The start of hockey season in northern Minnesota is a big deal. This is truly a sport the Northland loves, but it’s not the only winter sport where participants may be required to wear a mouthguard. Each year around this time we get questions from patients about wearing a mouthguard when they also wear aligners or braces. The questions range from whether it’s possible to wear a mouthguard during treatment, to if boiling and fitting the mouthguard is a good idea.
Mouthguards are suggested for many sports including wrestling, basketball, hockey, football, lacrosse, and other contact sports. There are many reasons to wear mouthguards during participation in contact sports. They help limit damage to the teeth, injury to the gums, and may help with the prevention of or lessening the severity of concussions.
When participating in a contact sport, it is especially important to wear a mouthguard during orthodontic treatment with braces. An injury to the mouth and/or teeth can be particularly painful when you have braces on as the brackets and wires could cause additional trauma to your tongue, cheeks, and lips.
When shopping for a mouthguard to use during your orthodontic treatment, look for one specifically made to be worn with braces or labelled as “for use during orthodontic treatment.” It is important to avoid the boil and bite method of custom fitting a mouthguard while wearing braces because your teeth are continuously moving throughout the course of treatment and a custom fit mouthguard that fits well today may not fit well tomorrow. A custom fit mouthguard could also impede the progress of your orthodontic tooth movement.
For patients wearing clear aligners, wearing a mouthguard is a little bit easier. A special mouthguard for braces is not necessary, but you will still want to avoid a custom fit mouthguard as the tight fit of these mouthguards could get in the way of your orthodontic treatment progress. A looser fitting mouthguard works best and can be worn over your aligners.
At True North Orthodontics, we’re proud to offer our patients complimentary mouthguards to use during their orthodontic treatment with both braces and clear aligners. We have the Sisu Aero mouthguards in our office to give to our patients that would benefit from wearing a mouthguard during orthodontic treatment. These mouthguards can be easily remolded up to 20 times throughout the course of your orthodontic treatment so you can refit it as your teeth move!
We wish all of our patients well during their sports seasons!