Tips for Playing Sports with Braces

Find Confidence in Your Smile


Leading active lives is a way of life for many people, and sports often plays a big part in maintaining health and fitness. The ugly side of sports is that more than 3,000,000 teeth are knocked out during sporting events every year.

This statistic may alarm you if you’re considering getting braces! You may be wondering, “can I play football with braces?” “Am I risking damage to my teeth if I play sports with braces?”

Fortunately, we have tips and options to help you achieve a beautiful smile without banning you from the sports field.
Tip 1: You can protect your braces and your teeth with a braces mouthguard while playing sports!

Use a Mouthguard While Playing Sports

There are very few sports you can enjoy where there isn’t at least some risk that your mouth will incur impact from an elbow, or your face will have an unfortunate encounter with the ground, hard wooden floor, or concrete. You can’t sit in a padded room while you wait for your smile to transform, but you can protect your teeth against knocks to the mouth.

All orthodontic professionals would agree that wearing a mouthguard during sports is essential, even if you don’t have braces.

We recommend a mouthguard for all of the following high-impact sports:

  • Basketball
  • Football
  • Gymnastics
  • Martial arts
  • Skateboarding
  • Skiing
  • Soccer
  • Softball

And the list goes on! If there’s any chance you could experience an impact during your favorite sports, wear a mouthguard.

What Does a Mouthguard Do?

Generally, sports are full-contact or partial-contact. Almost any sport where you are running close to other teammates and opponents has some risk of contact.

Damage to your braces caused by a collision with another player, hockey stick, or goal post, can be painful and costly.
You may not be able to prevent an accident, but you can reduce the risk to your braces and teeth by ensuring you wear adequate mouth protection. A mouthguard provides a protective barrier between your mouth and the object or person of impact.

When your braces are damaged, there is also the risk that your mouth could suffer further injury due to cuts and abrasions from broken braces.

So yes, you can play football with braces or any other sport for that matter. However, make sure you protect your teeth and braces with a mouthguard.

If you weren’t wearing a mouthguard during heavy contact sports before braces, we highly recommend that you continue wearing a mouthguard even after your braces are removed. After all, you’ve made a significant investment in your new smile, so it’s important to protect it.

Tips for Using a Braces Mouthguard for Sports

Children, teens and adults can have a braces mouthguard, custom-designed to fit their unique smile.

Choosing the Right Type of Braces Mouthguard

Cheap mouthguards that are pre-molded rarely fit snugly and tend to be uncomfortable.

You can purchase generic mouthguards referred to as boil and bite mouthguards. These are boiled in water to make them moldable. The patient then needs to bite down on the mouthguard to shape it to the mouth. They create a slightly better fit, but it’s not perfect.
Custom-fitted mouthguard braces are a little more expensive, but they are by far the most comfortable option.

Caring for a Braces Mouthguard

There’s nothing complicated about caring for a braces mouthguard. After every match, clean the mouthguard with warm water and a little soap. If the mouthguard is for a child, you can keep it safe by using a lanyard to attach the storage case to a helmet or other piece of equipment.

When getting braces for you or your child, it’s good to know that braces won’t stop you from pursuing an active lifestyle or prevent you from playing sports where collisions are a regular occurrence. You have invested a lot in your braces, so it is critical you protect your new smile while playing sports.

Still have questions about playing football with braces?

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions! We love to hear from you. We’re here to guide you through your treatment process, from your very first visit, to your last appointment.

If you’re still nervous about playing sports with braces, Invisalign® may be a better option for you!

If you’re looking for a top orthodontist in Royal Palm Beach, Lake Worth, West Boca Raton, East Boca Raton, Coconut Creek, and Pembroke Pines we’d love to meet you! Request a complimentary exam for you or your child today.