football player wears mouthguard with braces

Football Players — Don’t Forget Your Mouthguard this Season!

It’s that time of year again — Go Bulldogs! If you’re a football player yourself, football season means something a little different to you. It’s time for you to get back out on the field and score some touchdowns.

For football players undergoing orthodontic treatment with braces, Invisalign®, or our very own SO clear aligners, does football season mean you’ll have to sit on the sidelines until the end of your treatment? Can you even wear a mouthguard with braces?

Let’s dive in:

  • Are mouth guards necessary?
  • Can you wear a mouthguard with braces or Invisalign®?
  • How do you mold a mouthguard?
  • When should you wear a mouthguard?

Do I have to wear a mouthguard?

Imagine you’re in football practice. You’re running along the sideline to catch the football hurtling toward you. You turn around to make sure your path is still clear and BAM — you collide with another player’s shoulder.

It’s possible that this direct shoulder-bone-to-face collision leaves you clutching your mouth, hoping none of your teeth fell out. Anything can happen in football! That’s why it’s important to be prepared.

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.

Mouthguards are essential for protecting your smile, protecting your braces, and protecting other players from damage when you’re practicing and playing in games. Wearing one can save you an emergency visit to our office, or even worse, a visit to the emergency room.

If you need a mouthguard, please reach out to us and let us know. We can create custom mouthguards for our patients who have completed orthodontic treatment!

Can you wear a mouthguard with braces or clear aligners?

Yes you can, and you must! Wearing an orthodontic mouthguard during football practices and games can prevent some serious damage.

A mouthguard 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 during such a high-impact sport.

While a custom mouthguard offers the best protection and we recommend a custom mouthguard for patients who have completed orthodontic treatment, a stock mouthguard (one-size-fits-all) is best for patients undergoing orthodontic treatment. During braces and Invisalign treatment, the teeth are constantly shifting. Therefore, a boil and bite mouthguard or a custom mouthguard would not fit for long. So we recommend a stock mouthguard. We will provide a stock mouthguard for our patients who request one free of charge.

Braces patients will wear a stock mouthguard over their braces during play. Invisalign patients should wear their aligners with the mouthguard over the aligners. The aligners themselves offer some protection.

If you have braces,

  • Place your mouthguard in carefully over your braces before you start playing.
  • Rinse your mouthguard out after your game or practice.
  • Clean it or soak it in a cleaning solution.
  • Clean your case too, then wait for your case and mouthguard to air dry.
  • Store your mouthguard in its case, back in your cabinet or drawer until your next practice.

If you have Invisalign® or SO Clear Aligners,

  • Keep your clear aligners in during your game or practice.
  • Place your mouthguard in your mouth over the aligners – and score some touchdowns!
  • When you’re done, rinse your mouthguard out, clean it, and place it back in your case.

Don’t neglect your mouthguard and let it collect dust on your nightstand or build bacteria in your sports bag! You’ll never 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
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.

Boil-and-Bite Mouthguards
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.

Custom-Fitted Mouthguards
Custom-fitted mouthguards are the most comfortable mouthguard, and the easiest to fit. These are custom-made to fit your exact smile, so once it’s created, it’ll be a perfect fit. No molding necessary. Our custom-made mouthguards are made in our in-house lab and printed on one of our 3D printers.

Ask us about creating your custom mouthguard!

When should I 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.

Still have questions about wearing a mouthguard?

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions! We love to hear from you. We’re here to guide you through your treatment process, throughout every practice and every game!

If you’re looking for a top orthodontist in Warner Robins or Macon, we’d love to meet you! Request a complimentary exam for you or your child today.