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“Can I still play my favorite sport when I have braces”?  We get asked this question a lot!  At Gulland Orthodontics we feel braces help you play your favorite sport even better! But that is a theory we are still working to prove. Let us know what you think!

In reality, you can play any sport while wearing braces. However, it is important to protect your face and your teeth, on and off the field.

Most athletes pay attention to what they eat and their workout routines. But taking care of your teeth every single day is important too. Proper brushing and flossing, a healthy diet, and seeing your family dentist on a regular basis are important. You don’t want to be sidelined because you are visiting the dentist for a cavity or other unplanned dental procedure.

Practice makes perfect when you’re mastering the skills of any sport, so do the same with your daily dental habits. An unhealthy tooth (one with decay or fillings) is not as strong as a healthy tooth. Therefore, it is likely to be damaged if a sports injury happens.  Brush at least twice a day, floss once a day and limit sugary food and drinks.

Packing for practice or a game?  Helmet? Check!  Glove? Check! Knee pads? Check!  What are you missing? A MOUTHGUARD!  Mouthguards usually cover your upper teeth and protect your teeth, lips, tongue, face and jaw against injuries, so they need to be part of your uniform. The best kind to use during orthodontic treatment are called “boil and bite” mouth guards. The advantage of this type is as your teeth move during treatment, you can re-heat and re-form your mouthguard.  Boil and bite mouthguards can generally be found at sporting goods stores or the sporting department of major retailers.

Wearing a mouthguard regularly becomes second nature.  At first it may seem somewhat cumbersome to wear one. By sticking with it, soon it will naturally become part of your uniform, and you will feel uncomfortable without one.  In fact, many sports won’t let you play without a mouthguard – for good reason!

It is also important for athletes to avoid sugary drinks. If you need to quench your thirst, reach for water instead of a sports drink. The bacteria in your mouth will use the sugar from your sports drink to produce an acid that weakens the enamel (or hard outer shell of your teeth). Enamel does not grow back.  Weakened enamel puts you at greater risk for cavities over time. Even the “sugar-free” varieties of sports drinks may contain acids that can damage teeth.