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When are Mouthguards Necessary if You Have Braces?

You’ve made a smart investment by getting braces for your smile, but you enjoy your active lifestyle. How can you keep both y

At LM Orthodontics, we’re pleased to provide high-quality orthodontic care to patients in McLean, Virginia and the greater Washington, DC area. Many of our patients with braces live active lifestyles all year long. This raises the question: when are mouthguards necessary if you have braces?  

Our experienced orthodontic providers understand you want to keep your mouth healthy and your braces intact. We’ve curated this guide to help you understand when it’s a good idea to wear a mouthguard with braces and how you can get one customized for your teeth and brackets. 

Read on to learn more!

When is a mouthguard with braces a good idea?

You’ve already made a wise choice, investing in your smile with braces. Whether they’re clear or traditional, be sure to keep your investment protected by wearing a mouthguard with braces whenever recommended by your orthodontist. 

Here are the top occasions to include the added protection of a mouthguard to your routine: 

1. During outdoor winter activities

Winter is here in the MidAtlantic, and with it comes a flurry of outdoor winter activities, like skiing, sledding, and ice skating. Having braces won’t stop you from joining in the winter fun, but when you head outdoors be sure to grab your braces mouthguard before hitting the slopes or ice rink.

Falling during an outdoor winter activity, like skiing or skating, is inevitable. And if you wear braces, you’re at increased risk for damaging your brackets or your teeth or cutting up the inside of your mouth. A mouthguard helps keep your mouth healthy and your braces intact so you can stay active all winter long. 

2. When playing or practicing sports 

If you play a sport, it’s important to wear a mouthguard with your braces any time you practice or play. Even if your game of choice isn’t a contact sport, a mouthguard provides much-needed protection for your braces and teeth. 

At LM Orthodontics, we bond your brackets to your teeth using a strong dental cement. But if you are hit in the mouth, the impact could break the bracket despite the cement. What’s more? A simple fall or bump can lead to severe cuts on the inside of your mouth if your braces and teeth aren’t protected. 

A mouthguard customized for braces helps prevent damage by cushioning your teeth and braces in the event of a hit or other contact to the mouth. Whether you play competitively or are a weekend warrior, be sure to always wear a mouthguard when playing sports.

3. At night, if you grind your teeth

Teeth grinding, or bruxism, is common, affecting nearly one in three people. Since teeth grinding most commonly occurs at night while you’re sleeping, it can be hard to know if you’re affected. Chronic headaches or earaches can be a sign of teeth grinding, as can a tight or sore face, neck, or upper or lower jaw. 

If you know you grind your teeth, or if your dentist or orthodontist has told you you have signs of bruxism, wearing a mouthguard at night can help save your teeth and your braces. At LM Orthodontics, we can make a custom-fit mouthguard to keep you comfortable at night while protecting your brackets and teeth. 

Ready to learn more about mouthguards?

if you’re ready to learn more about protecting your teeth, the team at LM Orthodontics can help. Our experts can produce a custom-made mouthguard to fit over your teeth and braces comfortably and prevent slippage. Contact our office to schedule an appointment today!   

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