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Metal braces and sports?

Written by Dr. Chaw Su Kyi on September 19, 2014

Will metal braces cut my child's mouth if he plays contact sports?

If you are playing contact sports it is essential to wear a mouthguard. Contact sports include hockey, rugby, boxing or any sport which involves physical contact or moving objects.

A third of dental trauma injuries are from a sport. Teeth can be broken or even completely knocked out. Also, the inside of the mouth and gums can be cut and damaged.


The risk of sporting injuries can be reduced dramatically by wearing mouth guards. A mouthguard is like a rubber-like cover which will fit over your teeth and gums, cushioning them and protecting them from damage.

It is important to wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and mouth from being broken or damaged. A mouthguard will also protect the mouth from being damaged or cut by the braces.

Fitting Mouthguard

A good fitting mouthguard will:
– Provide a high degree of protection
– Will stay in place when worn and be comfortable
– No interference with speaking or breathing

A professionally made mouthguard (custom-fit mouthguard) will offer the highest protection. Your orthodontist will take an accurate impression of your teeth and braces. Your orthodontist is best placed to take the impressions as they need to be very detailed to incorporate the braces. The custom-fitted mouthguard will fit your mouth exactly and protect your teeth and gums properly.

In some cases as the teeth are changing a lot during treatment and it may become necessary to have a new mouthguard made during the course of orthodontic treatment.

There are also self-fit or boil and bite mouth guards which you can buy and will fit over the fixed braces. They tend to come in standard sizes, you warm them in hot water and then mould the mouthguard to your teeth. They do not offer the same level of protection as custom-fit mouthguards as everyone’s teeth and braces will be different. Only a custom-fitted mouthguard will precisely fit your teeth and braces to offer the highest degree of protection and comfort.

AAO - Member American Association of Orthodontists BDA - British Dental Association World Federation of Orthodontists BOS - British Orthodontic Society RCS - Advancing Surgical Slandaros British Dental Health Foundation British Lingual Orthodontic Society