When it comes to braces for teens in Broomfield, there is no need to avoid playing sports or being active! Students simply need to take a few extra precautionary measures for safety while being active. Getting braces is an adjustment, but a well-worth-it investment for dental health. Use these tips for navigating through student activities and sports when adjusting to new braces.
Taking Proper Care of Braces
After getting braces, it is imperative that children and teens get accustomed to a proper care routine from day one. By practicing good habits, there will be few issues while wearing them and once they are off. Some best practices for caring for braces include:
- Brush, brush brush: Food and other particles can get wedged into places more easily with braces. To remove it, those with braces should brush their teeth after every meal. At minimum, brushing twice a day will work, but after each meal is optimal. Is a disposable toothbrush with toothpaste a good travel choice? Definitely! Students may not be able to control every situation, so having a disposable toothbrush in a backpack is a great way to easily care for teeth without having to carry a primary toothbrush around. They’re especially easy to toss in a gym bag.
- Invest in electric toothbrush: When it comes to removing the particles and debris around brackets and the gum line, an electric toothbrush is ideal. It will break apart and blast away particles and plaque for a great smile.
- Floss daily: In addition to routine brushing, flossing is equally important. To make flossing easier, wearers can use a floss threader. This will assist with getting the floss around the wires.
- Keep all orthodontic appointments: To ensure progress is being made and to address any issues, students should make all of their scheduled orthodontic appointments.
As a student adjusts to new braces, your orthodontist will be able to give tips and advice on how to care for braces for teens
Avoid Injury and Damage with a Mouthguard
Many students that get braces wonder, “Can I still play the sports I used to?” Of course! While a child will need to make some lifestyle changes and adjustments as they work through their progress, by no means do they need to stop being active because of braces.
The key to safety? A mouthguard. You can speak with your orthodontist to learn about your best options. Today, mouthguards are not bulky and uncomfortable. They can be stored in a small container, making it easy to put in and take out between practices and games.
When a student uses a special orthodontic mouthguard, it accommodates the mouth and gums for comfort. It provides a soft barrier between the gums and braces so if something makes an impact, the gums will not be cut by the braces.
Why an Orthodontic Mouthguard?
You may be wondering, “Can my child use a standard mouthguard for sports? Do I have to get a special one?” Yes—you should speak with your orthodontist about a mouthguard for braces. Studies have shown that students are 50 percent more likely to sustain an injury when an orthodontic mouthguard is not worn. These injuries can become extensive, not only to the gums, but to the jaw.
When it comes to the type of sport, ideally one should be worn for all. There is a common misconception that a mouthguard only needs to be worn for contact sports. Mouthguards will definitely help reduce or eliminate contact-sport injuries, but also any other accidents during cycling, track and field, and more.
Traditional mouthguards are not formed in the same way. While it may look larger, which can lead to the assumption it is better, that’s not the case. Traditional mouthguards do not have the specs needed, which in the case of an impact, can lead to injury. Or, they could catch on the braces or damage them—leading to a costly fix.
The great thing about working with your local orthodontist on a solution is you will find the best guard for the job. They will help you find an affordable option that will keep a student-athlete safe.
Mouthguard Care Tips
Just as brushing teeth and flossing daily is important, children need to take proper care of their orthodontic mouthguards. When they are not routinely cleaned or cared for, they can become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. From there, it can cause infections and illnesses that will take a student off the playing field and even out of the classroom.
To keep a mouthguard clean:
- Use a separate toothbrush with hard bristles (different than the one used daily), and brush the mouthguard daily with toothpaste.
- After wearing the mouthguard, rinse it with warm water.
- Do a more thorough cleaning on a weekly basis. To do this, you can also use a mild liquid dish detergent too and brush. Or, purchase a denture cleaner and drop it in a glass or bowl filled with water. Leave the mouthguard in the container until the cleaner has completely dissolved.
- Make sure the mouthguard is completely dry before putting back into its storage container.
- Wash the mouthguard case each week with a mild dish detergent.
- Take the mouthguard to routine orthodontic appointments. The orthodontist can inspect the mouthguard for any issues and provide tips and guidance for wear. They will be able to guide you on when it needs to be replaced.
- Do not leave the mouthguard out in hot places as it can warp or damage it.
To help children and teens adjust to new braces, Prentice Orthodontics will be there every step of the way. Our team of dedicated staff will ensure all of your questions are answered. Proper care is key, and we will ensure families are equipped with the items and knowledge for success. Our Broomfield office specializes in Phase I and Phase II treatment, adult braces, retention, and Invisalign—making us your go-to for the whole family. Schedule your appointment or contact us with questions at 303-468-7722.