Athletes and orthodontics: A winning smile can be yours
Tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams. Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo. Basketball star Dwight Howard. And a particularly well-known football star, especially in Wisconsin–Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre. What do these athletes have in common? Besides their record-breaking accomplishments in sports, they ALL wore braces.
If you’re an athlete who keeps calling “time out” on orthodontic treatment, the team at Central Lakes Orthodontics is here to get you in the game! Keep reading to learn more about athletes and braces, how to protect your smile while you play, and what to eat and drink to stay fueled without damaging your teeth.
Braces for athletes
The good news: orthodontic treatments like braces shouldn’t affect you or your child’s ability to play sports if proper precautions are taken.
Pros for braces:
- Braces are attached to your teeth, so they’re super secure–you never have to worry about losing them during the chaos of a game or keeping track of them if you take them out to eat or drink.
- Braces always stay in place, so they’ll never distract you or interfere with your ability to breathe while you are on the move.
Considerations for braces:
- If you get hit in the face while playing, the metal wires or brackets on your braces could get damaged or poke your teeth, lips, or gums. (However, wearing a custom mouthguard can greatly reduce the chances of any injury.)
- Braces require a little extra time to clean, especially after eating or drinking.
Protecting yourself during practice and game time
As mentioned above, wearing a mouthguard is key to successful orthodontic treatment for athletes as it protects your new smile in progress. Mouthguards also provide shock absorption to minimize any trauma.
We’re here for any orthodontic emergencies
Sports are unpredictable, and accidents do happen. If you require orthodontic emergency care, the Central Lakes Orthodontics team is here for you.
If you are injured, immediately check your mouth for loose teeth or any damage to your orthodontic appliance. If detected, contact our office to determine if emergency care is needed. You can temporarily relieve any discomfort by rinsing with warm salt water. Dissolving a teaspoon of salt in a glass of lukewarm water can relieve discomfort and also promote healing. You can also apply wax or take over-the-counter pain relievers.
Use sports drinks sparingly
As athletes, sports drinks are supposed to replenish our electrolytes and give us energy. Unfortunately, high-sugar sports drinks like Gatorade and Powerade create plaque once they mix with your saliva. Plaque is a sticky film that coats the teeth and is difficult to remove completely, even with brushing–and it’s also a main culprit in causing cavities.
Be sure to only drink sports drinks when you are playing sports. Better yet, replace all those empty calories with water! Gatorade G2, Propel, and Crystal Light On the Go Pure Fitness are some other low-sugar alternatives replenishing those electrolytes. For more details about orthodontic-friendly drinks and foods that can help athletes stay fueled, visit our orthodontic care and maintenance page.
Orthodontics for the win
You don’t have to choose between the sports you love and a healthy, confident smile! Contact Central Lakes Orthodontics for a free consultation to learn more about orthodontic treatment. Your free consultation will include one-on-one Q&A time with a doctor, digital X-rays, a 3-D model of your teeth and gums, and a personalized treatment plan–all in one convenient visit. No dentist referral is necessary, so make the play to meet our team today.