Can I play sports with a brace, and is it safe?

Playing sport is something lots of children – and adults – love, so when your child is told that she needs braces, it might come as a bit of a shock. Will she still be able to play contact sports? Will she have to miss out on her favourite team games, or will she need to take special precautions? 

Don’t panic – getting braces is totally normal, and it’s something that we look after every day. We think it’s really important for you and your children to be active, and there’s no need to stop just because of your teeth. So read on for our top tips about playing sport with braces. 

You can still play sports

But you’ll need a mouthguard to protect your brace. Talk to us about the kind of sport you or your child takes part in, and we’ll find the best protection for you. For high-impact sports such as football, hockey and rugby, you’ll definitely need a guard, and it’s also recommended for other activities that might be a bit risky. Anything that could give you a blunt force injury to the face can damage your brace or teeth and have a negative impact on your orthodontic treatment, so take care! 

Look after your mouthguard

Just like caring for your teeth and braces, you need to clean your mouthguard every day that you use it. It’s simple – just clean it with toothpaste and a brush, or rinse it with a special solution to avoid bacteria and fungi growing on it. Try to clean it before and after wearing it, and always keep it in its special case when you’re not using it. And if it gets damaged, you’ll need to replace it straightaway. 

Tell us if you get injured  

While playing sports is usually straightforward, injuries do happen. If you hurt your mouth at all during your activity, give us a call so that we can check everything’s OK. Sometimes brackets can break and gums can bleed, and you may have damaged your teeth if it was a forceful blow. We’ll take a look and correct any damage, and inspect your mouthguard to see if it needs replacing. If it’s serious, of course, go straight to A&E. 

Mouthguards for braces are a bit different

Most mouthguards are designed to fit directly over your teeth, so if you have a brace, it needs to accommodate that. The boil and bite mouthguards offer flexibility around your changing teeth and gums, and can be re-moulded a number of times as your teeth move. If you’re using Invisalign, you should remove your retainer and use a mouthguard on its own during sports. But a custom-made orthodontic guard might be better for some people. Talk to us and we’ll make sure you have the best one for your teeth.

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