Orthodontics Blog - Dr. Albert Fontaine

Mouthguard With Braces? Better Safe Than Sorry.

Brooksville orthodontics

SPRING HILL AND DUNEDIN, FLORIDA – For parents and school age kids, fast approaching spring means nice weather, colorful flowers and school sports. But for Clearwater orthodontist Dr. Albert Fontaine, spring often spells disaster since many children fail to wear mouthguards during sports.

“Children wearing braces have slightly higher risk of oral injuries, including mouth lacerations, if their braces are hit by a ball or another player,” says Dr. Fontaine. “In fact, just by wearing a properly fitted mouth guard, many accidents and traumatic injuries could be prevented.”

Mouthguards prevent more than 200,000 oral injuries each year, according to The American Dental Association. Mouthguards should be worn during and after orthodontic treatment and cared for properly to ensure they are providing optimum protection for teeth and appliances.

Wearing Mouthguards During Orthodontic Treatment

It’s important to remember that during orthodontic treatment teeth are constantly moving. Therefore, most custom fit mouthguards are not an option because they restrict the movement necessary to align teeth. This constant movement also makes it necessary to replace your child’s mouthguard every season.

“In general, it is possible to make what I call a semi-custom mouthguard,” says Dr. Fontaine. “A semi-custom guard blocks out the area of the braces and allows for some movement of the teeth. Because of the time it takes to make one, it’s more expensive than a store bought mouthguard, but the added protection and room allotted for teeth to move is worth it.”

Semi-custom mouthguards need to be replaced every six months and are not suggested for severe cases that require a lot of movement.

“I also suggest that my Invisalign patients wear a mouthguard during treatment,” says Dr. Fontaine, who is also a Brooksville orthodontics provider. “It’s a common misconception that Invisalign provides the same amount of protection as a mouthguard and that there is no need to wear one.”

If you would rather go with a store bought mouthguard we suggest asking for suggestions or have the one you purchased approved by you child’s orthodontist before they start using it since an ill fitting mouthguard can interfere with treatment and possibly cause setbacks.

Mouthguards After Orthodontics

A great deal of time, money and effort goes into a successful treatment of gapped or crooked teeth, which makes it a good idea to protect your smile or should we say – investment.

“There is no question that custom guards are better,” says Dr. Fontaine. “I recommend that my patients invest in custom guards by their dentist after their dental braces are removed. It’s a good investment and a quality guard can last up to three years.”

How to Care for Your Mouthguard

- Tempting as it may be, do not chew your mouthguard as you risk altering its shape
- Rinse before and after each use with water or mouthwash
- Brush with toothpaste and a toothbrush or soap and water before storing
- Transport in a durable, vented case
- Protect from extreme temperature – if distorted by excessive heat, replace
- Check for wear – extreme wear reduces the effectiveness of the guard
- Bring it to all dental hygiene appointments for a “check-up”

What to do in the Case of an Injury?

Although a mouth guard helps to protect your teeth and orthodontics from damage and injury it doesn’t always prevent it. If a tooth is knocked out, replace it in the socket immediately. This gives it the best chance of reattaching. If that isn’t possible, place the tooth or pieces – if it was chipped- in milk and call your orthodontist or dentist immediately. If you believe you have incurred any head trauma, it is important to visit the hospital or your family doctor before a trip to the dentist or orthodontist.

If you have any questions about wearing a mouthguard with your braces or how we can straighten your crooked teeth, we encourage you to schedule a consultation at one of our two locations in Spring Hill and Dunedin, Fl.

© 2013 Sinai Marketing and Dr. Albert J. Fontaine. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Sinai Marketing and Dr. Albert J. Fontaine are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.