Parents are often concerned about their kids wearing braces and playing sports. A dental trauma on the court or on the field can be a serious concern for children receiving orthodontic care. Brackets and wires can make a mouth injury worse, or damage to braces can affect treatment progress. This is a concern for patients of any age who wear braces.
To protect your investment and your oral health, we recommend that you or your child wears a sports mouthguard while participating in the athletic play.
Here are five tips to help protect your mouth and braces during physical activities:
Custom-fitted orthodontic mouthguards are designed to fit over brackets and wires or other orthodontic appliances. A well-fitted mouthguard can safeguard against the following dental traumas, including:
There are three basic types of mouthguards available. Custom-fitted mouthguards are provided by your dentist and created for your unique mouth. This is the more expensive option, but it is also the most reliable choice with a perfect fit that is comfortable to wear. Over-the-counter boil-and-bite mouthguards are the next best in line because they are molded to fit each individuals mouth. Pre-molded mouthguards are the least expensive type. These appliances offer minimal protection and since they are pre-molded, are not likely to fit properly.
Since it can be hard to get a kid to wear a mouthguard consistently, especially in the beginning, it can be helpful to find ways to make the adjustment process fun. Explore different colors, perhaps team colors or logo. Some mouthguards even come in different flavors.
Proper care of a mouthguard is simple. All you need to do is clean it thoroughly with basic soap and water after each use. If you are afraid of losing the appliance handy strap attachment are available that can be latched onto a helmet or look for one with a carrying case.
The first step is to carefully exam the injury. It is common to see an excessive amount of blood with a mouth trauma. This can make it difficult to determine the source quickly. Clean the area as thoroughly as possible and try to figure out where the blood is coming from.
Apply pressure and try to control the bleeding. Apply ice to the affected area. If you can’t stop the bleeding, for example, if the wound is gaping or if the patient is in excruciating pain, head to the nearest emergency room immediately.
An oral surgeon may be needed to reposition displaced teeth. The surrounding bone may need to be compressed to help restore the natural position. The metal wires and any broken brackets will have to be removed and kept off until the injuries heal.
If you are not in pain and the bleeding has subsided, book an appointment with your Pasadena orthodontist dentist as soon as possible. X-rays must be taken to determine the extent of the damage. If you lost a tooth, your dentist would attempt to replant it. If this is impossible, you will need to explore tooth replacement options.
Orthodontic patients sometimes experience less serious damage to their braces. These situations do not involve a dental trauma, but still must be taken seriously.
Loose or broken wires, brackets or bands can poke the soft tissues of the mouth. If you are not in severe pain, call our Pasadena dental clinic during business hours to book an appointment. However, if you are experiencing a great deal of pain, contact our emergency orthodontist for same-day treatment.
In the meantime, place some dental wax on the sharp edges to protect against irritation and digging. Also, try to cut a broken wire with nail clippers if it is poking your gums or cheeks.