Mouthguards for orthodontic patients
Mouthguards are always recommended for any contact sport where injuries are common. They dramatically reduce how often dental trauma occurs and also reduce concussions and fractures. This is even more important with braces in place, because there is metal in the mouth that can easily get stuck in the cheeks and lips if you are hit in the face.
Choosing a mouthguard with braces can be tough because it needs to adapt around the braces, without getting caught in the braces, and also be able to adjust as the teeth move. Here are our top recommendations for mouthguards with braces – we can help fit them at our office if needed!
- Shock Doctor for braces: Silicone mouthguards with a groove that fits around the braces so they stay in place better than some other options, but they are a little thicker than other mouthguards you may have worn previously. Shock Doctor mouthguards do not need to be heated and are available in two sizes: youth and adult. The adult size typically fits best for most adolescent patients. Available in single or double arch, strapped or strapless. Shock Doctor mouthguards are great for sports like football, wrestling, and hockey.
- Semi-custom mouthguards: Similar to a typical boil-and-bite mouthguard, except they have a unique material on the front around the braces that does NOT soften with heat so it won’t lock into your braces. Our semi-custom mouthguards typically adapt better to the teeth and have a thinner material than the Shock Doctor mouthguards so it is easier to talk with them in, but can have a looser fit and more easily fall out while using it. These mouthguards are popular for sports like basketball and soccer.
- Sisu mouthguards: Fit is thinner and closer around the teeth, making it easier to talk with them in place when compared to thicker mouthguards. You need to be very careful when fitting Sisu mouthguards so the braces don’t get locked into the mouthguard. Aluminum foil or wax needs to be placed over the braces to avoid this issue. This is a popular choice for sports like basketball and soccer, when you need to talk more frequently. A mouthguard strap is not an option for Sisu mouthguards.
Notice we did NOT include standard boil-and-bite mouthguards on this list – the braces can get stuck in the mouthguard if heated too much and then the mouthguard may not come out!
It’s also worth quickly touching on mouthguard options for patients with Invisalign since we have many patients using aligners too. You can wear traditional mouthguards if you have Invisalign. Although Invisalign looks just like a thin mouthguard, it is NOT thick enough to prevent trauma the same way a full thickness mouthguard would, so we definitely recommend a separate mouthguard.
If you have any further questions about mouthguards, feel free to call our office at 715-514-3333!