It’s officially winter and that means hockey, ski, and snowboard season is here! Nobody wants to be sidelined with an injury so here’s what you need to know about playing winter sports with braces so that you can stay safe and have fun.

Can I Play Winter Sports with Braces?
If you take the right safety precautions, the answer is yes! It’s important to remember that braces can’t protect your teeth from things that could chip or knock a tooth out. In fact, braces are at risk of damage, too, and if trauma to the mouth occurs while playing winter sports with braces, their edges could cause additional cuts or abrasions to your mouth and lips. So it’s extra important to protect both your teeth and your braces.

How Can I Stay Safe?
Whether you’re playing indoors on the ice rink or outside on the lake, ski hill or half pipe, the answer remains the same: You need the right gear for the sport you’re participating in. Talk to the experts at your local sports outfitting store to find out which type of helmet, face mask, mouthguard, or other protective gear is recommended for your sport. Whether you’re playing for competition or fun, protective gear is a must for playing winter sports with braces.

Studies show that dental injuries are the most common type of facial injury. The good news is, mouthguards and the correct protective gear can make a big difference. The American Dental Association estimates that the use of mouthguards help to prevent over 200,000 dental injuries a year.

You can typically find mouthguards at your local sports store but we recommend that you talk to your dentist about getting fitted for a custom one. Any protective mouthguard can be helpful, but custom mouthguards are fitted to the unique shape of your mouth and teeth and made of superior materials so can be more comfortable, especially for people with braces.

What if Something Happens?
Even when we do our best to protect ourselves, playing winter sports with braces still comes with risks. So, what should you do if something happens to your teeth or braces?

If you are concerned about a dental injury, such as a chipped or broken tooth or a tooth that has been knocked out, or if there is excessive bleeding or discomfort, call your dentist immediately or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.

If you think that your braces may have been damaged, for example a loose bracket or bent wire, call your orthodontist right away. We’ll help you get fixed up and back in the game as soon as possible.

Call our Longview or Tyler dental offices, to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.

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