Imagine you’re playing in the national championship football game. Everyone is cheering in the stands and you’re feeling the glory.

You turn to look at the crowd for one second, and you see their faces shift from excitement to horror. You turn back to the game and see the football hurtling toward your face. Yikes! Are you wearing a mouthguard?

Hopefully you are, because sports players who wear mouthguards are about 82% to 93% less likely to suffer dentofacial (facial bone and jaw) injuries than sports players who don’t wear a mouthguard (ADA).

So the importance of wearing a mouthguard is inarguable—but how do you know which type of mouthguard to choose? Can you wear a mouthguard with braces?

Here’s what you need to know about wearing a mouthguard for a successful football season.

Can you wear a mouthguard with braces or Invisalign®?

Yes you can! In fact, it’s essential that you wear a mouthguard whether you have braces or Invisalign, or no treatment at all. Mouthguards aren’t just for orthodontic treatment.

Most sports have at least some risk of injury, like collisions or impacts to the mouth that may be forceful enough to knock a tooth out. Football is one of the riskiest sports when it comes to your teeth. Taking a high-speed ball to the face, colliding with another player or falling on the ground can leave you clutching your mouth, hoping all of your teeth are still intact.

Wearing an orthodontic mouthguard during practices and games can prevent some serious damage! Did you know we provide a sports mouthguard as a part of your orthodontic treatment cost?

How to mold a mouthguard with braces

There are different types of mouthguards, including stock mouthguards, boil-and-bite mouthguards, and custom-fitted mouthguards.

Stock Mouthguards
Stock mouthguards are one-size-fits-all mouthguards that are relatively easy to put in place and take out, but these are generally bulkier and are the least protective type of mouthguard. This type of mouthguard can’t be fitted to your smile, so to wear one, you simply pop it in place.

Boil-and-Bite Mouthguards
A boil-and-bite mouthguard can be molded to fit your teeth. These mouthguards are made of thermoplastic material that softens when it’s warmed in boiling water. Soak your mouthguard in boiling water for about 30 seconds. It’s important that you don’t soak it for longer than a minute when you have braces, because you want the mouthguard to mold to your teeth, not mold to every bracket.

You can then lay the mouthguard on a towel to try, then place it in your mouth and bite into it for about 20 seconds. Once it’s molded, place the mouthguard in ice water for about a minute or two. Voila! Your boil-and-bite mouthguard is molded to your smile.

Custom-Fitted Mouthguards
Custom-fitted mouthguards are the most comfortable mouthguard, and the most expensive. These ones are custom-made to fit your exact smile. Custom mouthguards can be created in-store with some companies, or created through mail with your own smile impression kit with other companies.

Because your custom mouthguard is custom-designed for your smile, once it’s created, it’ll be a perfect fit. You don’t have to mold it further.

How to Wear a Mouthguard with Braces or Invisalign

Wearing a mouthguard properly with braces or Invisalign means wearing it every time you play, whether it’s a practice or a game. Don’t let your mouthguard collect dust on your nightstand or build bacteria in your sports bag. You’ll regret not wearing your retainer if you experience an unfortunate collision!

If you have braces, you’ll place your mouthguard in before you start playing.

  • Rinse your mouthguard out after your game or practice.
  • Clean it or soak it in a cleaning solution.
  • Clean your case too, then wait until your case and mouthguard air dry.
  • Store your mouthguard in its case, back in your cabinet or drawer until your next practice.

If you have Invisalign®,

  • Remove your clear aligners before your game or practice, rinse them out and place them in your Invisalign carrying case.
  • Place your mouthguard in your mouth and score some touchdowns.
  • When you’re done, rinse your mouthguard out, clean it, and place it back in your case.
  • Clean your clear aligners, pop them back in your mouth and continue transforming your smile!

Which mouthguard is right for me?

When you visit us for your complimentary consultation, we’ll help you make the best decision for your smile. We include a sports mouthguard in your treatment costs, because we want you to experience the best possible results from your orthodontic treatment.

Still have questions about orthodontic mouthguards?

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

If you’re looking for a top orthodontist in Las Vegas, we’d love to meet you! Request a complimentary exam for you or your child today.