Play Ball!…Even With Braces
With the arrival of spring and the brighter and longer days upon us, we know that many of our patients are returning to playing a variety of sports. We are often asked if patients need to refrain from sports during their orthodontic treatment, and our answer is always that our patients are free to enjoy all the sports they love. However, we do make our patients aware that athletes with braces carry a higher risk of injury to the mouth while playing sports. It can be nerve-wracking and expensive to deal with the consequences of mouth injury while playing. Continue reading to learn about proper care for braces while playing sports.
It is important to remember that accidents happen. Even more so when sports are involved. It’s not unusual for a player to be hit by a ball in the mouth or accidentally hit or elbowed in the face by a teammate. With the popularity of adult sports leagues and adult braces on the rise, more than just children and teenagers can be affected by sports-related orthodontic injuries and emergencies. Even athletes who are the most cautious cannot escape injury from time to time.
What to do in an Emergency?
If you find yourself or a loved one dealing with an orthodontic related injury, it is important to remain calm and assess the situation. Check to see if there is any damage to the mouth or hardware. If the braces are caught on the lips or cheeks, try to break contact as safely and gently as possible. If there is damage it is best to contact our office as soon as possible. If you are not able to get an immediate appointment, it is best to use dental wax to cover the broken wire or bracket so as not to cause further damage to the mouth.
A Simple Precaution
While we know that accidents can happen at any time, there is one simple precaution that we recommend for any patient who is receiving orthodontic treatment – a mouthguard. A mouthguard helps absorb trauma and prevent injuries such as broken brackets and wires, chipped or broken teeth. A mouthguard is also excellent protection for patients who have recently completed treatment to keep their newly straightened teeth protected. We recommend a mouthguard to be used during any physical activity. It is important to remember to care for a mouthguard as you would any form of dental equipment. It is vital to clean and disinfect a mouthguard after every use, as it can affect your oral health if it is full of bacteria.
If you have any questions about a proper mouthguard to use during activities or have an athlete who has sustained an injury to their orthodontic hardware, please contact our Southfield, MI office today.