Getting dental braces is a right of passage for many children today. However, while many parents want to protect their investment and keep their children out of sports programs while wearing them; however, this really isn't advised nor necessary.
A child wearing braces can participate in any sport they wish, as long as they follow each of these orthodontist-approved tips.
Wearing an Orthodontic Mouthguard Is Mandatory
All kids playing sports should be wearing a mouthguard to protect their teeth. Children wearing dental braces should as well, but their mouthguards should be a specialized orthodontic mouthguard made of a soft plastic rather than the traditional hard plastic ones available at your local sporting goods store.
Since the braces take up a lot of room in your child's mouth, it is important you get a specialized mouthguard designed for accommodating both teeth and the braces. This type of mouthguard is designed to protect both your child's braces and teeth in the best and most comfortable way possible. Additionally, the soft plastic will not rub on the braces and damage them in the same way a harder plastic will.
Instruct Your Child About the Importance of Staying Mindful of Their Teeth During Play
Before your child ever takes the field, it is important you sit them down and talk about the importance of staying mindful of their teeth and braces as they are playing sports. While you don't want them to be fearful of injury, you do want them to understand it is important to keep their heads in the game and actively think about how they will protect their face and teeth from injuries.
Let Your Child's Coach Know They are Wearing Braces
Since the braces on your child's teeth do pose some additional danger to their mouth when playing sports, it's important their coach is notified of them. Before your child starts playing sports, make sure you pull the coach aside and mention to them that your child has braces on their teeth.
Speak with Your Child's Orthodontist About Emergency Situations
In conclusion, it is important to speak with a children's orthodontist about any emergency situations you might encounter. For example, it is important you know who to call if your child is hit in the face with a ball or in some way damages their braces. Once you have a contingency plan for emergencies, then it is time for your child to have some fun!