Oral Health Buzz
Football Mouthpieces for Braces: Football Players Need Great Smiles, Too
Wendy J. Woudstra
Getting braces can be a major fear for active teens who may wonder if straight teeth will come at the price of not playing their favorite sport. Thankfully, you can reassure your young football players that they can continue playing the game they love, as long as they wear football mouthpieces for braces.
There are many options to choose from when considering a mouthguard for your football player, and deciding which type of mouthguard is best can be confusing. Before purchasing a football mouthguard, you should do some research and ask questions about what your young athlete needs.
Talk to the Coach
Some leagues require any mouthguard for braces be custom fit by a dentist, while others require only a mouthguard that protects both the upper and lower arch. Additionally, your team may have insurance that may only cover dental injuries with a certain type of mouthpiece for braces. The best thing to do before purchasing a mouthguard is to speak to your child's coach. Any coach with a team full of teens has run into the braces issue before, and can help you adhere to the rules the league or the team has about mouthguards.
Talk to Your Dentist or Orthodontist
Once you have found out what type of football mouthpieces for braces your league and team require, you can talk to your dentist or orthodontist about the different options that fit those criteria. If you don't need a custom-fitted mouthpiece, your dentist may be able to recommend off-the-shelf models that offer the best protection for your child's teeth and gums.
Keep It Clean and Replace It Often
Football mouthpieces can become contaminated with bacteria, yeasts and fungi that can cause health problems. Cleaning a sports mouthguard is not difficult or time consuming, but is important to keep your athlete in peak condition. Simply brushing it with toothpaste, or rinsing it with an antimicrobial solution can reduce the amount of bacteria living in the appliance.
A football mouthpiece can get severely damaged after just a few months, especially when it is protecting braces as well as teeth. When your teen's mouthguard starts to get rough edges, it is time to replace it. Those cracks and edges can damage soft tissue in the mouth and allow bacteria from the mouthguard to enter your child's bloodstream.
Ensuring you have the best mouthguard for the sport, and taking good care to clean and replace it when required can keep your child on the field no matter what kind of braces your athlete wears or for how long.
Learn more about keeping mouthguards clean in the Colgate Oral Care resources.