“Can I play sports with braces on my teeth?” is one of the most common questions we get here in the office. The community that we live and work in is full of athletes and we love supporting all our local teams. We would never want braces to get in the way of your athletic activities! However, we do want you to be careful to protect those lips and teeth from injury. The best way to protect our teeth is with an orthodontic mouth guard.

Orthodontic mouth guards are different from a regular mouth guard. First, the regular mouth guard is thermoplastic. Before using it, it must be heated up to help create the imprints of your teeth. Once you have braces on, your teeth are going to be moving. Therefore, a mold from a regular mouth guard won’t work. It won’t fit after a week or so and that is not safe.

The other problem with a regular mouth guard is that it fits against the brackets of your braces too closely. If you were to get hit in the mouth hard enough, the force will knock a large majority of the brackets off the teeth. This is not something you would want to happen.

The best type of protection for sports is an orthodontic mouth guard. It is made of high-grade silicone and is much different than a regular mouthguard. You do not have to boil it in hot water to mold it. This orthodontic mouth guard has flanges that you bite down on to hold it in place. It also has rubber flanges that go up under the lips to keep the lips from being pushed into the brackets. This can be very painful.

An orthodontic mouth guard should be used for all contact sports, including soccer, football, basketball, wrestling, cheerleading and hockey. Please don’t hesitate to ask our friendly staff or Dr. Nowlin about which orthodontic mouth guard we recommend. We want you to have the best experience possible with your braces, so that you can keep doing the things you love to do. We are your local Bixby orthodontist and we are here to help guide you in any way when it comes to your smile!