Approximately 25% of children in the UK will injure or lose a front tooth at some stage. The risk of tooth damage is increased in fast, physical sports or if moving objects are involved (such as bats and balls). Studies have shown that between 13% and 39% of all dental injuries are sports related. Contact sports are increasingly popular which has resulted in a rise of traumatic dental injuries. We strongly advise our orthodontic patients to wear a mouth guard over their fixed brace. The Rugby Football Union’s website comments that: “In the best interests of players’ safety, we strongly recommend that all players wear a mouthguard during any contact rugby sessions. It has been shown that this significantly reduces the incidence of dental injuries”. Wearing a suitable mouthguard may avoid cuts to the mouth from the brace, damage to the brace and may prevent dental injuries. Fortunately the brace itself gives a lot of support to the teeth so the main function of a mouthguard over a brace is to protect the brace and the mouth.
Your orthodontist will be able to advise on an appropriate mouthguard to suit your needs:
1. Off the shelf orthodontic mouthguards
‘Boil and bite’ mouthguards which are shaped to fit by softening in boiling water and then sucked to mould to the contours of the mouth are not suitable for patients with fixed braces. We do, however, stock special off the shelf ‘ortho-guard’ mouthguards for patients with braces which feature a channel or trough to accommodate the brace and allow for tooth movement. These may be suitable in the early stages of treatment with fixed appliances.
2. Custom-made mouthguards.
Due to the movement of teeth during orthodontic treatment, a tailor-made mouthguard allow space for the teeth to move during treatment. If a great deal of tooth movement takes place, patients may require a new mouthguard.