We are frequently asked if it is important to wear a mouthguard whilst playing sport. The simple answer to that question is- yes! It is estimated from the American Dental Association that one third of all dental related injuries are sports related. Mouthguards are often mandatory in contact sports such as football, wrestling and rugby and should also be considered in other incidental sports such as basketball and netball. Mouthguards are typically soft plastics or laminates that prevent oral injuries to the teeth, mouth, cheeks, tongue and jaw. They can ‘cushion’ a blow that may otherwise result in a broken jaw or tooth injury. Another common question we are asked is what is the best type of mouthguard whilst you have braces. There are two main types of mouthguards on the market: boil-and-bite and custom made mouthguards by your dentist. Custom made mouthguards offer a premium fit, however can be quite costly whilst braces are on as the teeth are constantly moving causing constant issues with fit. For this reason, boil-and-bite mouthguards are often recommended during orthodontic treatment as they can be frequently remoulded to fit around a changing mouth. It is vital to wear mouthguards if you have braces as they can prevent damage to the brackets and they provide a barrier between the braces at soft tissues, therefore reducing the risk of injury. Written by Ashleigh Robinson
It’s a question we hear frequently at our practice – I want to straighten my teeth, but I’m an adult; am I too old for braces? Whether you’re the parent of a child with braces, the friend of someone who just started, or just want to do something about that crooked front tooth that has bugged you for years, it’s a question you may have pondered. Well the good news is that age is but a number and there is no upper age limit for braces! Our oldest patient is over 70, proving you’re never too old to have that smile you’ve always wanted. Throughout your lifetime your teeth retain the capacity to move, which is sometimes the very reason some adults come to see us in the first place! Whilst the teeth of adolescents may move slightly faster due to their increased metabolism (yet another reason to envy those younger days), the teeth of adults are easily moved by braces. That’s all fine, but I’m not as young and carefree as I used to be and the visual image of metal brackets stuck to my teeth doesn’t sit well with me. Well, more good news – there are more visually discrete alternatives available. The most common alternative our adult patients choose is ceramic (or ‘clear’) braces. Like conventional metal braces, the brackets are stuck on the outside of the tooth but are made of a ceramic which blends in with your natural tooth colour. The linking arch-wire is still metal but they are far less obvious than metal braces. If the thought of that is still too much, there is also the option of lingual (or ‘inside’) braces, where the brackets are stuck to the inside of the tooth surface. This makes them invisible to everyone but your dental support crew. There are some suitability criteria, but if the sound of lingual braces interests you then by all means ask. If neither of those options sounds appealing, you may have heard of Invisalign, which is also popular among our adult patients who require more minor correction. Invisalign uses a clear, removable, retainer-type appliance to gradually align the teeth without the need to stick brackets to each. With all these options available the choice is clear! So don’t put off until tomorrow – come in and see us and achieve that smile you’ve always wanted.