Can You Wear a Mouthguard Over Braces?
The body is full of sensitive areas, particularly when it comes to the face and mouth. Your teeth and gums for example, play numerous roles in our everyday lives yet they’re also very sensitive and very vulnerable. This is why mouthguards are now so popular.
Mouthguards protect your teeth and gums from trauma, plus they can improve your overall quality of life as well. One question that wearers of braces always tend to ask however, is ‘can you wear a mouthguard over braces?’
Braces are designed to help fix and straighten the teeth, and are usually permanently screwed into the mouth and held in place for a prolonged period of time. This is all well and good, but it does mean that they can’t be removed.
If you wear braces and are thinking of using a mouthguard, here’s a look at whether or not a mouthguard would indeed be suitable.
What is a mouthguard?
Before we can look at can you wear a mouthguard over braces, first off let’s take a look at precisely what a mouthguard really is.
A mouthguard is exactly as it sounds, it is a special dental device which is designed to be worn over the teeth to protect the teeth and the gums.
Mouthguards can be worn during sport, they can be worn at night to prevent grinding of the teeth, or they can be worn in the day if the wearer suffers from bruxism, aka grinding of the teeth.
You can purchase stock mouthguards which are universal and are not customized to your mouth and teeth, or you can pick up what are known as ‘boil and bite’ mouthguards, which you heat in boiling water and then, when soft, place them in your mouth where they mould themselves to your teeth as the material hardens.
Best of all however, are custom mouthguards, which your dentist will have created for you based exclusively on your mouth, teeth, and gums to provide the perfect fit in terms of comfort and protection.
Can you wear a mouthguard over braces?
If you wear braces, does this mean that your teeth need to be left unprotected when playing sports, when grinding them, or generally as part of everyday life? Well, no it doesn’t.
If you have braces fitted, the good news is that you CAN wear a mouthguard over the top of them. You must however, speak to your dentist and have a custom mouthguard made as the moulds and impressions taken will be of your teeth, including the braces.
Why wear a mouthguard when wearing braces?
It’s always important to protect the teeth and gums, regardless of whether or not you are wearing braces.
If you do wear braces however, a mouthguard is important because it can offer extra protection for the teeth, gums, and lips. If for example, you were playing a sport and a ball were to hit you in the mouth, even if your teeth were okay, the impact could cause your braces to damage your lips and/or gums, resulting in a very painful injury, a lot of blood, and possibly requiring stitches.
What are the benefits of wearing a mouthguard?
Whether or not you wear braces, there are countless benefits that a mouthguard can provide, including the following:
Protects against concussion
If you wear a sports mouthguard, one of the lesser-known advantages is the fact that the contraption can actually absorb much of the shock from a direct blow to the face, meaning it helps to protect your brain and reduce the risk of concussion.
Protects the teeth
Obviously, the main benefit of a mouthguard is the fact that it protects the teeth. Mouthguards help to prevent teeth from becoming loose, chipped, damaged, or even knocked out when engaging in sports and physical activities.
Protects the gums
Mouthguards are also useful because they protect the gums and the soft tissues in your mouth from trauma, especially when engaging in physical activities.
Which type of mouthguard is best for braces?
We’ve already mentioned this a little earlier, but just so that there’s no confusion, when it comes to wearing a mouthguard over your braces, the only mouthguard that is suitable is one which is custom made by your dentist.
Stock mouthguards and even boil and bite mouthguards will not give you the perfect fit and could actually do more harm than good as they could cause your braces to damage your teeth, lips, and mouth in general.
Which sports require a mouthguard?
In truth, any sport that is physical can benefit from a mouthguard, though there are some contact sports out there which are more physical than others.
These include the following:
- Martial arts
Book your appointment now!
If you’re looking for a new custom mouthguard, or if you’re simply looking for ways of keeping your teeth safe and protected during sports or when you sleep, get in touch with us today and book in for your free, no obligations consultation.