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3 Essential Tips for Young Athletes with Braces

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young football player

Every parent feels two emotions at the exact same time whenever they watch their child play sports. One, they are just so happy and excited to see their child being active and working together with their peers, and two, they’re always a little concerned for their safety. That’s just how parents work! This second feeling is especially heightened if a child has braces. Should a child undergoing orthodontic treatment even be playing sports? Is it worth the risk of an accident? Fortunately, according to an orthodontist in Powell, your little athlete can keep playing and make sure their braces stay safe just by following these simple tips…

1. Wear an orthodontic mouthguard

Frankly, every athlete, whether they are a child or a professional you see on TV every week, should wear a mouthguard whenever they play to keep their teeth protected from potential impacts. This is particularly true for children with braces, as one accident can easily throw a treatment off by months in addition to requiring expensive repairs.

Luckily, orthodontists are able to offer exactly what young athletes need: an orthodontic mouthguard! These are specially designed to fit over braces so they have a comfortable fit, and they provide an extra layer of protection for a child’s appliance as well as their teeth, gums, and lips. Just ask your orthodontist for one before your child’s next game, and they’ll be happy to provide it.

2. Be mindful of your braces

While a mouthguard can minimize the damage to braces caused by an accident on the field, mat, or court, the best approach is to avoid accidents altogether if possible! Just remind your child that a single mishap could significantly lengthen their treatment, so they should do their best to keep their mouth safe. This is really helpful for children who have had braces for a long time and might not even think about them whenever they go to play.

3. If there is an accident, act fast

Of course, despite everyone’s best intentions, sports accidents do still happen, and braces can be affected as a result. Instruct your child that if they suffer any kind of impact to their mouth, they should immediately check their braces. If a bracket is loose, a wire is broken, or things just feel “different” in their mouth, they should immediately tell you so you can schedule an appointment with their orthodontist. Reacting quickly will allow their orthodontist to treat the problem before it becomes worse, which will minimize how it affects your child’s treatment time.

And that’s really it! Whether your child enjoys football, basketball, soccer, baseball, or any other sport you can think of, these tips will allow them to keep playing while their braces stay safe and sound. They’ll also help you relax a little more during their next game or match!

About the Author

Dr. Jeffrey Shirck is an award-winning orthodontist and father of three active children! At his practice, he offers both Invisalign and braces in Powell to help patients of all ages straighten their teeth and achieve confident smiles. If you have a young athlete in your household who needs braces, you can schedule a FREE consultation at Shirck Orthodontics by clicking here.  Or, if your child already has braces, and you’re interested in getting a mouthguard, you’re welcome to give us a call any time.