It’s almost that time of year again. School will be starting soon. Not only does that mean new lectures and books, it also means it’s time for fall sports. No matter if you play football, volleyball, soccer or field hockey, staying safe with the right protective gear is important. Wearing braces, you need to take some extra precautions in order to protect them and keep your mouth safe. You can do this with an orthodontic mouth guard. What is an Orthodontic Mouth Guard? An orthodontic mouth guard is a silicon device that softens the impact between your lips and teeth that could otherwise potentially damage your braces. It is also larger than a traditional mouth guard, in order to accommodate your braces. Your orthodontist should be able to supply you with one during your exam. Why Should I Use an Orthodontic Mouth Guard? Orthodontic mouth guards are different from regular mouth guards. Not only are they larger to fit your braces comfortably, the material is different. The silicon provides the extra cushioning you need to properly protect your braces and teeth. Regular mouth guards are made of a harder plastic, which can actually cause significant damage should you suffer an impact. You may be curious about the mouth guards that you boil and bite. While these offer cushion, your braces are continually changing your teeth, which means that the mouth guard will not fit properly for very long. An ill-fitting mouth guard is not only uncomfortable; it is potentially damaging. Visit Your Orthodontist Don’t forget to visit your orthodontist regularly. During these visits, you will be checked for loose brackets or wires that may be bent. And should you suffer a facial injury while playing sports, contact your orthodontist immediately and be sure to get an exam. This is important not only to ensure your braces are still intact, but also make sure your teeth have not suffered any damage. Braces are an investment in your smile. Help protect this investment by staying safe when playing sports this fall by wearing an orthodontic mouth guard. Your teeth will thank you.