June 29, 2020

How to Use a Mouthguard with Braces

Mouthguards serve the critical role of protecting your teeth from damage! They protect the mouth from injuries during sports or high-intensity activities, and they prevent damage from clenching and grinding the teeth during sleep.
When you are undergoing orthodontic treatment with traditional braces, you have to be cautious of your brackets and wires to prevent minor trauma, such as cuts to the cheeks, lips and gums. For those who play sports, or those who tend to clench their jaw or grind their teeth while sleeping, it’s especially important to invest in a mouthguard for some additional protection!
Our experienced orthodontists, Dr. Dunn and Dr. Schreiber, advise patients who play any of the following sports to wear a mouthguard:
  • Football
  • Soccer
  • Boxing
  • Basketball
  • Field hockey
  • Ice hockey
  • Gymnastics
  • Skateboarding
  • In-line skating
  • Cycling
  • Volleyball
  • Softball
  • Wrestling
One thing to keep in mind when choosing a mouthguard is that not all mouthguards serve the same purpose. Depending on the type of protection you need, you may want to avoid buying your mouthguard for braces at Walmart.

How to Fit a Mouthguard with Braces:

Stock Mouthguards

Stock mouthguards are the most common type of mouthguards and can be found at almost all drugstores and sporting goods stores. These mouthguards come in small, medium and large sizes, and are relatively inexpensive. While these are an easy, affordable option, they do not provide the most protection.

Boil-and-Bite Mouthguards

Tons of children and teens who play sports have braces! However, boil-and-bite mouthguards are not recommended when protecting your braces. Boil-and-bite mouthguards are molded to fit your teeth and can sometimes lock around your bracket, pulling the bracket off when you remove your mouthguard. These mouthguards can also damage your brackets during the molding process.

Invisalign and Night Guards

It is important to note that if you have Invisalign, you will not be able to wear a mouthguard. More importantly, Invisalign clear aligners will not work as an alternative to mouthguards. If you are grinding in your sleep while wearing Invisalign, this will eventually wear holes in your clear aligners and could cause damage to your teeth and jaw. Orthodontists will typically suggest against Invisalign for this reason if you frequently grind or clench.

Still have questions about mouthguards?

If you are active in sports, have sleeping patterns that may require a mouthguard, or you’re simply interested in learning more, please contact us at either of our locations in Montgomery, Wetumpka or Millbrook! We would be happy to answer any questions you may have to ensure that your braces and teeth are protected at all times.

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