Soccer mom, football dad, baseball parents; you are the ones who sit in the hot sun, huddle under umbrellas in the rain, and cheer on your kids in whatever they do. You are their biggest fans, and on-call nurses. But freeing a lip from a brace is never a fun task for a parent, and can be painful for your kid. While orthodontics has come a long way in adjusting to those with active lifestyles, there are still a few precautions to be taken for kids with a more high-energy lifestyle. While having braces shouldn’t prohibit them from playing with friends, exploring the outdoors, or being active, we have a few tips for kids who participate in sports.
Orthodontic Mouth Guards
Think about the type of case you put on your smart phone, each person’s case suits their lifestyle. The bulky Otter box case is for active (or sometimes just accident-prone) people; mouth guards are the Otter box for your child’s smile. You and your child are working hard with us to ensure that when it is time to remove the braces, your kid’s smile is it’s best. Using a mouth guard is a great way to protect those precious teeth. These mouth guards are different than regular mouth guards, and not only protect teeth from impact, but provide a buffer between your inner lip and the metallic brackets. Unlike regular mouth guards, they do not fit as snug to the teeth, so if a lip gets hit, the brackets won’t get stuck in the guard (trust us, it happens!) It is also important to use an orthodontic guard as opposed to a traditional one because your child’s teeth will be moving and changing on a regular basis. Traditional mouth guards are made to be form fitting and cannot adjust as your child’s teeth move. These guards are perfect for high-impact sports like football, basketball, soccer, and wrestling.
This is a secondary method of protecting your child’s soft gums from the metal brackets. A great option for afternoons at the park playing catch, running around, and just letting your kid be a kid. The great thing about dental wax is you can keep extra in the car, put it in your child’s backpack, and keep it on hand. Parents develop a sixth sense for accidents. When you take your child to the park and your parental senses start tingling, add the wax. Dental wax is safe if accidentally swallowed, easy to remove and apply, and creates a smooth buffer over the brackets that is almost invisible. Your child’s friends may not even notice the wax has been applied!
Having braces doesn’t have to keep your child from doing what they love. If you have questions on if getting an orthodontic guard is right for your child, be sure to schedule a visit to go over the details of what kind of sports your child participates in, and we can find the right fit.