Can I Still Play Sports With Braces?

Sports can play a huge role in the lives of both children and adults alike! If you’re wondering about the implications of having braces while participating in sports, our team at Smiles from the Hart is here to answer this frequently asked question: Can I still play sports with braces?

How Braces Work

Understanding the components of braces is essential for comprehending the potential risks of damage. These orthodontic appliances consist of several key parts, all of which can be susceptible to harm.

  1. Brackets: These square-shaped fixtures are bonded to the front of each tooth, serving as supports for wires.
  2. Wires: Connecting the brackets, wires apply pressure on the teeth to guide them into alignment. They require regular adjustments throughout the treatment process.
  3. Elastics: These may be attached to the brackets to apply additional force to specific teeth. Larger elastic components, known as bands, primarily assist in aligning the jaw.

Sorting Out Sports

Let’s delve into different sports and their associated risks, as well as the importance of mouthguards in preventing injuries for individuals with braces.

  • Contact Sports:
    • Football poses a high risk of impact and collisions, making it essential for players with braces to wear mouthguards.
    • Basketball also involves the risk of collisions and frequent physical contact.
    • Hockey tare typically provided with full-face masks or shields for added protection, but wearing a mouthguard is still vital due to the potential severity of injuries.
  • Combat Sports:
    • Boxing and other sports that involve direct blows to the mouth necessitate the use of mouthguards.
    • Martial arts disciplines such as karate, taekwondo, and judo require protection against accidental impacts and strikes as well.
  • Non-Contact Sports
    • Running carries a relatively low risk for those with braces, but wearing a mouthguard during training sessions can be a prudent precaution.
    • Swimming is generally safe, but it’s essential to exercise caution to avoid accidents around pool edges and diving boards.
    • Cycling is typically a low-impact sport, but wearing mouthguards during races or mountain biking activities is recommended.
  • Racquet Sports
    • Tennis players should contemplate wearing mouthguards during matches and practice sessions to mitigate the risk of impact from the ball or racquet. The velocity associated with such injuries can amplify their severity.
  • Team Sports
    • Soccer players may be at risk of injury from the ball or collisions with other players.
    • Volleyball players may experience injuries depending on their positions on the court.

Can I Still Play Sports With Braces?


Playing It Smart

So yes, you can participate in sports while wearing braces, but it’s crucial to follow specific guidelines to protect both your teeth and your orthodontic appliances.

  • Wear a Mouthguard: Invest in a mouthguard designed specifically for athletes with braces. These mouthguards provide extra cushioning to protect against impact, reducing the risk of injuries to the lips, cheeks, tongue, and braces.
  • Choosing the Right Mouthguard: Select a mouthguard designed to accommodate braces, ensuring a comfortable and secure fit. Avoid using standard mouthguards, as they may not fit properly over braces and can cause discomfort or injury.
  • Consistent Use: Wear your mouthguard during all sports activities, including practice sessions. Accidents can happen at any time, so it’s important to maintain protection consistently.
  • Replace it Regularly: Regularly check your mouthguard for signs of wear and tear, such as cracks or deformations. Replace your mouthguard if you notice any damage, as a compromised mouthguard may not provide adequate protection.
  • Communicate with Your Coach: Inform your coach or instructor about your braces and any concerns you may have. They can modify drills or exercises to reduce the risk of injuries to your mouth during sports activities.
  • Be Mindful of Contact: Stay aware of your mouth’s vulnerability during contact sports. Avoid situations or movements that could increase the risk of injury to your braces and mouth.

For personalized advice on selecting the right mouthguard and where to obtain one, consider consulting with Dr. Hart. She can provide tailored recommendations based on your individual needs and conditions.

 Can I Still Play Sports With Braces?

The Winning Way 

If you’ve recently started wearing braces and you live an active lifestyle as an athlete, don’t be discouraged. Many patients successfully balance this combination, but it requires careful attention and discipline. Younger patients may find it challenging to follow all these guidelines, which is where our team comes in to provide guidance. If you or a family member are considering orthodontic treatment, please contact our Murfreesboro (615-890-7246) or Gallatin (615-452-2868) offices.