You might have noticed some of the biggest stars in sports wearing mouth guards or mouthpieces as they dominate their respective games. Athletes such as Stephen Curry, LeBron James, and Tom Brady never play without a mouthguard protecting their teeth from damage. In highly physical sports that involve frequent physical contact, getting hit in the mouth by hands, elbows, or shoulders is a very real possibility.
Millions of people lose teeth every year, and statistics from the Journal of the American Dental Association say that 13-39% of all dental injuries are caused by sports. Basketball was reported as having the highest dental injury rate for young players.
If you know anything about dentistry, you should be aware of how important your teeth are for eating, oral health, and personal beauty. In light of this, you should avoid chipping or losing teeth through participating in athletic activities.
Sports are fun activities and good exercise that keeps you healthy, so the solution to this problem is not to stop playing sports altogether. Instead, you should remember that many dental injuries are easily preventable by wearing protective mouthguards. Statistics show a significant reduction in dental injuries when mouthguards are worn.
If you wear dental braces, you experience some challenges when looking for the right mouthguard. Most athletic mouthguards are designed for people who do not wear braces, so you may have to spend extra money on a custom-made mouthguard that conforms to the shape of your braces. Another solution would be to see if you are a good candidate for Invisalign clear aligners.
For some, there may be a temptation to think wearing Invisalign products is an acceptable substitute for mouth protection. Unfortunately, clear aligners are not built for the high impacts of contact sports, so they can be damaged if you play while wearing them. However, clear aligners still have a significant advantage over traditional braces when it comes to mouth protection.
Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign aligners are easily removable, so you can exchange them for a mouthguard whenever you decide to play full-contact sports. This can help save you money and allow you to play sports more comfortably. You should still keep in mind that Invisalign treatment only works if you keep your aligners in your mouth for 22 hours a day, so if your sports activities interfere with your treatment, you may need to talk to your dentist about the best course of action.