Oral Health Buzz
What is a Mouthpiece for Braces?
A mouthpiece for braces is virtually the same as any regular mouthpiece with the exception that it provides a bit more room to accommodate the brackets of the braces. Mouthpieces, also known as mouth guards, are sometimes used in dental procedures, such as bleaching your teeth, but they are more commonly seen on athletes in the field.
There are many sports, such as football, hockey or martial arts, which involve heavy physical contact and can result in breaking or otherwise damaging your teeth. Gums are also in need of protection, as they can easily be cut or inflamed. Concussions can also be avoided from unbearably heavy impacts of the jaw that can occur in some sports. For these reasons, athletes will wear mouth guards for protection.
Types of Mouth Guards
There are a few different types of mouth guards available from your orthodontist and some specialty retailers. Occasionally, mouth guards will come in a set shape, also known as stock mouth guards, meaning that there will be minimal to no adjustment possible in the shape of the piece according to your jaw. While these may be suitable for some athletes, these are not the best choice if you are specifically looking for a mouthpiece for braces.
A mouthpiece for braces is most logically fit according to the individual shape of your jaw. These are known as boil and bite and custom-made mouth guards. Materials like medical grade silicon, for example, allow for the mouth guard to adjust with the shape of your jaw and accommodate some of the changes that occur while wearing braces.
Fitting a Mouthpiece for Braces
It is very important to select a mouth guard that is the correct fit, otherwise it can be highly impractical and counterproductive in protecting your mouth. If your mouthpiece for braces, for instance, is slightly larger than your mouth, you risk additional damage to your mouth if the mouthpiece comes off, your tongue instinctively moves to push it back, and your teeth clench down from impact during a physical activity. Boil and bite mouth guards are especially useful for athletes with braces, as they can be boiled several times to become easy to mold again, and will be a perfect fit with each new bite.
Learn more about orthodontics in the Colgate Oral Care resources.