Therefore, you may need an additional mouth protection. A mouthguard is a better alternative.
  2. Mouthguards
    Mouthguards are designed to absorb the shock and distribute the force of impact received while indulging in athletic activities. They also:
  • Reduce the risk of internal damage, chipped or broken teeth, tooth loss or a broken jaw.
  • Protect the soft tissues of your tongue, cheek lining, and lips.

A plethora of options in mouthguards

    1. Stock Mouthguards
      These ready-to-wear mouthguards are available at sporting goods stores. It’s a regular mouthguard that doesn’t provide full protection to your mouth, especially if you wear braces. They do not fit properly for long and if worn tight against the teeth there is a chance that your brackets may come off if you get a hit to your mouth.
    2. Boil-and-Bite Mouthguards and Mouth-Formed Mouthguards
      These mouthguards are the most used type of mouth protectors. The appliance provides a better level of protection than the stock mouthguard as it is customized to fit the mouth properly. The mouth-formed mouthguards usually have a strong plastic outer shell and a spongy layer inside.
      The inside layer of the boil-and-bite mouthguard is thermoplastic in nature. That means it softens when it’s heated. The thick internal layer may get thinner when heated. This can compromise the level of protection rendered to your mouth.
      These mouthguards are bulky, because of which, they may have limitations to provide full protection to the teeth and jaws, especially for people who wear braces.
    3. Orthodontic Mouthguards
      An orthodontic mouthguard is the best type of mouthguard for patients with braces. They protect the brackets and help soften the impact if any. They are designed to keep the lips away from the teeth. So, if there is an impact, your lips won’t hit the teeth.
      These mouthguards are larger than the regular mouthguards, but the large size gives the teeth and braces enough room for a comfort fit.
      Orthodontic guards are made from high-grade soft silicone, which provides a cushion for your lips and prevents them from hitting against your teeth.

Mouthguard Care and Cleaning

  • Clean the mouthguard every time you take it out by using an anti-microbial solution, a soft toothbrush, and a good toothpaste.
  • Don’t throw in your mouthguard with your other sweaty sports gear.
  • Put your mouthguard away in a snug case when you are not using it.
  • Do not let it sit in the sun as the heat will warp the shape of the mouthguard.
  • Do not chew or bite off pieces of your mouthguard.
  • Replace your mouthguard at the beginning of every new sports season.
  • Carry out regular maintenance check of your mouthguard for general wear and tear.
  • Never share your mouthguard with another player.
  • Brush teeth before wearing a mouthguard.
  • Bring your mouthguard to every office visit with Orthodontist for a thorough examination.

The best way to prevent injuries is to make sure that you are fully protected while playing winter sports. Wearing your orthodontic mouthguard will keep you protected. If you are in Fresno, CA, and would like to get help on the right mouthguard for you, give Thurman Orthodontics a call today!

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