If you’re an athlete, you know it’s essential to stay safe on the field or court. But did you know that your oral health can easily be compromised? Unfortunately, athletes are more likely to suffer from oral injuries than the average person. Throw orthodontic appliances into the picture, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. At Petrunic Orthodontics, we’ve seen the difference that taking precautions, such as custom mouthguards, can make. To give you a better idea, we’ve compiled a guide with tips for preventing orthodontic emergencies in sports.
Wear a mouthguard when playing sports
Dr. Petrunic always recommends that patients wear mouthguards while playing sports. Despite their sturdy appearance, orthodontic appliances can be easily damaged with enough impact during a game. As a result, you may get cuts or minor bleeding inside the mouth where the appliance comes into contact with your soft tissue.
Make sure your mouthguard is custom-fitted to your appliance
Wearing a mouthguard helps protect your orthodontic investment and prevent costly emergencies. Orthodontists can provide a custom-fitted mouthguard to stay in place while you’re active. However, these are not to be confused with the mouthguards you find in sporting goods or drug stores.
While sports and over-the-counter mouthguards offer some protection for the average athlete, customized mouthguards are specially designed to protect your braces or aligners. At Petrunic Orthodontics, we design customized mouthguards for patients of all ages and support many common orthodontic emergencies.
Avoid contact with the face and teeth during games and practices
Whether it’s a lost bracket or a wire poking through the gum, these sports-related issues can occur at any time. That’s why it’s essential to be careful when playing sports or engaging in other activities. Dr. Petrunic advises her orthodontic patients to avoid contact with the face and teeth as much as possible during sports. If an orthodontic emergency does occur, it’s essential to call our office as soon as possible. Proper care can resolve most orthodontic emergencies quickly and without lasting damage.
Common Sports-Related Orthodontic Emergencies
One of the most common orthodontic emergencies, broken brackets, can occur when the face or teeth are impacted during a game. When a bracket breaks, it’s important to call our office as soon as possible. We will need to replace the bracket and make other adjustments to your appliance.
Loose or Missing Ligatures
Your ligatures are the tiny rubber bands that connect the bracket to the wire. If a band comes loose, put it in a plastic bag and call our office. We’ll schedule an appointment to reattach it or get you a new one.
Like bands, wires can also come loose during a game or practice. If a wire comes loose, try to push it back into place with a pencil eraser or Q-tip. If you can’t do this, call our Prattville office to schedule an appointment to fix the wire.
For athletes with orthodontics, the impact of getting hit in the face during a game can often result in mouth sores. If you develop a mouth sore, rinse your mouth with salt water and apply an over-the-counter topical medication. Make sure to call our office if the sore does not improve within a few days. If you notice a very deep cut with severe bleeding, a visit to the hospital may be necessary!
Shifted, Fracture, or Loose Teeth
If you’ve noticed that your teeth have shifted, fractured, or become loose after a game, don’t worry. Most of the time, this can be resolved. Call us to schedule a visit right away. In the case of a severe emergency, Dr. Petrunic will provide you with immediate attention.
Steer Clear of Sports-Related Orthodontic Emergencies With Dr. Petrunic
Orthodontic emergencies can happen anytime, but playing sports dramatically increases the risk. Following these tips and knowing what to do when injuries occur is the best way to prevent severe orthodontic damage and keep your smile healthy and beautiful!
Dr. Petrunic has years of experience treating orthodontic emergencies and provides all her patients with first-class injury recovery. To reduce the risk of oral injury during sports, book a free consultation to get your custom-fitted mouthguard today.