If you’re an athlete considering braces, you’ve come to the right place. You may be wondering how you can manage to straighten your teeth with braces and continue to participate in your favorite sport, but we promise you that with Booth Orthodontics, it can be done. All it takes is a few sports safety tips to help you avoid orthodontic emergencies, and you’re all set!
If Venus and Serena Williams or Cristiano Ronaldo have worn braces and kept up with their sports with so much success, you can, too! Keep reading to learn more about what you can do to prevent injury and stay on the field.
Sports Safety 101
When you’re on the Booth Orthodontics team, you’re already on the right track to preventing orthodontic emergencies. We’ve got two important tips for protecting your oral health on the field.
Use a Mouthguard
One of the best ways to protect your teeth from orthodontic emergencies is simple: wear a mouthguard when practicing or playing sports. These oral appliances are designed to fit snugly over your teeth to keep your lips, gums, and jaw safe in case of contact. The best mouthguards are molded to fit your unique smile. There are three types of mouthguards on the market.
Over-the-counter mouthguards: You can find this version at most grocery stores, but we don’t recommend them for sportswear. Because they’re typically used as night guards to help prevent tooth grinding, they aren’t meant for athletes.
Sports mouthguards: This appliance is great for athletes who don’t have braces. Sports mouthguards are designed to prevent injury during sports, but they aren’t moldable, so they won’t fit tightly around your braces or keep your brackets in place.
Orthodontic mouthguards: All the pros use orthodontic mouthguards. They’re more durable, reliable, and practical than the alternatives and are well worth the investment. Dr. Booth recommends this version because we can create a more accurate mold that fits your teeth far better than over-the-counter or traditional sports mouthguards. The custom-made mold ensures your brackets remain in place even in rough situations.
Choose the Right Orthodontic Treatment Plan
If you’re an athlete considering orthodontic treatment, talk with Dr. Booth about your concerns so that our team can find the right treatment method for you. With several orthodontic options that work for patients of all ages, we can design a treatment plan that works for your individual needs.
Invisalign uses a system of clear aligner trays that Dr. Booth custom designs for your smile. As a removable treatment option, you can take them out for short lengths of time — meaning your games and practices will be ortho emergency-free! Plus, with Invisalign’s comfortable and discreet SmartTrack material, you’ll look and feel great on and off the field.
Clear or Metal Braces
One of our most popular treatments is traditional braces. They come in metal and clear options to suit your specific needs and goals and work great for patients with moderate to severe orthodontic conditions. Dr. Booth highly recommends them, but don’t forget to get an orthodontic mouthguard, too!
Accidents happen! Whether or not you have braces, participating in sports comes with risks. When you add braces into the mix, you might end up with an oral injury. Mouth sores are especially uncomfortable because even minor cuts and scrapes along your cheeks, gumline, or tongue can be painful.
Sports injuries can break your brackets and wires, dig into the sides of your mouth, and cause bleeding. Worse injuries can result in shifting teeth that might require treatment from an oral surgeon. Fortunately, because there are so many blood vessels in your mouth, oral injuries typically heal faster than many other bodily injuries.
Oral injuries are unique; your mouth contains many blood vessels, which can cause a lot of bleeding. This is normal, but it can feel pretty alarming to a parent of an upset child or teen. The best thing you can do in an emergency, however, is to stay calm and assess the situation with clarity.
Damage to Soft Tissue
If your child or teen has soft tissue damage, it’s usually because their brackets got caught up in the soft parts of their mouths, like their lips or cheeks. Although there may be a lot of bleeding that makes this type of injury look worse than it is, soft tissue injuries are the mildest orthodontic emergencies — and the most common.
Assess the situation by gently pulling the brackets from the lips or cheek. Most soft tissue injuries heal on their own, but if the cut is big enough that the edges don’t meet, you may need to take your child to the emergency room or to see an oral surgeon.
Shifted, Broken, or Lost Teeth
Sometimes, sports injuries can cause your child’s teeth to shift along with their braces. While this may seem alarming, don’t panic. Acting quickly and calmly is the best way to save the tooth.
If one or more of your child’s teeth shift or fall out due to a sports-related injury, take them to the emergency room immediately. Then contact Dr. Booth so that he can coordinate a way to fix your child’s orthodontic appliance, as well.
Your Straight Smile Team
To all the athletes in Homer Glen and surrounding Chicagoland: we’ve got you covered. With a team of experts at your side, you won’t have to worry about orthodontic emergencies. Stick to practice, and we’ll take care of the rest.
Contact our office today to schedule your free consultation and find out if orthodontic treatment is right for you!