It’s true: living with braces comes with a whole new set of rules and responsibilities. For patients living an active lifestyle, you need to take extra care of your teeth when undergoing treatment to avoid unnecessary injury. Luckily, if you’re an athlete, you already have the level of dedication and endurance to make orthodontic treatment a breeze! You can prevent orthodontic emergencies with the right sports safety tips, so you never miss a day of practice.
At Bigman Orthodontics, we believe you shouldn’t have to sacrifice your favorite sport or activity to get the smile you deserve. Our team makes orthodontics in San Ramon easy, comfortable, and accessible to patients with all needs and conditions, so keep reading to learn more about staying safe while wearing braces and playing sports.
It’s no surprise that sports can cause injuries, and it probably doesn’t shock you that braces can worsen them. Mouth sores are especially uncomfortable because even minor cuts and scrapes along your cheeks, gumline, or tongue can be painful.
Sports injuries can break your brackets and wires, dig into the sides of your mouth, and cause bleeding. Worse injuries can result in shifting teeth that might require treatment from an oral surgeon.
With so many blood vessels in the mouth, oral injuries are unique. You may notice a lot of bleeding, and this is normal. To a parent of an upset child or teen, that can look pretty scary, but the best way to handle an orthodontic emergency is to stay calm and assess the situation with clarity.
Damage to Soft Tissue
If your child or teen has soft tissue damage, it’s usually because their brackets got caught up in the soft parts of their mouths, like their lips or cheeks. Although there may be a lot of bleeding that makes this type of injury look worse than it is, soft tissue injuries are the mildest orthodontic emergencies — and the most common.
Assess the situation by gently pulling the brackets from the lips or cheek. Most soft tissue injuries heal on their own, but if the cut is big enough that the edges don’t meet, you may need to take your child to the emergency room or to see an oral surgeon.
Shifted, Broken, or Lost Teeth
Sometimes, sports injuries can cause your child’s teeth to shift along with their braces. While this may seem alarming, don’t panic. Acting quickly and calmly is the best way to save the tooth.
If one or more of your child’s teeth shift or fall out due to a sports-related injury, take them to the emergency room immediately. Second, contact Dr. Bigman so that he can coordinate a way to fix your child’s orthodontic appliance, as well.
How To Prevent Sports Injuries
As an orthodontist, Dr. Bigman wants to help you prevent orthodontic injuries altogether. There are two major ways to protect your oral health on the field.
Mouthguards are oral appliances designed to protect your teeth while engaging in physical activity. By covering the teeth, mouthguards prevent injury to your lips, gums, and jaw in case of contact. The best mouthguards are molded to fit your unique smile.
General sports or over-the-counter mouthguards are great for athletes who don’t have braces. Loose mouthguards don’t protect the brackets as well as form-fitting mouthguards. Sports mouthguards aren’t made to mold over your brackets and wires, so they don’t provide that seamless protection you need when engaging in physical activity, especially contact sports.
Similarly, over-the-counter mouthguards don’t fit your braces. Moreover, these mouthguards are designed to help prevent grinding your teeth when you sleep, not protecting against orthodontic injuries.
Dr. Bigman recommends an orthodontic mouthguard. Our team can create a customized mold that fits perfectly over your brackets and wires so you can feel comfortable on the field or in the gym. Orthodontic mouthguards are more durable, reliable, and practical than over-the-counter alternatives. Although wearing any mouthguard is better than not wearing one at all, it’s essential to invest in protecting your smile — after all, it’s the only smile you have!
Orthodontic Treatment Plans
If you’re an athlete considering orthodontic treatment, talk with Dr. Bigman about your concerns so that together, we can find the right treatment method for you. With several orthodontic options that work for patients of all ages, we can design a treatment plan that works for your individual needs.
Our Invisalign clear aligner trays are a removable treatment option that straightens your smile without the brackets and wires of traditional metal braces. You can remove them for two hours per day, so you can practice your favorite sport without worrying about orthodontic emergencies! With Invisalign’s SmartTrack material, this treatment plan is a comfortable and discreet option for patients with mild to moderate orthodontic issues.
Clear or Metal Braces
At Bigman Orthodontics, we offer traditional clear and metal braces to shift your teeth in line. With a system of brackets and wires, this treatment option is an excellent fit for patients with moderate to severe orthodontic conditions. Just be sure to pair this option with an orthodontic mouthguard!
Visit Bigman Orthodontics
Sports safety with braces is an essential skill to learn to prevent orthodontic emergencies. With the right team behind you, you can learn those skills and stay on the field without a hitch!
If you’re considering orthodontic treatment, you’ve come to the right place. Our team of experts is here to help. Get started today by scheduling your free consultation at our San Ramon office! We can’t wait to meet you.