A mouthguard is one of the most valuable investments you can purchase for your teeth. A mouthguard protects your teeth, lips, and gums during athletics and sports activities. It also prevents damage to your teeth when you grind your teeth or clench your jaw.
What is a Mouthguard?
A mouthguard is a soft, flexible piece of material that fits over the upper teeth. It prevents injuries to the lips, cheeks, tongue, and jaw during athletic activities in which you could be hit in the face or other accidents.
Braces Mouthguards VS Regular Mouthguards
A regular mouthguard usually covers only the upper teeth or is held in place by biting down. A braces mouthguard fits over your brace wire, protecting your gums from being pinched between the wire and your teeth. It also protects gums that are being pushed away by erupting teeth or braces that are shifting into new positions. A mouthguard for braces should be much larger than a regular mouthguard since it covers both sets of teeth.
Types of Mouthguards for Braces
A mouthguard made specifically for braces is a good investment if you have a dental brace of any kind. Whether you need an upper or lower plastic mouthguard for braces, there are several options available to suit your specific needs.
Customized Mouth Guards
The stock mouthpiece that comes with nearly all sports equipment is not always adequate. For instance, a stock mouthguard for braces may be made of lower quality material and not fit properly to protect your teeth and gums. A custom mouthguard is designed specifically for you; it fits securely over the brace wire and provides maximum protection. Your dentist or orthodontist takes an impression of your teeth and the wire brace. The mold creates a custom-fit mouthguard that suits your teeth perfectly, offering ultimate protection.
Pre-made Mouth Guards
These mouthguards are made of a soft, flexible material that fits over the top of your wire or arch bar. The mouthguard also protects against any chipping and cracking of your teeth due to grinding or clenching your jaws.
This mouthguard is made of a semi-rigid material that you form to your teeth by placing it in boiling water then biting into the softened material. You can create a tight fit around the brace wire with minimal manual adjustment after the initial fitting.
The Night Guard Mouth Guard
This appliance is worn only while you sleep and consists of a hard, acrylic mouthpiece that covers your upper teeth. The night guard prevents you from grinding your teeth during sleep.
Can You Wear a Mouthguard Over Braces?
It is very important to wear a mouthguard while you are wearing your braces. You can also wear an orthodontic appliance called Nightguard. Do not wear an over-the-counter mouthguard, though. These guards are designed for people without braces and may cause your teeth to shift if worn over your braces.
Benefits of a Mouthguard for Braces
The benefits of wearing a mouthguard for braces are great. While wearing a mouthguard for braces, you will avoid injuries to your lips, gums, and tongue. If you grind or clench your teeth while wearing a mouthguard, you can prevent damage to your braces or wires that could leave them out of position. If you play contact sports while wearing braces, you can prevent sports injuries to your teeth and face. Since a mouthguard is flexible, it allows you to speak and breathe easily while wearing it. Finally, if you wear braces on your back teeth (molars) and you grind your teeth at night, using a nightguard can save your back teeth from damage.
A mouthguard can also prevent many dental injuries. Even if you wear braces, your teeth are still susceptible to injury. If you suffer a blow to the face or jaw, wearing a mouthguard can prevent the upper and lower teeth from making contact, thereby preventing tooth fractures or other damages.
What is the Best Mouthguard for Braces?
An orthodontic night guard is the best mouthguard for braces. It fits over all of your teeth so it covers any exposed braces. If you grind or clench your teeth at night, an orthodontic mouthguard can prevent damage to your braces and prevent wearing out the wire prematurely.
An orthodontic nightguard should only be worn at night while you sleep. This is to prevent damage to your teeth during sleep. If you don’t wear your night guard for an extended time, the pressure from grinding can leave your teeth misaligned and very sensitive to hot and cold temperature foods and drinks.
It’s important to wear your mouthguard while you’re wearing braces. Not only will it protect the soft tissues in your mouth, but it will also prevent dental injury to your braces or wires.
What Should I Replace My Mouthguard for Braces?
You should replace your mouthguard for braces every 6 months. This comes with the recommendation of your orthodontist or dentist.
Taking Care of Your Mouthguard for Braces
Your mouthguard for braces should be properly taken care of. The following are some maintenance tips for your mouthguard:
- Keep your mouthguard in its case when not in use. This will protect it from contamination and damage and also keep it clean.
- Before you fit your mouthguard for braces, check it for tears or rips. If there are any, get a new one.
- After you have placed your mouthguard in boiling water, let it cool before you fit it to the shape of your teeth. If it is too hot, you could accidentally burn your lips or mouth while trying to place it in your mouth.
- After you have fitted your mouthguard, rinse it with cold water and then brush it gently.
- Once you are done using your mouthguard for braces, place it back in its case.
- Never bite down on your mouthguard when fitting it in your mouth. This could cause the material to crack or tear.
- Never give your mouthguard to someone else to use without protecting it with a case or by rinsing it first.
If your orthodontist or dentist recommends a mouthguard for braces, then you should wear it every day to protect yourself from dental injury or damage to your braces and wires. If you’re not sure which mouthguard is right for you, ask your orthodontist to help you with a recommendation.