Fall sports are starting up in St. Louis County schools! As your kids return to the field for football, soccer, field hockey, and other activities, make sure that safety is top priority. Keep in mind that children who wear braces are at higher risk for injuries to the mouth and face. To help protect your kids this season, we’ve outlined some tips for playing sports with braces.
#1 Rule: Wear a Mouthguard!
When it comes to playing sports with braces, a few extra precautions need to be taken. Our #1 safety rule is to always wear a mouthguard. We can’t emphasize this enough. Mouthguards are highly effective in preventing sports-related injuries to the face, mouth, and teeth. Make sure that your kids wear a properly-fitted athletic mouthguards every time they step onto the field.
More Guidelines for Playing Sports with Braces
Here is a longer list of guidelines to help protect your children (and their braces) during athletic activities:
- When in doubt, wear a mouthguard. We said it before and we’ll say it again: Always, always, always wear a mouthguard when playing sports with braces!
- Wear other protective gear as needed. Depending on what sport you play, you may also need to wear a helmet, face guard, safety glasses, or other protective items. If you’re not sure what safety gear you need, ask your orthodontist or pediatrician.
- Play with caution. Make sure that safety is top of mind when you hit the field. Keep your head in the game and pay attention to what’s happening around you. Look out for flying objects, for example.
- Be prepared for emergencies. If you have a minor orthodontic emergency such as a loose bracket, simply contact us. If you’re dealing with a more serious injury, you may need to visit the ER. Have a first-aid kit on hand, and make sure you know where the nearest emergency room is located—just in case.
- Have fun! Even though braces require some extra care and maintenance, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy sports just like everyone else. So put on your mouthguard, get out there, and enjoy yourself.
As a member of the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), Dr. Dougherty urges your kids and their teammates to wear protective gear when playing sports. This includes mouthguards, helmets, face guards, protective eyewear, and other safety gear as needed.