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Oral Health Buzz

Getting A Mouthguard for Braces

Wendy J. Woudstra

Getting braces can be big transition in the life of your pre-teen or teenager. Becoming accustomed to having foreign objects on his teeth, the added cleaning and care requirements, and the discomfort of adjustments all take some getting used to. If your teen is active in sports, there are other concerns as well. The potential for injury to himself and others can be greater when he is wearing braces, so a special mouthguard for braces must be worn for protection. This will ensure proper oral health for your teenager.

What Kind of Mouthguard?

Before deciding on whether to choose a boil-and-bite type mouthguard or one custom-made by your dentist, check with the coach or instructor of each the sports your child plays. In some sports, the players are covered by team or league insurance that will only cover damage or injury if a dentist has made the mouthguard.

You should also check with the league or team to find out if a double mouthguard is required, as some sports like wrestling require the use of a mouthguard that covers both the top and bottom teeth (if a child has braces on both). Knowing exactly what to ask the dentist for will save time and money, getting your child back on the field or mats more quickly.

Off-the-Shelf Mouthguards

Mouthguards molded by dentists can be expensive, especially given the fact that the reason your child has braces is to move their teeth around, and in a few months the mouthguard that was initially custom fit to their arch may no longer be safe or comfortable.

If the sport does not require it, purchasing a generic mouthguard and molding it yourself may be a good option. There are many manufacturers of mouthguards that make wider versions for those wearing braces, many of which also produce specialized double mouthguards that are either flexible or boil-and-bite. Your dentist may have recommendations on the best style and brands to use.

A mouthguard for braces may be a little more expensive than a regular mouthguard, but is entirely worth the price if it protects your active child's teeth and soft tissue from damage incurred while playing their favorite sports.

Learn more about sports mouth guards at the Colgate Oral Care resources.

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