If you play a contact sport that requires the use of a mouthguard, you should continue to wear one during games and training when you have braces. Mouthguards should also be worn for some non-contact sports such as basketball, as teeth can be damaged by wayward elbows and heads. Mouthguards protect your teeth from fracture, nerve damage, and avulsion (when your whole tooth is completely knocked out of your mouth). They also protect your lips and cheeks from laceration, which can occur if you sustain a trauma when fitted with braces.
There are two types of mouthguards available, a “boil and bite” mouthguard, which can be purchased from a sports shop or pharmacy or a custom-fitted mouthguard, which can be made by your orthodontist, dentist or an advanced dental technician.
Boil and Bite Mouthguards for People with Braces
Boil and bite mouthguards are a great option for people who have braces because they can be reshaped as their teeth move. This proves to be a cost-effective option while undergoing orthodontic treatment. After your braces have been fitted, heat your mouthguard according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Sit it over the top teeth and, with firm pressure, shape the mouthguard to your teeth and gums.
With time, your mouthguard is likely to become loose or uncomfortable. When this happens, simply heat and remould your mouthguard to your new tooth position.
When choosing a mouthguard, select an adult size so that it will fit over the braces. We’ve found that the “Elastoplast” brand works well, as it is easily reshaped and is inexpensive.
Custom-Fitted Braces for People with Braces
Custom-made braces offer the best protection for teeth due to their precise fit but will only fit for a short time before needing to be remade as they can’t be remoulded. Every time you have a new custom-fitted mouthguard made, a new dental impression or scan needs to be taken of your teeth to ensure a precise fit. While generally more comfortable and stable than the boil and bite mouthguards, it can become an expensive exercise if multiple mouthguards are needed.
Mouthguards and Health Insurance
Many health funds will cover the full cost of custom-made mouthguards as it is far cheaper to do this than cover the cost of expensive tooth repairs or replacement, which can run into thousands of dollars. Check with your health fund to see whether they cover the cost and whether there is a limit on the number of mouthguards they’ll fund each year.
Mouthguards after orthodontic treatment
After orthodontic treatment, we recommend that you get a custom-fitted mouthguard so that your teeth have the best possible protection. After all, we want you to keep that amazing smile forever!