Orthodontists recommend that children have their first visit with an orthodontist by the age of seven. Early treatment for corrections is highly successful. While most kids are not likely to be fitted for braces at the age of seven, seeing an orthodontist at this age is so a treatment plan can be designed, which is essential. Many parents worry that if their kids have braces they will not be able to play sports. Let’s dispel that myth right now. Kids can wear braces and play sports according to the experts.
The One Caveat of Wearing Braces and Playing Sports
There are some precautions that all orthodontists recommend for any child that wears braces and wants to play sports. Extra caution has to be taken to protect the mouth from trauma. Metal wire braces can cause injury to the lips, gums, and cheeks from blunt force trauma to the mouth.
Every child that wears braces and wants to play sports should be outfitted with a custom mouth guard from the orthodontist. The custom mouth guard is necessary to fit over the teeth and braces comfortably.
How Does a Mouth Guard Protect?
Mouth guards are simple devices that slip over the upper teeth. They are essentially shock absorbers for the mouth. Mouth guards cushion any blow to the mouth that might occur and protect the lips, tongue, cheeks, gums, and teeth.
According to both general dentists and orthodontists, every child, whether they wear braces or not, should use this type of protection when playing sports. In the case of those who wear braces, mouth guards become exceptionally important for mouth protection.
For All Sports
Mouth guards are often associated with full contact sports like football. However, if your child is wearing braces, they should wear the mouth guard provided by the orthodontist in every type of sport. For example, tennis is not considered a contact sport, but if your child wears braces and plays tennis, they should have a mouth guard anyway.
Even in low contact sports like tennis there is always a risk of getting hit in the mouth accidentally by a flying ball or racket. Soccer players, basketball players, tennis players, baseball players, and of course, football players, should all be outfitted and wear a mouth guard.
Yes, it is safe for a child to participate in sports while they are being treated with braces, but they should always protect their mouth from injuries by using a mouth guard. Call us today to learn more about the ins and out of braces for your child or to schedule a free custom mouth guard fitting!