Playing It Safe: Sports Safety Tips for Orthodontic Patients

While we love hearing our patients tell us about their school games, we love seeing them wear their custom mouthguards even more! Since we would never dream of telling our patients to stop playing sports, we provide them with the proper precautions to avoid common sports injuries and orthodontic emergencies. At Orthodontics of South Miami, we want to ensure that your kids protect their oral health at all their games this season. We’ve created a brief sports guide for parents to help maintain their kids’ smiles.

Sports-Related Orthodontic Emergencies

Over the years, Dr. Greg Ross and Dr. Len Rothenberg have helped countless patients with minor and more severe sports-related oral injuries. These are three of the most common orthodontic emergencies that occur during sports:

Broken Brackets and Wires

Wires and brackets can come loose and poke into the cheeks or gums, causing cuts or sores. If this happens, you can try to push the wire back into place with a pencil eraser or cotton swab. However, call our office immediately if you can’t fix it yourself. Dr. Ross or Dr. Rothenberg will help you repair your orthodontic appliance safely.

Loose Bands

Bands are attached to the back molars and act as anchors for the wire. If a band comes loose, call our office immediately. If the exposed wire is rubbing against your gum and bothering you, place a piece of wax over it until your appointment.

Shifted, Loose, or Fractured teeth

During contact sports, your kid’s teeth can be chipped or fractured if hit by a hard object, such as a ball. If this happens, rinse your mouth with warm water and apply a cold compress to the area to reduce swelling. You may need to go to the emergency room, depending on the injury. Make sure to call our office as soon as possible so that we can help you adjust your orthodontic treatment accordingly.

Soft Tissue Damage

The lips, tongue, and cheeks are all susceptible to injury during sports, especially if your child has braces or aligners. If your child experiences bleeding inside their mouth, rinse the area with warm water and apply a cold compress. No need to stress—it’s often not as bad as it looks. Call our office if you have any concerns or if it seems like the orthodontic appliance has been damaged or shifted. However, if the cut is deep, you may have to take your child to the emergency room.

Preventing Sports-Related Orthodontic Emergencies

The best way to avoid orthodontic emergencies is to wear a mouthguard during sports. At Orthodontics of South Miami, we provide our athletic patients with mouthguards to help protect their teeth, lips, cheeks, and gums from injury. They may also reduce the risk of concussions by absorbing impact. However, not all mouthguards are made the same! There are three main types:

Stock Mouthguards

You can find these at most sporting goods stores. They’re the least expensive option but also the least comfortable and generally don’t fit well.

Over-the-Counter Mouthguards

These are made of a moldable material that you soften in boiling water and then bite into so that it takes the shape of your teeth. They’re a step up from stock mouthguards in terms of comfort and fit, but they still do not provide the best protection.

Custom-Made Mouthguards

These personalized mouthguards can’t be found in stores and are specially made by your orthodontist to fit your mouth perfectly. Most importantly, they offer the best protection and are the most comfortable for extended wear. 

Dr. Ross and Dr. Rothenberg are passionate about protecting their patients’ smiles—especially the more active ones! That’s why they take extra care to make tailored mouthguards for all their athletic patients to ensure that their orthodontics remain protected, no matter how wild the game gets.

Playing It Safe: Sports Safety Tips for Orthodontic Patients

Support Your Young Athletes’ Smiles at Orthodontics of South Miami

If you or your child plays contact sports, such as football, hockey, or lacrosse, we recommend wearing a custom-fit mouthguard. These mouthguards are made from impressions of your teeth and fit snugly over the braces. At Orthodontics of South Miami, we strongly suggest investing in customized mouthguards, as they offer the best protection and are much more comfortable than store-bought mouthguards.

Schedule a free consultation with Dr. Ross or Dr. Rothenberg today to get a customized mouthguard that keeps your kids safe during school games. No matter what happens on the field, we’ll be here to support you!