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Orthodontics and Sports: Mouthguards and Safety Tips

Engaging in sports activities is exhilarating, beneficial for health, and often vital for building character. But when orthodontic appliances come into the picture, navigating the sporting world requires a bit more preparation. Whether you’ve chosen Invisalign, Traditional Metal or Clear Braces, or any other orthodontic service, safety during sports becomes paramount. This blog aims to equip you with essential tips and information about mouthguards and how to ensure your orthodontic journey isn’t hindered by your athletic pursuits.

The Role of Mouthguards in Sports

Mouthguards are protective devices that shield the teeth and gums from trauma during sports. They cushion blows that might cause broken teeth, injuries to the lips and tongue, and even jaw fractures. For those undergoing orthodontic treatment, mouthguards offer an added layer of protection, preventing damage to braces and reducing the risk of soft tissue injuries.

Types of Mouthguards

  1. Stock Mouth Protectors: Ready-made and can be purchased at sports stores. They are the least expensive but also the least effective as they can be bulky and may not provide a good fit.
  2. Boil and Bite Mouth Protectors: These can be molded to fit one’s mouth by softening in hot water and then biting into them. Available at many sporting goods stores, they offer a better fit than stock variants.
  3. Custom-Fitted Mouth Protectors: Crafted specifically for your mouth, they provide the best protection, fit, and comfort. Dr. Karmen Massih at Massih Orthodontics can guide you on obtaining one tailored to your needs.

For Invisalign Users

Those using Invisalign aligners have an advantage in sports. The aligners themselves act as a protective layer. However, for contact sports, it’s still advisable to wear a mouthguard. Always remove the aligners when wearing a mouthguard and replace them afterward.

Safety Tips for Athletes with Orthodontics

  1. Regular Check-ups: Regular visits to Massih Orthodontics will ensure your orthodontic appliances are in optimal condition and can withstand the rigors of sports.
  2. Emergency Kit: Always have an orthodontic emergency kit on hand. This should include orthodontic wax, a small mirror, and mouthwash. The wax can be applied to any part of the braces causing discomfort.
  3. Know the Risks: Understand the risks involved in your specific sport. Contact sports have a higher risk of causing injury to orthodontic patients.
  4. Follow Instructions: Always adhere to the guidance and recommendations provided by Dr. Karmen Massih regarding sports and activities.

When Injuries Occur

Even with all the precautions, injuries can happen. If you experience a direct injury to your mouth or braces:

  1. Check for damages to your braces or appliances.
  2. Rinse your mouth with cold water or a saltwater solution.
  3. If there’s significant pain or if you notice any damage, schedule an appointment with Massih Orthodontics as soon as possible.

Gear Up for the Game with Confidence

Playing sports while undergoing orthodontic treatment doesn’t have to be a daunting endeavor. With the right protective gear, regular check-ups, and adherence to safety guidelines, you can continue to enjoy your favorite activities without compromise.

If you’re an athlete in Glendale, CA, looking to start your orthodontic journey or if you have concerns about your current orthodontic appliances and sports participation, Massih Orthodontics is here to guide you. Equip yourself with knowledge and protection. Call us today at 818-507-1515 to schedule a consultation.


  1. American Association of Orthodontists: “Sports Safety & Orthodontics.”
  2. American Dental Association: “Mouthguards: Protection against dental injuries.”
  3. Journal of the American Dental Association: “The importance of mouthguards in sports safety.”
Dr. Karmen Massih Inspired by orthodontics at the age of 10, Dr. Karmen Massih earned her Doctor of Dental Medicine at UCLA's School of Dentistry. After earning her certificates in orthodontics at the University of Pittsburgh, she returned to her hometown of Glendale, CA, to begin Massih Orthodontics, a practice dedicated to transforming smiles for people of all ages.