close up of young girl's braces with pink bands

What to do when your child has braces and needs a mouthguard?

The mouthguard is a soft plastic device worn to prevent injuries to the teeth and mouth. Mouthguards are mandatory in full-contact sports such as football. However, participants in other sports should consider their use; an estimated 40% of oral injuries occur in baseball and basketball. Oral injuries range in severity from chipped teeth to broken jaws.

Children as well as adults are urged to wear mouthguards during sports practice and competition. Many brands and types of mouthguards are sold by sporting goods stores, from the basic functional design, like the Mueller Matrix, to fun designs that encourage children of all ages to want to wear their mouth protection.

Braces are common

A difficulty that arises fairly often is braces. A significant percentage of teenagers and pre-adolescents have some type of orthopedic device on their teeth. Removable braces like Invisilign can be taken out during athletic endeavors so a standard mouthguard can be used, but the majority of braces in use are not so easily removable. So young athletes can choose to skip sporting events during orthodontic treatments or they can risk damaging their teeth and the expensive braces. Since braces often need to be worn for months to years, the option of sitting out on sports until they are removed isn’t very appealing to either young athletes or their parents.

Braces are dangerous

A factor that often isn’t appreciated is that wearing braces during a collision can cause serious, even potentially life-threatening, injuries. The metal of the braces can easily be driven through soft tissue turning a minor bump into a bloody incident needing a visit to the plastic surgeon. And the fact that the braces are connecting the teeth together means that a collision that might have chipped a tooth in the absence of braces can instead cause root damage to multiple teeth.

Clearly, participating in athletic events with unprotected braces is not a good idea. An orthodontist can fabricate a custom-made mouthguard to fit over each patient’s braces. However, this can be pricey and inconvenient. Sports medicine companies have responded by producing generic mouthguards that fit over braces.

Mueller is the solution

Braces mouthguards cost no more than regular mouthguards, and like all of Mueller’s mouthguards, have a revolutionary self-fitting function. They are affordable enough that school coaches and the like can keep a supply on hand for young athletes who forget to bring their own to practice. The mouthguards mold over the braces and teeth, providing superior fit and protection against blows. At the same time they allow for clear speech and unimpeded breathing.

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