So you’re a dedicated sports player and you don’t plan on changing that throughout your orthodontic treatment process. When should you wear a mouthguard?
Whether you’re a soccer player or football player, you’re undergoing treatment with Invisalign® or braces, or you’re in a practice or a game, it’s essential that you wear your mouthguard anytime you’re playing. Even if you’re not in orthodontic treatment, wearing a mouthguard is just as important.
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, according to the ADA.
Most sports have at least some risk of injury, including collisions or impacts to the mouth that may be forceful enough to knock a tooth out. Taking a high-speed ball to the face, colliding with another player or falling on the ground can leave you clutching your mouth, hoping all of your teeth are still intact.
So you know why it’s essential that you wear an orthodontic mouthguard, but how do you mold a mouthguard and which mouthguard is best for braces? Here’s what you need to know.
Different Types of Mouthguards
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 relatively 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 try, 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.
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, 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.
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 mouthguard will hold the teeth in their pre-treatment position. During ortho treatment, it’s best that you wear a stock mouthguard to prevent your mouthguard from interfering with your treatment process.
How to Wear a Mouthguard with Braces or Invisalign
Wearing a mouthguard properly with braces or Invisalign means wearing it every time you play, whether it’s a practice or a game. Don’t let your mouthguard collect dust on your nightstand or build bacteria in your sports bag. You’ll regret not wearing your retainer if you experience an unfortunate collision!
If you have braces, you’ll place your mouthguard in before you start playing.
- Rinse your mouthguard out after your game or practice.
- Clean it or soak it in a cleaning solution.
- Clean your case too, then wait until your case and mouthguard air dry.
- Store your mouthguard in its case, back in your cabinet or drawer until your next practice.
If you have Invisalign®,
- Remove your clear aligners before your game or practice, rinse them out and place them in your Invisalign carrying case.
- Place your mouthguard in your mouth and score some touchdowns.
- When you’re done, rinse your mouthguard out, clean it, and place it back in your case.
- Clean your clear aligners, pop them back in your mouth and continue transforming your smile!
Still have questions about wearing a mouthguard?
Whether it’s a practice or a game, don’t forget to wear your mouthguard. You’re better off safe than sorry when it comes to your smile!
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We love to hear from you. We’re here to guide you through your treatment process, from your very first visit, to your last appointment.