How To Fit A Mouthguard With Braces

How To Fit A Mouthguard With Braces

How To Fit A Mouthguard With Braces

Wearing braces is a common orthodontic treatment that can help straighten and align teeth for a beautiful smile. However, it is crucial to protect your braces during physical activities, especially those that involve contact or impact to the face and mouth. This is where a mouthguard comes in handy. A mouthguard acts as a protective barrier between your braces, teeth, and soft tissues, reducing the risk of injuries. But fitting a mouthguard with braces can be a bit tricky. In this article, we will guide you through the steps of fitting a mouthguard with braces to ensure maximum protection and comfort.


1. Why is a mouthguard important with braces?

2. Types of mouthguards

3. Getting the right mouthguard

4. Fitting a mouthguard with braces

5. Tips for wearing a mouthguard with braces

6. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Why is a mouthguard important with braces?

When you have braces, your teeth and gums may become more vulnerable to injuries during physical activities. The braces themselves can cause cuts and abrasions to the inside of your mouth, and a blow to the face can cause damage to both the braces and your teeth. Wearing a mouthguard provides an extra layer of protection, absorbing the impact and reducing the risk of broken brackets, loosened wires, or even tooth loss.

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A mouthguard also helps protect your lips, cheeks, and tongue from getting cut or bruised by the braces. It acts as a cushion between the braces and your mouth, preventing painful injuries. By wearing a mouthguard, you can continue participating in your favorite sports or activities without worrying about damaging your braces or teeth.

2. Types of mouthguards

There are several types of mouthguards available on the market, but not all of them are suitable for braces. Here are the three main types:

a) Custom-fitted mouthguards:

These mouthguards are made specifically for your mouth by a dental professional. The dentist takes an impression of your teeth, and a mouthguard is created to fit over your braces. Custom-fitted mouthguards offer the best fit and protection, but they are usually the most expensive option.

b) Boil-and-bite mouthguards:

Boil-and-bite mouthguards are readily available at sporting goods stores and pharmacies. They come in a one-size-fits-all design that can be adjusted to fit your teeth and braces. To use these mouthguards, you need to heat them in boiling water and then bite down to mold them to your teeth and braces. This option provides a better fit than generic mouthguards but might require some trial and error to get it right.

c) Stock mouthguards:

Stock mouthguards are the cheapest and most accessible option but are generally the least effective, particularly for braces. These pre-formed mouthguards are ready to wear out of the package, but they do not offer a custom fit. They tend to be bulky and may not cover your braces adequately.

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3. Getting the right mouthguard

Choosing the right mouthguard is crucial to ensure proper protection and comfort. If possible, opt for a custom-fitted mouthguard recommended by your orthodontist or dentist. Custom-fitted mouthguards provide the best fit, as they are specifically designed to accommodate your braces. However, they can be costly, and other options like boil-and-bite mouthguards can also provide adequate protection.

When selecting a mouthguard, consider the following factors:

a) Thickness:

The mouthguard should have enough thickness to provide ample protection while still allowing you to speak and breathe comfortably.

b) Coverage:

The mouthguard should fully cover your braces and extend over your gums. It should also have a protective lip bumper to prevent your lips from getting wedged between the braces and your teeth during impact.

c) Material:

Look for mouthguards made of durable and non-toxic materials. Avoid latex mouthguards if you have a latex allergy.

4. Fitting a mouthguard with braces

Now that you have your mouthguard, it’s time to fit it properly with your braces. Follow these steps:

Step 1: Clean your mouthguard

Before fitting the mouthguard, make sure to thoroughly clean it with mild soap and warm water. Rinse it well to remove any cleaning product residue.

Step 2: Brush your teeth

Brush your teeth and braces, ensuring they are free from any debris. A clean surface will help the mouthguard fit better and reduce bacterial buildup.

Step 3: Soften the mouthguard

If you are using a boil-and-bite mouthguard, follow the instructions provided with the product to soften the mouthguard in boiling water. This step allows the mouthguard to become more pliable and moldable.

Step 4: Position the mouthguard

With clean hands, carefully position the mouthguard over your upper braces. Ensure that it covers your braces fully and extends over your gums. The protective lip bumper should rest comfortably against your lips.

Step 5: Bite down and mold

Bite down gently but firmly on the mouthguard to mold it around your teeth and braces. Use your fingers to press and shape the mouthguard for a better fit. Avoid biting too hard, as it may cause the mouthguard to tear or become uncomfortable.

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Step 6: Check the fit

Once you feel the mouthguard has molded properly, remove it carefully, and let it cool down if needed. Check the fit by putting the mouthguard back in and ensuring it covers your braces adequately, without interfering with your ability to speak or breathe.

5. Tips for wearing a mouthguard with braces

Here are some tips to enhance your experience while wearing a mouthguard with braces:

a) Clean your mouthguard regularly:

After each use, rinse your mouthguard with cool water and clean it with mild soap or mouthguard cleaner. This will help remove bacteria and prevent odors.

b) Avoid food and drinks while wearing your mouthguard:

Eating with a mouthguard can cause damage to the mouthguard and your braces. Remove the mouthguard before eating or drinking anything other than water.

c) Store your mouthguard properly:

Always keep your mouthguard in a clean and ventilated case when not in use. Avoid leaving it exposed to heat or direct sunlight, as it can warp or deform the mouthguard.

d) Be cautious of teeth grinding:

Some individuals with braces may experience teeth grinding while wearing a mouthguard. If you notice this issue, consult your orthodontist, who may recommend a different type of mouthguard or provide an option to protect against grinding.

6. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I use a regular mouthguard with braces?

A: While regular mouthguards may offer some protection, they are not designed to accommodate braces and may not fit properly. It is best to opt for a mouthguard specifically made for use with braces.

Q: Can I play sports without a mouthguard?

A: It is strongly recommended to wear a mouthguard when playing sports, especially when you have braces. The risk of dental injuries increases significantly without proper protection.

Q: How often should I replace my mouthguard?

A: Mouthguards can wear out over time or become damaged. It is generally recommended to replace your mouthguard every six months or as instructed by your dentist or orthodontist.

Q: Can I wear the same mouthguard for different sports?

A: It is best to have separate mouthguards for different sports. Different sports may involve varying levels of impact, and a mouthguard that provides adequate protection for one sport may not be suitable for another.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your mouthguard fits properly and provides optimal protection for your braces while engaging in physical activities. Remember, a well-fitted mouthguard is an investment in your oral health and overall well-being during your orthodontic treatment.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Consult with a dental professional or orthodontist for personalized guidance regarding your specific situation.

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