It’s that time of year again—football season! Football season is a little different for football players than it is for football watchers. If you’re relaxing on the couch watching your team on tv, you’re unlikely to experience a football hurtling toward your face… unless you’re using a virtual reality headset and things get too real.
If you’re a football player on the other hand, there is a significant chance that a high-speed football spirals toward your face, or maybe another player’s elbow collides with your mouth.
Either way, anything can happen in football and whether you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment or not, it’s essential that you wear a mouthguard to protect your mouth and other players!
According to the American Dental Association, sports players who wear mouthguards are about 82% to 93% less likely to suffer dentofacial (facial bone and jaw) injuries than sports players who don’t wear a mouthguard.
So we know why it’s essential to wear an orthodontic mouthguard, but how do you wear one properly? Let’s cover the basics:
- Can you wear a mouthguard with braces or Invisalign®?
- How do you mold a mouthguard?
- Which mouthguard is best when you have braces or Invisalign®?
- When should you wear a mouthguard?
Can you wear a mouthguard with braces?
Yes you can! Colliding with a football or another player or falling on the ground can leave you clutching your mouth, hoping all of your teeth are still intact.
Wearing an orthodontic mouthguard during football practices and games can prevent some serious damage. It also ensures that you keep your smile in its best shape, so you can experience beautiful, life-long results from your treatment. With all the hard work you’re dedicating to your smile, you’ll want to protect it.
Which mouthguard is best for braces & Invisalign?
When you’re going through orthodontic treatment, the purpose of braces or Invisalign is to transform your smile by guiding your teeth into a new, desirable position. With fitted mouthguards, these ones are designed to fit the position of your teeth at the moment you take the mold.
Because orthodontic treatment serves to realign the teeth, a fitted (boil-and-bite) mouthguard will hold the teeth in their pre-treatment position. During ortho treatment, it’s best that you wear a stock mouthguard or one specifically made to fit around braces to prevent your mouthguard from interfering with your treatment process.
When should you wear a mouthguard?
The best time to wear a mouthguard is any time you’re playing football, or any other contact sport. Whether it’s a practice or a game, or you’re just throwing around a football with some friends, it’s best to wear your mouthguard just in case.
You won’t regret wearing your mouthguard, but you can certainly regret not wearing your mouthguard.
How do you mold a mouthguard?
There are different types of mouthguards, including stock mouthguards, boil-and-bite mouthguards, and custom-fitted mouthguards.
Stock mouthguards are one-size-fits-all mouthguards that are easy to put in place and take out, but these are relatively bulkier and are the least protective type of mouthguard. To wear a stock mouthguard, you simply pop it in place. No molding necessary! Many of these are made to fit around braces with our two favorite types being Shock Doctor & Sisu.
A boil-and-bite mouthguard can be molded to fit your teeth. These mouthguards are made of thermoplastic material that softens when it’s warmed in boiling water. Soak your mouthguard in boiling water for about 30 seconds.
You can then lay the mouthguard on a towel to try, then place it in your mouth and bite into it for about 20 seconds. Once it’s molded, place the mouthguard in ice water for about a minute or two. Voila! Your boil-and-bite mouthguard is molded to your smile. We recommend not to use this kind if you have braces or Invisalign!
Custom-fitted mouthguards are the most comfortable mouthguard, and the most expensive. These ones are custom-made to fit your exact smile. Custom mouthguards can be created in-store with some companies, with a dentist/orthodontist, or created through mail with your own smile impression kit with other companies.
Because your custom mouthguard is custom-designed for your smile, once it’s created, it’ll be a perfect fit. You don’t have to mold it further.
How to Wear a Mouthguard with Braces or Invisalign
Don’t let your mouthguard collect dust on your nightstand or build bacteria in your sports bag!
If you have braces, you’ll place your mouthguard in before you start playing.
- Rinse your mouthguard out after your game or practice.
- Clean it using a non-whitening toothpaste or mild soap— you can also soak it in a 3% hydrogen peroxide for no more than 10 minutes. *Please do not use denture tablets, dish soap, or mouthwash to clean your mouthguard nor wash it in the dishwasher— these harsh cleansers and extreme temperatures can warp or crack your mouthguard.
- Carefully rinse and dry your mouthguard before storing it at room temperature
- Clean your case too, then wait until your case and mouthguard air dry.
- Store your mouthguard in its case, back in your cabinet or drawer until your next practice— safe, clean, and out of reach from your pets!
If you have Invisalign®,
- Place your mouthguard in your mouth over your Invisalign aligners and score some touchdowns. Remember – you can only drink water while your aligners are in!
- When you’re done, rinse your mouthguard out, clean it, and place it back in your case.
Still have questions about wearing a mouthguard?
Whether it’s football practice or a national championship game, don’t forget to wear your mouthguard. You’re better off safe than sorry when it comes to your smile!
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We love to hear from you. We’re here to help you transform your smile and catch a wave of confidence—with a safe and positive treatment process.