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A common question we receive at Broadbeach Orthodontics is whether children and adolescents can participate in contact sports while undergoing orthodontic treatment. The answer is yes, you can still enjoy your favourite sports while wearing braces. However, there are important guidelines to follow to protect your teeth and braces.

As National School Sports Week is from June 24th to 28th, it’s the perfect time to share some essential advice.

Understanding the Risks

Did you know that 25% of children in Australia will injure or lose a front tooth at some point? Furthermore, up to 39% of all dental injuries are sports-related. Contact sports pose a significant risk to your teeth because physical impact, such as a knock or fall, can damage the mouth area. This risk is heightened when wearing fixed braces, as they can become damaged or cause injury to the teeth.

How to Protect Your Teeth and Braces While Playing Sports

The Australian Dental Association (ADA) strongly recommends that anyone undergoing fixed braces treatment wears a mouthguard during contact sports like rugby, football, basketball, and hockey. Many dentists and orthodontists advocate for mandatory mouthguard use for all school children and club players. Research shows that wearing a mouthguard can significantly reduce the risk of dental injury.

Mouthguards offer essential protection by absorbing impact and reducing resistance to abrasion. Orthodontic-specific mouthguards and custom-made mouthguards are ideal for those with braces. Orthodontic mouthguards can be remoulded as teeth move, while custom-made options provide a precise fit over your teeth.

‘No Mouthguard, No Play’

The Australian Dental Association and Sports Medicine Australia have a Mouthguard Policy for sports clubs to implement a ‘no mouthguard, no play’ policy. All Australian sports clubs are encouraged to sign up and make wearing mouthguards mandatory for their players.

Tips for Using a Mouthguard

  1. Ensure a Proper Fit:
    • The mouthguard should fit comfortably over your teeth and cover all vulnerable areas.
    • Replace it if it becomes damaged or uncomfortable.
  2. Maintenance Tips:
    • Rinse in cold water or mouthwash before and after use.
    • Occasionally wash with cool soapy water and rinse thoroughly.
    • Store in a firm, perforated container when not in use.
    • Keep away from high temperatures and direct sunlight.

What to Do in an Emergency

If you experience a knock or blow during sports and suspect damage to your teeth or braces, contact us at Broadbeach Orthodontics or your dentist immediately.

By following these guidelines, you can safely enjoy sports while ensuring your orthodontic treatment stays on track. For more information or to discuss your specific needs, feel free to reach out to us.

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