We love our Mullica Hill athletes! With so many patient athletes, we meet with players from all our local teams. Whether you play basketball, football, tennis, or soccer, everyone is on the same team at Bowen Family Orthodontics. If you’re an athlete considering straightening your smile, we’ve got the sports safety and orthodontic emergency tips to make that possible — all while staying in practice and on the field.
Prevention Is Your First Line of Defense
Your first step towards taking care of your braces while staying active is to do all you can to prevent orthodontic injuries altogether. There are two major ways to protect your oral health on and off the field.
#1: Choose the Right Treatment Method
Be sure to tell Dr. Bowen that you’re living an active life during your initial consultation, so she can help you find the right treatment for your lifestyle. With several orthodontic options that work for patients of all ages, we can design a treatment plan that works for your individual needs.
Clear or Metal Braces
At Bowen Family Orthodontics in Mullica Hill, we offer traditional clear and metal braces to shift your teeth in line. With a system of brackets and wires, this treatment option is an excellent fit for patients with moderate to severe orthodontic conditions. Just be sure to pair this option with an orthodontic mouthguard!
Our Invisalign clear aligner trays are a removable treatment option that straightens your smile without the brackets and wires of traditional metal braces. You can remove them for two hours per day, so you can practice your favorite sport without worrying about orthodontic emergencies at all! With Invisalign’s SmartTrack material, this treatment option is a comfortable and discreet method for patients with mild to moderate orthodontic issues.
Don’t Forget To Wear A Mouthguard
Mouthguards are oral appliances specifically designed to protect your teeth while engaging in physical activity. By covering the teeth, mouthguards keep your lips, gums, and jaw safe in case of contact. The best mouthguards are molded to fit your unique smile.
Sports mouthguards: This appliance is great for athletes who don’t have braces. Sports mouthguards are designed to prevent injury during sports, but they aren’t moldable, so they won’t fit tightly around your braces or keep your brackets in place.
Orthodontic mouthguards: All the pros use orthodontic mouthguards. They’re more durable, reliable, and practical than the alternatives and are well worth the investment. Dr. Bowen recommends this version because we can create a more accurate mold that fits your teeth far better than over-the-counter or traditional sports mouthguards. The custom-made mold ensures your brackets remain in place even in tough situations.
Orthodontic Injuries vs. Orthodontic Emergencies
It’s probably not surprising that sports can cause injuries, but mouth injuries can feel especially uncomfortable. Cuts and scrapes along your cheeks, gumline, or tongue can be painful and make eating an unpleasant experience.
The brackets and wires that make up your braces are all made of metal. With all that metal in your mouth, there are more opportunities to cut your lips or cheeks against a bracket or wire. Sports injuries can break the brackets and wires, dig into the sides of your mouth and cause bleeding. Worse injuries can result in shifting teeth that might require treatment from an oral surgeon.
Mouth injuries are unique. Because there are so many blood vessels in the mouth, oral injuries can cause a lot of bleeding. To a parent of an upset child or teen, that can look pretty scary! However, the best way to handle an orthodontic emergency is to stay calm and assess the situation.
Damage to Lips, Gums, & Cheeks
If your child or teen has soft tissue damage, it’s usually because their brackets got caught up in the soft parts of their mouths, like their lips or cheeks. Although there may be a lot of bleeding that makes this type of injury look worse than it is, soft tissue injuries are the mildest orthodontic injuries — and the most common.
Assess the situation by gently pulling the brackets from the lips or cheek. Most soft tissue injuries heal on their own, but if the cut is big enough that the edges don’t meet, you may need to take your child to the emergency room or an oral surgeon.
Lost or Broken Teeth
Sometimes, sports injuries can cause your child’s teeth to shift along with their braces. While this may seem alarming, don’t panic. Acting quickly and calmly is the best way to save the tooth.
If one or more of your child’s teeth shift or fall out due to a sports-related injury, take them to the emergency room immediately. Then contact Dr. Bowen so that he can coordinate a way to fix your child’s orthodontic appliance, as well.
We’re All a Team At Bowen Family Orthodontics!
When you work with Dr. Bowen, you get quality orthodontic care with a beautiful smile. Our team of experts is here to help all our Mullica Hill athletes stay in shape while getting the grin they’ve been waiting for all their lives. If you’re interested in getting started, call us to schedule your free consultation today!